A Muslim cleric was caught on Thursday night while slaughtering a girl who had gone to him for spiritual help.
The suspect, Isah Salaudeen, 37, is currently being held at the Iyaganku Division of Oyo State Police Command for attempted murder of one Chiwendu Nkwocha (also known as Divine).
Salaudeen had started using knife to slit the throat of the girl after which he then used a cutlass to hack her. This made the lady to scream, jumped up from where she was lying and ran out for help.
The incident was said to have been reported by one Aafa Taiye Agulofi and Ademola Agoro, residents of Ori Eru, along Agbaje road, Agbeni area of Ibadan, where the suspect also resided.
It was gathered that Nkwocha, who resides at 11, Ogundimu Street, Iju-Ishaga, Lagos State, was brought to Salaudeen by her boyfriend, Bola, in January this year so that he would help in using prayers and other means to exorcise some spirits troubling her.
Since then, Nkwocha had been undergoing ‘spiritual cleansing’ by being given herbs, concoctions and ‘holy water’ to cure her.
On the fateful day, Salaudeen reportedly asked Nkwocha to lie down while he covered her face with a cloth. Suddenly, the lady felt a sharp pain on her throat. Before she could fathom what was happening, the cleric reportedly attempted to hack her with a cutlass to make his work faster when it seemed the knife was not achieving the aim intended.
Residents of the area who were shocked at the occurrence were said to have suspected that he might have wanted to use the lady for ritual purposes.
Nkwocha is said to be receiving treatment at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
But Salaudeen denied trying to deliberately kill the lady, saying he did not know what came over him. He said he believed he was manipulated by the spirits troubling Nkwocha to commit the criminal act.
Salaudeen, an indigene of Ibadan and a divorcee with two children, said he knew Nkwocha through one Bola who was her boyfriend.
“I knew Bola and the lady in January. It was one Nike from Lagos State who brought Bola to me and I knew Nike through one Baba Ibeji, a taxi driver who was my client. Bola was Nike’s boyfriend but Bola later came to me and said he was no longer going out with Nike.
“I know Bola and Nkwocha use laptop to get money from people and I used to pray for them so that their venture would yield fruits. About one month after, the lady came back to me for help, saying that Bola called her a prostitute and said that he could not marry her because she was not a ‘wife material’.
“She said I should help her with prayers so that she would meet rich men who would give her money. She used to come and go as she liked. She would stay with me and go out at will to go out with men. Because she used to play with me, I became aroused and had slept with her about two times.
“On Thursday morning, after my children left for school, I laid on a couch while she was on the floor. Suddenly, I looked at a cutlass in my room behind a cupboard. I didn’t know what happened; I just knew I took the cutlass and used it to cut her throat. She ran outside and I was wondering what happened when people came in to apprehend me.”
When asked if he intended to use Nkwocha for ritual or someone asked her for human body parts, Salaudeen replied in the negative, saying that he had never had a client demanding for such and had never thought of such a thing.
“I am a Muslim cleric and will never do rituals. Even I have self-discipline so much that I don’t have girlfriend or go to prostitutes since my wife and I divorced. If I feel like having sex, I just masturbate until I (ejaculate). Divine (Nkwocha) used to play hard and was also staying with me; that was why I had sex with her,” Salaudeen said.
He said he came to his senses after the attempted murder and denied using knife on the lady. “I only used cutlass on her throat. I don’t know how blood got to the knife. I also don’t know how the injury on her hand and cheek came about. I pray that she survives so that she could defend me.
“It must have been her members in the spiritual world who lifted my hands to (slit) her throat. She told me that they had been troubling her, saying she had dreadlocks which were cut. She further told me that it was the cutting of the dreadlocks that had been giving her spiritual problems,” Salaudeen further disclosed.
The spokesperson for the Oyo State police command, Olabisi Okuwobi-Ilobanafor, a Superintendent of Police, confirmed the incident, saying that the suspect would be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Iyaganku, Ibadan, for further investigations.