A Muslim cleric, Kazeem Alimson, popularly known as Alfa, has been arrested for allegedly murdering a three-year-old boy in Lagos.
According to reports from The Guardian, a three-year-old boy identified as Chiagozie Okereke, was found dead around White Sand area of Isheri-Oshun, Ejigbo, Lagos, after he was reportedly stoned by a Muslim cleric, Kazeem Alimson, a.k.a Alfa.
Further investigations into Chiagozie's death revealed that a 15-year-old boy identified as Simon Kanu, had collected N500 from Alfa to lure him out, and that Chiagozie was also stoned to death in his presence.
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Chiagozie's mother, Mrs Chinasa Okereke, narrated how her child disappeared:
“Around 7:00p.m. yesterday (Tuesday), I brought my children out to bathe him. When I finished bathing the younger one, I went inside to get the wrapper to strap him in order to enable me bathe the other child. But on getting outside, I didn’t see my baby again. The sister said he went into my neighbour’s house but I didn’t see him there and when I asked, they said he went out with Simon.
I called my son’s name but there was no response. Later, we saw Simon that night, I asked him about the whereabouts of my son, he said he did not see him. Simon took my son, strangled him with his shirt and stoned him to death. He is my third child. I feel hurt. My heart is broken. I need justice."
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The suspects were arrested by Emeodi Camilus, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) at the Isheri Osun police division, who got a tip-off and rushed to the scene.
Simon who is a primary six pupil confessed to receiving the N500 from Alfa and luring Chiagozie to the uncompleted building where he was murdered. He said:
“I went to site and I saw how he killed Chigozie. He tied him up and was making incantation before hitting him with a stone three times. He said he would kill me if I told anybody. He also showed me his juju knife and that he would use it to kill me if I told anyone.”
Denying the allegations, Alfa said he is not a ritualist but a cult member. He said:
“I was in my house sleeping when I heard people shouting. When I came out, I saw some policemen and when I asked, I was told that they saw a dead child. I went back inside, and 30 minutes later, the police came back and arrested me. I don’t know the boy and I have never spoken to him.”
Simon interrupted him saying:
“You are lying. He was giving me sign with his eyes not to talk. I saw you when you were using the stone to hit him until he died.”
According to The Guardian, the angry residents would have lynched Alfa, but for the interference of the police.
The DPO of the Isheri Oshun police station said:
“When the police became involved, I directed that all the persons involved be arrested, including the boy. It was after he was picked up that he confessed. He led us to the Alfa and we arrested him. We searched his house and the environs. We found the boy dead in the uncompleted building. He said they tied his hand and leg with red clothes and while muttering incantations, stoned the deceased three times before he died.”
Na wa o!