The Ondo State Police Command is investigating three individuals in the state for allegedly killing their childhood friend for ritual.
Our correspondent learnt that the suspects are, Chief Babatunde Olumofe; a worker of 7up Bottling Company Limited, Ijora, Lagos State, Mr. Sunday Akeju; and another man identified simply as Eso.
The suspects and the victim, Mr. Olufemi Ogunkorede, were said to have built their personal houses near each other in Ikorodu, Lagos State.
It was learnt that Oumofe, Akeju and Eso suspects carried out the act at Erusu Akoko area of Ondo last week. They were said to have tricked Ogunkorede (53), an indigene of Ilu Omoba-Ekiti, Ekiti State to the town last Saturday on the pretext that Olumofe was going to bury his late mother.
They were said to have bought and given a new cloth to Ogunkorede as the Aso Ebi for the occasion.
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that as soon as they arrived at Erusu-Akoko, the suspects handed over Ogunkorede to a witch doctor, who allegedly killed him.
The suspects were said to have dumped his corpse along a major highway and claimed he was killed by armed robbers.
They later reported the case to the police at Erusu-Akoko police post.
However, when the case was transferred to the Oke Agbe police station, the Divisional Police Officer was told that the deceased merely slumped and died. The discrepancy made the police to investigate further.
A source in the town confided in our correspondent that trouble started about three years ago when Olumofe, who was to be honoured with a chieftaincy title, invited Ogunkorode to celebrate with him.
Olumofe and Ogunkorode allegedly carried out some activities that were considered sacrilegious by some traditionalists in the town.
The source added that the traditionalists had been mounting pressures on Olumofe to re-invite his friend for necessary rites to appease certain gods in the town.
It was believed that the victim’s death would bring back peace between Olumofe and the traditionalists.
It was learnt that as soon as the murder was discovered, it sparked off a cold war between the people of Erusu-Akoko and Ilu Omoba-Ekiti.
The latter allegedly chased away representatives of the former who were in their town to plead for forgiveness.
The source said, “Delegates from Erusu, including some chiefs were in Ilu Omoba-Ekiti last Sunday in connection with the case.
“They promised to take care of the funeral rites but they were chased away by irate youths of Ilu Omoba.”
The Public Relations Officer for the state police command, Mr. Aremu Adeniran, confirmed the development.
He said one of the perpetrators of the act had been arrested and that a case of murder had been established against him.
However, Ogunkorode family members through their spokesperson, Mr. Gbenga Oluwatuyi, told our correspondent on the telephone that Olumofe and Akeju were in police custody.