The Nigerian police force in Enugu have exhumed three decomposed human bodies buried in the foundation of a new building site, which was reported to be a church building located at the Ugwuaji area of Enugu, along the Enugu/Port Harcourt Expressway.
The corpses were covered with concrete before they were discovered and exhumed.
Construction of the building, whose owner was yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this report was said to have commenced recently and was still at the foundation level by the time the police made the discoveries.
Sources told reporters that the victims could be Keke (tricycle) operators some of whom have been reported missing of recent days.
A worker at the site, who got first noticed the bodies, he was said to have raised the alarm leading to police investigation and discovery.
The police allegedly moved in on a tip-off and reportedly mobilised some labourers who dug the foundation open and exhumed the already decomposed bodies.
Some people who spoke to reporters expressed shock at the discovery and urged government and security agencies to ensure that the culprits were arrested and brought to justice.
There were further revelations that the building, which is believed to be a proposed place of worship was being built by a suspected ritualist who disguised himself as a man of God.
The state police command, through its Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu confirmed the discovery and added that the corpses were recovered from the site following a tip-off.
“Three decomposing bodies were found and full-scale investigation has commenced with a view to fishing out the culprits.”
Meanwhile, fear has gripped residents of Ugwuaji as security operatives were said to have swung into action to crackdown on the ritualist and his cohorts who killed and buried the deceased persons.
In 1996, a similar incident occurred in Owerri, Imo State when police arrested a man, Innocent Ekeanyanwu, with the head of a young boy, Ikechukwu Okonkwo.
In the course of investigation, the police traced the buried torso of Ikechukwu to the premises of Otokoto Hotel, owned by a business man, Chief Vincent Duru, and uncovered a syndicate which specialised in ritual killing and the sale and procurement of human parts.
The horrifying discoveries sparked off violent protests in Owerri, which led to the burning and looting of property belonging to suspected killers.
Following the protests in which both the police and the state’s military administration were accused of aiding and abetting the crime of ritual killing, the state government set up a panel headed by Justice P.C Onumajuru, to investigate the case.
The panel at the end of its assignment recommended the trial of the Otokoto syndicate members. The two sets of trials that went on for many years represented all that the state military administration had been able to do with the implementation of the Justice Onumajuru panel of inquiry.
Six years after, the seven men charged with his murder were sentenced to death by hanging. Those condemned were Alban Ajaegbu, Sampson Nnomita, Ebenezer Egwuekwe, Rufus Anyanwu, Lawrence Eboh, Leonard Unaogu and Chief Vincent Duru (a.k.a Otokoto).
We sincerely hope the whole Otokoto syndicate has not returned.