A school is believed to be a safe place. But that was where Abiodun, a ten-year-old primary school student in Ibadan, Oyo State, fell into the hands of a kidnapper. How did it happen?
Abiodun Oladele, a primary school student in Ibadan, Oyo State would have fallen prey to a suspected ritual killer but for sheer luck. The ritual killer was lurking around in Abiodun’s school of all places.
Academic activities in the school (names withheld), said to house both primary and secondary sections in the same compound, came to a standstill on Wednesday, June 11, 2013, when the suspected ritual killer/kidnapper was apprehended
The suspected, identified as Chigozie Chukwu, reportedly arrived at the school during the lunch break. Chukwu, 17, who hails from Anambra State, was said to have come into the school premises by scaling the fence and hiding in one of the uncompleted classrooms in the vast compound, waiting for any of the young pupils to fall prey to his obnoxious plans.
It was reported that it did not take long before Abiodun strolled past Chukwu in his hiding place apparently wanting to go to the secondary section of the schools. Upon citing Abiodun, Chukwu reportedly called him, asking that he (Abiodun) help him locate one Taiwo in the school. But while Abiodun was trying to figure how he would be able to locate a Taiwo among the thousands of students in the two schools, Chukwu reportedly brought out a charm and started chanting incantations into it.
Within minutes, Abiodun reportedly lost his senses and started following Chukwu through a narrow bush path, which leads to the second gate of the school. In an account Abiodun later gave law enforcement agents after he was rescued, he said, “I was walking towards the secondary school when this man called me that I should help him locate one Taiwo in the school.
When I told him that there would be many Taiwos in the school, he asked that we go inside the school together. But before he followed me, he went into one of the uncompleted buildings and brought out something and started speaking a language I did not understand. He was not with the bag when I saw him. When he saw one of our teachers coming, he asked me to lie down so that the teacher would not see me and he also lay down beside me and started speaking a language I did not understand.” Luck, however, ran out on Chukwu when one of the teachers of the secondary school, who apparently was watching the development from a distance, yelled at the top of his voice ordering Chukwu and the boy not to move an inch from where they were.
The teacher also called on some senior students and teachers around to intercept Chukwu and the boy where they were while he ran down the stairs to meet them. When asked what his business was with the boy, Chukwu could not come up with a concrete explanation; neither could he explain what he was doing with the charm in his bag.
The police was immediately called in and Chukwu was taken to Sanyo Police Station in Ibadan. During preliminary interrogation, Chukwu denied going to the school to kidnap anyone. Rather, Chukwu claimed, a JSS II student in the school asked that he (Chukwu) come to the school for a telephone handset he wanted to sell to him.
He said, “I was in the school to see one Taiwo who is in JSS II. I met him recently and we discussed about a telephone handset he wanted to sell, but the money on me that day was not up to the amount Taiwo wanted for the phone. So, he asked me to come to his school to collect it with the money.
But I did not know his class, so I asked this boy (Abiodun) to help me search for Taiwo in the school.” Chukwu explained that the charm in his bag was not meant to harm anyone as being suggested, but to protect him from evil attacks.
He continued, “The charm they talked about was handed down to me by my grandfather. It is meant to protect me from evil ones,” he said, denying vehemently that he hit the young boy with the charm and rendered him senseless by spiritual means, an act which is said to have made Abiodun do his bidding without resistance.
A teacher in the school told law enforcement agents that he saw Chukwu making fetish moves on the pupil before he dragged him towards the back gate of the school. Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, Olabisi Okuwobi-Ilobanafor, confirmed the story and said that Chukwu was assisting the SCID at Iyaganku on investigations into the matter.