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Ritualists exhume corpse, severe head in Niger

Ten persons have been arraigned before a chief magistrate’s court in Minna for allegedly conspiring to exhume a corpse from a burial ground and severed the head for ritual.

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The suspects were arraigned on a four-count charge of criminal conspiracy, failure to give information to public servant, possession of human head  and committing trespass on place of burial contrary to sections 97(2), 138, 213 and 219 of the penal code law.

According to the First Information Report (FIR) on the case obtained by Daily Trust yesterday, Salihu Mohammed, Nma Alhassan and Kolo Alhaji Isah allegedly trespassed into Mangorota, Muslim burial ground in Lemu, Gbako Local Government Area of the state on June 18, 2018. The three of them were alleged to have thereafter exhumed the corpse of one late Hajiya Aisha Tetengi, severed the head with the intent of using the eyes for ritual, leaving the trunk behind.

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The report said one Alhaji Abdullahi Abdulateef of Bama area reported to the police at the Area Command office, Bida that both Mohammed and Alhassan of Mongorota village phoned him and offered to sell human head to him.

The police was said to have swung into action and that during investigation, Yahaya Idris and Mohammadu Buhari approached Mohammed Jiya in the house of Alhaji Adamu Abubakar requesting for human eyes for ritual.

The report said further that Adamu Abubakar then contacted Mohammadu Alfa who also informed Abdulkadir Malam Isah Masaga who also reached out to Mohammed Baba Anfani who later linked up with the three primary suspects.

According to the report, the three who had exhumed the head thereafter took the severed head to Malam Mohammadu Alfa from where it was allegedly recovered by the police. When the charges were read to the accused persons, they however pleaded not guilty.

Upon their pleas, the chief magistrate, Alhaji Muhammad Gimba Gaba, ordered that they be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the matter to July 12 for hearing on bail application.

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