Mrs. Fausat Odubela, 55, a mother of fiv, was a picture of grief. As she narrated the story of how her 17-year-old daughter, Amudat, was beheaded, tears streamed down her face. She couldn’t speak for long without tears almost choking her.
Her hair was askew and her clothes begged to be washed. She sat beside her husband, Korede Odubela, 63; the man who killed her daughter and left her body in the bush for his son, Seun, 34, to behead and disemboweled for money ritual. Fausat, who said she was still reeling in shock, couldn’t believe that she had slept on the same bed and had intimacy with Korede and never really knew him.
The most troubling aspect of the whole drama now confronting Fausat was the fact that Korede was not ready to go down without dragging somebody with him. Korede had told the police that he killed Amudat on the instructions of his wife, Fausat. Amudat was not the biological child of Korede. It was gathered that after Korede, a herbalist and hunter, killed Amudat, he left her body in a bush opposite their home for Seun.
Seun is also a herbalist; he located the body, cut of the head, hands, and breasts and removed the intestines. Korede, who claimed Lekan Lawal, 23, a member of their village in Imodi Mosan, Ijebu-Ode, assisted him in killing the girl, would have got away with the crime, if not that he got drunk in a beer parlour. Under the influence of alcohol, Korede bragged that he had killed the missing Amudat.
The police said: “When he made that statement, people who heard him didn’t take it with levity. Everyone knew him in the village and feared him. He is a herbalist. He had once kidnapped and killed someone in that community. When he said he killed Amudat, people ran to tell the head of the local vigilance group, called Mr. Oritoto. Korede was taken to Baale’s place, beaten severely by people, but still refused to confess.”
Oritoto handed Korede over to operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Ogun State. Within days of being arrested and quizzed, Korede got tired of staring into the unflinching gazes of the policemen, who were not buying his denial. When he realised his story did not hold water, he started singing like a bird. He took FSARS operatives, led by the Officer in Charge, Mr. Uba Adams, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), to the bush where he left the body.
Operatives that visited the scene said that the first thing that puzzled them was the lack of stench emanating from the body. The body was without head, breasts, hands and its stomach had been slit open. The body was also in uniform.
This made police to form the theory that Amudat was grabbed while returning from school. Less than 30 minutes after discovery of the body, it suddenly started emitting a putrid stench.
The stench enveloped the community, causing gasps of shock and outrage. Korede would later confess that he used his powers to ensure the body didn’t smell and that Fausat never went towards that direction in the area, while searching for her daughter.
Finally realising the chips were down, Korede further confessed that he carried out the deed with the support of Lekan and on the instructions of his wife. Fausat collapsed when she heard Korede’s allegation against her. Just like Fausat, Lekan said he didn’t know what Korede was talking about. Police said: “Korede is married to Fausat. She came into the marriage with five children.
Korede said that the deceased, Amudat, was too stubborn and troublesome. She was also disobedient. She also used to leave home, to sleep outside for two to three days. Always, the mother would run to Oritoto, to report and complain about Amudat. One day, in anger and frustration, she said that if Amudat died, she would have rest.”
Today, those words, uttered in frustration by Fausat, are what Korede is capitalising on. Seun had since disappeared into thin air. Recalling the genesis of her trouble, Fausat said that she and Korede had a deal, to embark on a marriage of agreement. She said that was the only deal they had. The deal was sealed 10 years ago. Fausat said: “I married into a polygamous family. I sell provisions. I had five children for my husband before he died.
Amudat was my fourth child. I started having problem with one of my legs. I developed a mysterious wound. I went to several places for cure, but the leg just kept getting worse. One day, someone directed me to Korede. They said he uses herbs to heal. I went and discussed with him.
He said I should pay, but I didn’t have any money. He said if he treated me, he would have to marry me, since I didn’t have money, I agreed.” Fausat became one of the three wives of Korede, a father of 11.
Fausat’s marriage to Korede didn’t produce any offspring. When Korede wanted to embark on the money ritual, he didn’t think of using any of his 11 children; he picked on Amudat, a Junior Secondary School student (JSS 3). Recounting how he killed Amudat, Korede said: “She used to sleep at the corridor of the house whenever she was around. On that fateful day, I invited Lekan to come and kill her; he said it was no problem.
Lekan is a herbalist and also works in a quarry. He came to wake me at night. Lekan held her by the neck and attempted to strangle her, she struggled, and I held her legs. Lekan then strangled her. When were sure she was dead, we carried and dumped her body in the bush, opposite our house.
“It was her mother that said she should be killed, so that we could use her blood as sacrifice to cleanse her other kids, so that they would return to her. All Fausat’s children abandoned her.
Amudat used to leave home for three to four days, to sleep outside.” He claimed that when Seun came home, he told him that the deed, which he had earlier discussed with him, had been done. Seun told him that he needed the head. He showed him where the body was kept. Armed with his knife, Seun chopped off parts he needed.
Korede said: “A few days later, Seun came and gave me N3,000. Yes, Seun came to show me the head after cutting it off. I was later arrested by Oritoto, the leader of the vigilante group in our village.”
According to the police, there was an agreement among Korede, Lekan and Seun, that after the body parts of Amudat had started yielding money, they would share it into three parts. Fausat said she was used to her daughter sleeping outside the home for three days, but when the days stretched, she knew something was wrong. She became worried.
She discussed her anxiety with Korede and went further to tell the vigilantes that Amudat was missing. One day, while she was at her shop, Korede came and she started whining about her missing daughter. She said: “The time was about 9pm.
He asked me which child I was looking for? He said Amudat was gone. I cried, asking him what he meant. I refused to follow him home. I stayed at my shop and he stayed with me. He threatened to kill me and my other kids if I disclosed what he just told me. About 1am, Oritoto knocked on my shop door, grabbed Korede and took him to Baale’s place.
He still refused to confess until he was taken to police station.” Lekan denied participating in the killing of Amudat. He said: “I was in my room sleeping when Korede led vigilante men to the house where I stay.
He immediately pointed at me; the vigilantes arrested and handed me over to the police in Ijebu- Imosan. Before they brought us to Abeokuta, I tried to explain myself to the police, but they didn’t allow me to talk.” Lekan said that when they got to FSARS’s office in Abeokuta, Korede exonerated him, but later changed the lyrics of his confessions for reasons Lekan couldn’t fathom. Lekan said: “He told the police that I was the person that held the girl’s legs while he strangled her. I don’t know anything about the girl’s death.
I have not met the man before. I was shocked when he accused me of being part of the murder. The police should go after the two boys that ran away when they saw the vigilante men. I didn’t run because I hadn’t committed any crime.”
Lekan, who confessed to being a member of Ogboni fraternity, said that he joined the secret cult two years ago because of a mysterious sickness. He added: “The sickness troubled me too much. A friend advised me to join the cult, that it would cure me of my illness. Since I joined, I have been healed.”