By Ehi Ekhator
A 54-year-old grandmother, Sukuratu Salami has confessed to Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja, Lagos that she sold human skull for N20,000
The suspect was paraded along side with two others who work as a cemetery guard, and were arrested with human head, bones, intestines, kidney and other parts.
Salami confessed that she started her business as a herb dealer and later graduated to selling human parts for over a year.
While explaining how she started the business, she said “A herbalist approached me last year and demanded for human parts. When he told me how much they buy the parts, I was tempted.
“I approached one Tantoloun, who works in a grave yard. He sold a skull for N10,000 and I sold it in return for N20,000. Greed made me to continue until I was arrested.
“I buy pieces of bones for N2,000, liver and intestines for N1,000 each and resell for N5,000 or more depending on the buyer’s bargaining power.
“I am not a killer. I have never killed anyone. I only request for decomposed human parts. I needed the money to feed my three children of ages 30, 27 and 23 respectively.
“Those who patronize me are herbalists and trado-medical practitioners. The parts are used to prepare concoction for sick children. So far, I have only sold 10 human skulls.”
The cemetery guard, Rasheed Tantoloun, who hail from Oyo State said he usually exhume dead bodies at the cemetery with the help of a man who he identified as Ibrahim
He alleged that he was instructed by his employer to exhume dead bodies that have stayed too long in their graves in order to create space for more fresh ones.
He said: “Anytime old corpses are exhumed, we usually collect the parts and sell to ready buyers who are usually agbo sellers (herbs dealers).
“My salary is N5,000 a month but since I started doing the business, I made three times more than the amount. We also dug corpses buried without caskets.”
Another suspected, an Arabic teacher, Waheed Ibrahim confessed that he received N3,000 to exhume dead bodies.
He said “we usually tamper with dead bodies buried without caskets and those whose relatives never showed up after burial. My job is to exhume and dismember the bodies and at the end of which I would be paid N3,000.”
The human sellers ran out of luck when operatives of SARS, after getting information about their kind of business, posed as a buyer.
The Police Commissioner of the state, Umar Manko said the command took interest in the case due to the way people are missing.
He said “detectives led by the SARS commander, Abba Kyari, posed as buyers and bought a human head from Salami at N120,000.
“After arresting the suspects, Salami’s house was searched during which a human head, liver, intestines and other parts were found. We picked interest in this case because of the disappearances of people. With their arrest, we hope that we’ll get to the root of these disappearances.
“We discovered that most of these bodies are fresh. It is criminal to deal in human parts. A few weeks back, Soka Forest was discovered in Ibadan. As you can see, this crime happens all over.