Inhabitants of Ganji Village in Gombi Local Government Area of Adamawa State, learnt with shock, and disbelief on Tuesday, August 6, 2013, that their chief Malam Bappah Alti, 24, had been arrested by the police for beheading his five-year-old son, Buba Bappah, in a N1 million (about US$6,000) deal with a magician.
Parading Malam Bappah with the skull of his son in hand before the press in Yola, capital of Adamawa State, yesterday August 7th, Police Public Relations Officer DSP Mohammed Ibrahim disclosed that the suspect was arrested alongside his alleged partner, Alhaji Sange Hassan, after the police were tipped about the crime.
According to the police, Malam Bappah left his palace on Tuesday in the morning for his farm with his son, but in the evening, returned home without him which immediately made his father suspect something was seriously wrong.
Bappah, however, told his father he left the farm without his son after he forgot they went to the farm together.
A search team was quickly assembled and they went to the farm where they discovered to their dismay that the village chief had killed his own son. They found the body of the boy without his head. The matter was quickly reported to the police and Bappah and his partner in crime were promptly arrested.
Bappah initially refused he knew anything about his son’s death but later confessed he used a stick and a matchet to kill him, adding he did so as part of a deal he struck with one Alhaji Sange Hassan, a magician who promised him the sum of US$6,000 in return for the head of his son. He then added the barbaric act was the work of the devil, crying as he said this and asked God for forgiveness.
He told the police that he wanted to use the money to buy and rear cattle which would help him to take adequate care of his family, especially his aging parents. He insisted he was lured into the act by Alhaji Sange, who kept pleading with him to bring his son’s skull to him for the said sum.
On interrogation, his alleged accomplice denied he ever asked the chief to kill his son, saying he was being framed for no reason. He even denied he was a magician.
Both suspects have been detained and will be charged soon.
The police warned people to report any suspicious activities of people who might be involved in buying and selling body parts for ritual purposes.
The detained chief Malam Bappah was enthroned village head of Ganji two years ago though his own father had refused to endorse him for the position because of his bad behaviour. One village elder declared: “I wouldn’t want him around my children; he’s a disgrace to our community and has desecrated our palace.”
Chief Bappah is a Muslim with one wife and his late son is the first of two children. His wife is still nursing his second child, a baby girl.
Ritual killings are spreading across Nigeria at an alarming rate.
Last June 10, residents of Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State, South West Nigeria, were shocked to hear that one of theirs, a popular shoe maker in the area, Mr Kazeem Bamidele had been arrested with human body parts.
Meanwhile, earlier on, officers of the Lagos State Police command, also in South West Nigeria, had arrested two persons, one of them said to be a prophet with a white garment church, following the discovery of fresh human parts in their custody.
Lagos police earlier arrested two men in broad daylight with a “Ghana-must-go” bag and found fresh body parts inside the bag.
Recently, police in Onitsha arrested 11 people after they made startling discovery of two fresh human heads in a hotel in Anambra State.
Police investigations are continuing.