By Musa Tanimu Nasidi.
A 34-year-old man, Abubakar Yayaha, has been arrested by a good Samaritan, who simply gave his name as Danladi Mechanic, over alleged attempt to bury rusted goat head and charms wrapped in white cloth inside a fresh grave at the Unguwa Kura Muslim cemetery, Lokoja, yesterday.
The suspect, Abubakar Yahaya, was said to have arrived the cemetery at about 4.pm on Thursday with a black leather which, according to an eye witness, contains charms and other concussion
“For the pass few months now we have received reports of exhumed of human parts by unknown persons suspected to be ritualists at Unguwa Kura Muslim cemetery.
“We mounted vigilance at the cemetery day and night. Our efforts paid off today with the arrest of Abubakar, who we caught digging a fresh tomb. We rushed at him and arrested him while trying to bury rusted goat head and some concussion wrapped in white clothes in fresh a grave. Confessing to the crime, the suspect said it was the work of devil and pleaded for forgiveness,” our source said
He said he regretted the act, blaming it on the impoverished economic conditions in the country.
The suspect was later handed over to local vigilante in Kabawa, who after interrogation handed him over to the Council of Ulama for further action.
One of the vigilante official who spoke with this reporter under the condition of anonymity said: “We handed the suspect over to the Council of Ulama. After interrogation, it was directed that we should detain him and bring him before them the following day to Lokoja Central Mosque on Friday.
“When we presented him before the Council of Ulama on Friday, the council warned and prayed for the suspect. The Council directed that the charms and the rusted goat head be thrown into the river Niger.”
Those who spoke with this reporter expressed dismay over the action of the Council.
Alhaji Ibrahim Musa, a resident of Kabawa said: “the Council of Ulama erred. They should have handed the suspect over to the police for proper interrogation. We believe he is not alone as information at our disposal revealed that his father is a known herbalist resident within the area.”
Ibrahim explained further that just few month ago a woman bathed a man on top of a fresh grave at the same cemetery and escaped arrest, while another suspect was alleged to have exhumed a woman and removed her head.
“On what moral or religious ground did the Council allow him to go? What assurance do they have that Abubakar would not come back again,” he queried.
Also lamenting, a community leader who doesn’t want his name on print condemned the action taken by the Council.
He explained that this evil practice started few years back when they discovered that a three year old boy was exhumed and his head was removed.
“We reported the matter to the appropriate authority. A decision was reached on the issue that any suspect caught, no matter how highly placed he or she might be, must be brought to justice. My heart bleeds when Abubakar was handed a verdict of “Go and sin no more”. We are not fair to those that were laying there, in a short time we will all met them,” he said.
Efforts made by this reporter to hear from the Council proved abortive, as one of the member who this reporter reached said he would not speak on the issue.
Majority of those who spoke with the reporter appealed to the police to immediately intervene by arresting Abubakar Yahaya for further interrogation and prosecution.