Sunday Eneshero, a 35-year-old man who was declared missing by the police, has been killed, sources said.
The man was murdered for ritual purposes after he got stranded around the Koko junction axis of the Benin-Sapele highway in Delta State, the police said.
The deceased, an indigene of Igarra in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State, had left Igarra on November 21 to Warri for a funeral ceremony.
After the ceremony, he got stranded on his way back to Benin City en route Igarra when the vehicle in which he was travelling broke down at the junction.
The family of the deceased contacted the police when he did not return home from Warri after the said day.
A family member who simply identified himself as Salami said the late Mr Eneshero was returning from Warri in public transport which broke down at Koko junction.
In the process of trying to board another vehicle, he was trapped by suspected ritualists, the source narrated.
“He stayed by the roadside when he became stranded in an attempt to board another vehicle, according to information that we got.
“After waiting for 24 hours without having him back home, some members of the family reported the matter to the Anti-Kidnapping Squad of the state Police Command where he was declared missing,” Mr Salami said.
However, one of the investigating officers who unravelled the circumstances surrounding his death, told PREMIUM TIMES that body parts of the deceased were severed from the suspected ritualists.
He said, “The deceased became stranded around 7 p.m. when the vehicle he boarded from Warri developed a fault. In the course of waiting for another vehicle by the roadside, some persons approached him and asked him to follow them.
“We learnt that the deceased put up some resistance, but it could not save him as he was dragged to a large trench at the roadside and murdered on the spot by four persons. His head and hands were severed and later taken to a native doctor in the locality for alleged money rituals.”
The police source said a principal suspect in the matter had been arrested, while other suspects remain at large.
“When the police opened their investigation, the principal suspect was arrested. The suspect gave his name as Peace Onoshakpokaye. He is 25 years old. The suspect told the police that the said Sunday Eneshoro has been killed and the body severed,” he said. “He later took the police team and health officials to recover the body that was already decomposing.”
The police source also revealed that the suspect confessed that the body parts were requested by a man in Koko, Delta State who paid them N130, 000. He also said that the man who contracted the four of them was an internet fraudster.
“He confessed that the severed body parts were given to a native doctor in the area who promised to use it for money rituals. He expressed regrets over their action.”
Johnson Kokumo, the state Commissioner of Police, confirmed the incident.
Mr Kokumo said the deceased was abducted and murdered in Delta State but the police in the Edo State had to intervene because he was declared missing in Edo.
He expressed optimism that the three fleeing suspects would be apprehended as well and charged to court.