Cannibalism: Mob kills suspected ritualist in Awka
RESIDENTS of the Olde English Hotel and Inoma Estate area of GRA, Awka, Anambra State, witnessed a scary situation yesterday morning. It was a gory story marked with horror, extreme harm and death, which led to the lynching of a young man of about 25 years in broad day light.
The yet to be identified young man lost his life over alleged attempt to rape and eat up a little girl of about four years old in a manner that witnesses described as ritual-related.
National Light gathered that the stoutly built very black man who was killed at about 10am was suspected to have an intention to fulfill a ritual or evidently mad. According to witnesses, the man arrived the place where a woman who sells beans and plantain was doing business at some minutes to 10:00am from the St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church area of Ekwulobia Road, GRA, Awka. He arrived topless but not appearing rough, with a stainless silver cup and asked the vendor for a plate of beans and plantain as he screamed, “give me water, give me water”. Mrs Kenneth made for the water he requested only to return to find that he has grabbed her daughter.
An eye witness who pleaded anonymity said, “the man came and was shouting give me water and started running after the children there and caught a small girl of about three years, Adanma Kenneth. He lifted her up, opened his mouth and asked the girl to kiss him. He held her neck tightly, squeezed it and gave her a deep bite on her eye.”
He added that Ada’s mother was attending to customers when the suspect carried Ada away. “She quickly left what she was doing and rushed after them. She tried to pull Ada from the man but he held her so tight that she could not separate Ada from him. Ada’s mother shouted for help. The shout attracted passers-bye who ran after the man and tried in vain to rescue the girl until they hit him with plank and pestle which forced him to slump and drop the little girl. The angry mob hit him until he died.”
According to another eye witness, “the man pretended to be insane but I don’t think he was mad. I think he wanted to rape her. He was a vampire. He was not a mad man judging from his hair cut. He had a clean haircut. If he is not a ritualist, he could be an agent to ritualists.
Upon further investigation, National Light gathered that the man who was killed, named Samuel Moses (aka Sam Loco), hailed from Benue State. Until August, he was a moulder in a block industry in Agu Awka area but there were sources that said that he worked as a school bus driver. At about 9am, he was reportedly found topless and “behaving abnormally and noisy on the street with a cup in his hand. He was said to have rushed into the premises of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, where he shouted repeatedly that he wanted a priest to pray for him “but there was no priest handy. He then rushed to the fence of the Primary School in the church where the security men prevented his rushing into the pupils. It was when he was chased away from the school that he walked up the Ekwulobia Road to the Olde English Hotel area where he committed the act that led to his killing,” the source disclosed.
“One Mrs Okonkwo, a neighbor of the little girl’s mother who also witnessed the incident also suspected the man to be a ritualist judging by his action”. She said: ” That man should be a ritualist or an agent to ritualists. If not, why should he bite the girl so deep like that? He was holding a cup on his hand; maybe he wanted to suck her blood and pour it in the cup”.
She told National Light that the girl, Ada, is the only daughter of her parents. “Her mother has suffered a lot. She has four children and it took her years trying to bear a female issue. She had Ada three years ago. Things are not easy for Ada’s mother. Her husband is a mason and had left home for work before the incident”.
She disclosed that Ada was taken to Luna Hospital in the Olde English Hotel precincts initially for treatment but the medical personnel there said that they could not handle the case. They were referred to another hospital. The girl was rushed to Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Amaku, Awka, from where according to the girl’s father, Mr Kenneth Eze, who spoke to National Light through the telephone, she was taken to another hospital named Prime Hospital in Obunagu area of Awka.”
At Ada’s residence, Flat 13, Inoma Estate,. Awka, Ada’s seven-year old elder brother, Chisimdi Kenneth said that they were on mid-term break. “Ada attends Kings and Queens Nursery/ Primary School with me. She is in Nursery 3. We did not go to school today because we are on mid-term break,” he said. He said that they hailed from Nsukka in Enugu State.
Given the disarray the situation had caused in the family, their neighbour, Mrs Nwankwo, also called ‘Mama Kasie’, who could not hold her tears when she was encountered, has begun to take care of Ada’s equally distraught brother, Chisimdi. From her and other neighbours, it was gathered that Ada’s eldest brother was ill that yesterday morning too and Mrs Kenneth took him to the hospital before going to her shop. “Now again! What is all these? What is the world turning into? She queried.
Later efforts to speak with Ada’s mother to know Ada’s s condition proved abortive as her phone line was not available.
At about noon, a team of policemen from ‘B’ Division arrived at the scene of the event for investigations after men from the Government House patrol team of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) had ensured calm in the area. Later, a police Hilux van came and took away the body of the suspect to COOUTH morgue where he was confirmed dead.
The Divisional Police Officer, ‘B’ Division, Kenneth Ogbuanyiya told National Light he will contact the Anambra State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO) to inform him of the development.
Some people at nearby shops were arrested by the police and taken to the station to help the investigation.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Haruna mohammed told our reporter that he was yet to be briefed on the matter.