The suspected brains behind the series of killings perpetrated in Oyo State’s Akinyele Area, 19-year-old Sunday Sodipe, have said the only financial reward he received every time he killed for his herbalist trainer was the pitiful sum of N500.
Sodipe, who claimed he had been taken for apprenticeship to a herbalist called Adedokun Ajani, admitted that he never raped or removed any part of his victim’s body, but that a supernatural gene typically had contact with them.
He made the confession after he was paraded alongside two others involved in the crime at the Oyo State Police Command, Eleyele, Ibadan on Friday.
Sodipe said: “I was taken to Baba to learn herbal work. I went to help him buy food and after a while, he sent me away.
“Later, I went back to him to plead and remind him that I had been there earlier but he sent me away because I was too young to learn the work. He later agreed to take me in.
“Before I go out to kill anyone, I go to Baba. He would ask me to kneel down and close my eyes, and he would render some incantations on me.
“Afterwards, he would ask me to open my mouth and he would put something on my lips. He told me that whenever I hacked down my victims and there was blood, I should utter some incantations three times and walk round the dead body three times. He said during that period, a spiritual gene would have intercourse with the victim. He said I should stay there for about five minutes.
“I told him that would be difficult because I might not be able to escape if I stood there for five minutes. He told me that nobody would be able to enter as I long as I am backing the dead body, and that nobody would be able to see me.”
Asked if he was responsible for killing Barakat Bello, the student of College of Agriculture, Ibadan murdered in the city recently, he said: “Yes, I am the one who killed Barakat Bello. I met her bending down and I hacked her with a shovel. When people first rushed out, I was right there in their front but they could not see me.
“I have killed in Akinyele, L-Adisa and also around a church. I have killed in six different places. It is this year that I returned to Baba to beg him to start teaching me herbalist job.”
When asked why he was killing, Sodipo said: “It is not how to kill people that took me to him (Baba Ajani), but learning herbalist job. It was Baba that lured me into killings.
“Before going to where I would kill, Baba would ask me to kneel down and close my eyes. He would render some incantations, warning me not to open my eyes because I would go blind if I did.
“Baba was the one sending me to kill, but he has never told me what he was doing with the victims. He would only ask me to go and before I came back, he would have bought me food and he would give me N500. But I don’t remove any part of their body. I also don’t rape them.
“I don’t do anything. All I know is that each time I knelt before Baba and he rendered the incantations, wherever I went, I would meet only one person at home. I used shovel to kill my victims.”
He pleaded with the police to have mercy on him, saying that he never wanted to be a murderer.
He said: “I can only plead that government should pity me and show me mercy, because my interest in meeting Baba was not for killings.
Speaking to journalists, herbalist Adedokun Ajani denied sending Sodipe on any assignment for killing. While he admitted that his parents brought him for apprenticeship, Ajani said that because he was too young he declined to take him in.
“His mother brought him to me for treatment. He had learnt carpentry work. They said he was not focused or serious. I made them appeasement soap and they took it and left.
“After about two months, his mother and her elder sister came back to me for him to learn herbalist job. I told them that anyone who would learn herbalist job should be more matured because he was too young.
“I don’t know anything about all he was doing and all the killings. He only spent six days with me. I had told the parents when they first came that they would do me a paper that they are the one who brought him to come and learn and that he was too young as at the time they first brought him.
“He was with me for some time and I usually send him food and I and my children would all eat the food. Then six days after he was with me, I sent him to buy us food and when he came back, I just called him and ask him to go away.
“I never taught him any incantation nor put anything on his lips. I only do herbal medicine for rheumatism, stroke and appeasement. I don’t do money rituals for anyone, because I don’t know about it. I am also into farming. All he was doing I don’t know anything about it.”
However Sodipe said he was surprised that he would be denied by the herbalist.
He said: “Initially, he said he didn’t know me. He started cursing that he had never seen me when he was first arrested. But he changed his statement when my parents showed up and confirmed that they were the ones who took me to him to learn. That was when he then said he knew me and that I was with him.”
Some of the victims of the duo’s heinous killings include Wasilat Adeola on April 27 at Aba Oyo City; Barakat Bello, 18, in Oloro Region; Grace Oshiagwu, 21, in Idi Ori and Mojeed Tirimisiyu, 5, in Tose, Moniya City.
The last operations was carried out on June 29 when he brutally attacked a woman, Adeola Azeez, 45, and her daughter, Oyeyemi Dolapo, 23 with hand shovel after entering the apartment through the ceiling.
The Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Command, Chucks Enwonwu, said the suspects’ arrest was made possible through the collaborative effort of the Commands Tactical team, including the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the Anti-kidnapping Squad (AKS), the Swift Response Squad (SRS), Puff Adder, the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and officers from Monica and Ojoo divisions.
He said: “I indeed made a promise that criminal elements carrying out dastardly killings in Akinyele Local Government Area of Monica and its environs would be arrested and brought to book.
“Consequent upon this, the Command embarked on an aggressive and sustainable community policing strategy. The cooperation of the affected community leaders, the concerted efforts put up by officers and men of the Command coupled with the unflinching support of the Oyo State Government and that of the good people of Oyo State eventually paid off.”
Enwonwu directed people to continue to work with the Order, cooperate and assist staff with relevant, timely and reliable information in order to make them better and to serve the people.