The gory sight of the mutilated body of a three-year-old girl, Aliya Usman, killed by suspected ritualists, yesterday, threw residents of Ile Onigboro, Ita Elefun, Ita Ogunbo, Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State, into deep mourning.
The bereaved family had earlier lost the immediate younger brother of the deceased to a strange illness about 10 months ago, making the death more pathetic.
The severed head of the deceased was discovered at a refuse dump, covered with a polythene bag while the remains of her body were deposited at a newly constructed septic tank.
It was gathered that her left wrist, left leg, private part and her entire intestine with other organs like hearts and kidney were removed by the killers, in a murder many have described as callous and heartless.
Also at the scene was a used syringe carefully wrapped with a red piece of cloth, suggesting that her abductors drugged her before carrying out the act.
Mrs. Aminat Usman, the mother of the deceased who spoke to journalists amidst tears, said that the incident was a rude shock to her.
Usman said on that fateful day, when she woke up, she had hurriedly boiled rice for the family as Aliya didn’t eat her supper the previous day (Monday night), adding that after she had eaten, she braided her hair..
“However, I never knew that I was preparing her for the final journey home,” she added.
The deceased’s mother, a petty trader at Adabata, Ilorin, who was living in Lagos State, relocated to Ilorin with her husband to enable them take care of their children.
She said she became suspicious of evil that was about to befall her when her husband, Tajudeen Usman, a driver who plies Ilorin-Lagos route at Sawmill Motorpark, Ilorin, enquired after the deceased around noon that day.
“I told him that she should be with other children at her grandfather’s place. When I didn’t see her at the time I expected, I became suspicious because this was very unusual of her. But after a frantic search for her yielded no result up till about 7:00pm, my body mechanism changed. At that moment, I felt cold. It was the shout from the search team later the next morning around 6:00am that threw the neighbourhood into agony,” she lamented.
Also speaking on the incident, the grandfather of the victim, Usman Alabi, who said they reported the case to both C and A divisional police stations in the state after the girl was declared missing, said the perpetrators must have monitored the girl’s movement for some time.
He suspected that those involved in the dastardly killing are in the community, particularly with the manner they operated and the traces they left behind.
“When I woke up on Tuesday morning, before going to the mosque, I searched around the compound again and found no trace of her. It was one of those I woke up while going to the mosque that discovered a slight change from the way the newly constructed soak away was covered. We found her body there and later found the head in the refuse dump,” he said.
Sympathizers that thronged the scene of the incident said what baffled them about the occurrence was that the corpse and the severed head were deposited in the refuse dump and septic tank located at the back of the house of the deceased’s parents.
They then concluded that the development said much that those involved in the act are those people in the neighbourhood and called on security agencies to carry out a thorough investigation to unearth the series of mysterious killings that had occurred in the neighbourhood.
The people in the community said that similar occurrence happened late last year when a body of a teenager was beheaded the same day it was buried.
The father of the deceased, Mr. Tajudeen Usman, had however, directed that the corpse be buried when he returned from the C divisional police station at Oja, according to Islamic rite.
Reacting to the incident, the Balogun Ajikobi of Ilorin, Alhaji Isa Balogun Ajikobi, described the incident as pathetic and unfortunate, expressing the disbelief that such incident could happen within Ilorin metropolis at this age.
“It is terrible and beyond what one could comment on that people could be so heartless. I pray for God to give the family the fortitude to bear the loss and for the perpetrators to know that they will be fully recompensed by Allah on the Day of Judgment.
“People should be God fearing and keep God in mind in whatever they do. Whoever is misled by the pleasures of life should know that they will account for their actions.
“This is beyond comprehension and the fact that this town is a Muslim town makes it all the more incomprehensible,” he said.
On Wednesday morning, the father of the deceased said that the DCO of the C division police station, ASP Christopher Umoh and members of the State Security Service had visited the neighbourhood.
It was also gathered that the Chief Imam of Ilorin, Alhaji Muhammed Basheer, had, through the Magaji Nda of Ilorin, Alhaji Saliu Woru, commenced discussion with the four Baloguns in the town on how to curb the rising menace.
Aliya is the third child in a family of four after Habeeb and Mujeeb Amina is at present pregnant with another child.