Kafilat Lateef was a young woman of 36 years. Widowed five years ago and left with three children, she must have felt the absence of a companion which made her yield to the love overtures of Gbenga Taiwo, then a plank seller at Bodija market, Ibadan. Their paths had crossed over two years ago, as she was also a trader in foodstuffs at the same market.
Happy that she had found love again, Kafilat put in all she had into the relationship. Her family members were also happy that she was looking bright again. Putting her trust in the man she had had intimacy with several times since their relationship started, Kafilat did not think twice when Taiwo called her on January 19 , inviting her to Oyo town, where he had relocated since 2012. She returned to Ibadan on January 20 and went back to Oyo on January 21. He reportedly told her to come for the N50,000 he promised her.
Happy that she would be seeing her lover again, she went to Oyo, and when her sister called her later, she told her that she was with Taiwo at Idi Ope area of Oyo. She was given food and drinks, which she took with happiness, not knowing that she was drinking to her own death. Unknown to her, her drink had been laced with drug, which sent her to sleep, from where she slipped to death.
Information gathered from her lover, Taiwo, who had been arrested along with four others in connection with Kafilat’s death, revealed that immediately she became unconscious, the loverboy and his friends, Afeez Kareem and Lukman Ganiyu, who had already planned her death, clubbed her on the head with a digger, after which they put a kolanut in her mouth and buried her in a shallow grave already dug for the purpose.
The act was carried out in a house where Ganiyu was working as a security guard.
Sunday Tribune learnt that Taiwo was hellbent on becoming wealthy, not minding the means through which that would be achieved. He had reportedly approached an Islamic cleric, Mohammed Saheed, that he was interested in money ritual. Saheed claimed that he told Gbenga that he could not do such but gave him an alternative which could also yield money if done.
Saheed reportedly told him to put a kolanut in the mouth of the corpse of an elderly man or woman and bring it the following day after the kolanut must have dropped from the corpse’s mouth. To quicken the process, Gbenga decided to employ the services of prostitutes which he would kill to achieve his aim.
“However, when I approached prostitutes, I could not afford what they said I would pay if they should sleep in my house overnight. That was why I decided to make use of one of my numerous female friends,” Taiwo said. He further confessed that he tried two other lovers. He gave the names of his other lovers as Mama Iroko who came to him from Iroko, a surburb of Oyo town, and Mama Dada, a trader at Gbagi market whom he invited from Ibadan.
He disclosed that while Mama Iroko did not sleep after her drink was laced with drug, Mama Dada suspected his motive, especially when she noticed the shallow grave that was dug. According to him, “she did not sleep throughout the night and when it was daytime, she asked me whether it was good for me to think evil towards her. She left thereafter.”
Unfortunately, Kafilat became the victim, as she fell asleep after her drink was laced with drug. The following morning after she was buried, her suspected killers went to the graveside to take the kolanut as expected but to their consternation, there was none. They scrapped the earth off the remains and saw the kolanut still in the mouth of the corpse.
When the trio saw that their plan had not worked, they reportedly decided to dismember her remains after severing the head. They allegedly burnt the pieces and buried them in another shallow grave by a dumpsite behind the house where the dastardly act was committed. Taiwo confessed to the police that he took the head to a herbalist, one Adeyemi Adedokun a.k.a. Baba Agbadu to use it for money ritual for him.
Adedokun, however, denied being given the head, though he admitted that Taiwo brought the head to his house.
Also, Mohammed Saheed from Ilesa-Baruba in Kwara State, whom Taiwo alleged to have asked him to bring kolanut, denied telling him to kill someone, saying he was only tring to help. Saheed, who said he was a Quranic teacher, told Sunday Tribune, that Taiwo came to him for money ritual but claimed that he told him he was not into such things.
Saheed added that Taiwo also brought his friends Afeez and Lukman, who also wanted to do charms for authority and favour respectively.
According to Saheed, “I told him what our forefathers used to do with kolanut from the mouth of an elderly dead person, saying that if this is done, it would be found by the graveside by the following day.
“ I also told him that the deceased’s spirit would try to resist the kolanut being taken but if it could be forcefully taken, it would be used for a charm that would be bringing any fortune from wherever one may want.
“Three days after, he came back with the kolanut but told me that he did not find the kolanut by the graveside, so he had to exhume the corpse to take it.
“I sent him away that I would not be involved in such a thing because I had already told him that the kolanut should not be used on exhumed corpse, an accident victim or someone deliberately murdered.”
Sunday Tribune further gathered that Taiwo was a wanted suspect in Oyo State Police Command in relation with cases of robbery in which he was involved. He was said to have abandoned his wife and only child, relocating to Oyo from Ibadan immediately he knew there was a manhunt for him.
Police sources aslo told Sunday Tribune that Taiwo’s father had already disowned him as a result of the robbery cases he was allegedly involved in, unknown to him that he would still commit another crime. The father, Mr Joseph Taiwo, is said to be the pastor of God’s Foundation Church at Jakan area of Agbowo, Ibadan.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Iyaganku who is currently investigating the case, Mrs Janet Agbede, told Sunday Tribune that policemen comprising of Oyo SARS operatives, detectives from CID and Durbar Division set to work when Kafilat’s family reported the case of their missing relation, after efforts to locate Kafilat proved abortive. The family members had told the police that two days after Kafilat left for her lover’s place in Oyo, her line was not going through.
They added that they later received a call from Kafilat’s line telling them that she had an accident in Lagos and was hospitalised in a general hospital but was disappointed when all efforts to locate Kafilat in any Lagos hospital proved abortive.
Describing the act of the suspects as callous and despicable, Mrs Agbede, advised women to be wary of men they regard as lovers so that they would not fall victim to evil-minded persons.
Sunday Tribune gathered that a pathologist has told police that the charred remains of the deceased would have to be taken abroad for autopsy and DNA. The cost was put at N1 million.