Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin has convicted a local herb seller, a herbalist, a student and four others for trafficking, selling, buying and being in possession of human parts for money rituals.
The offences was committed in March 2017 in Ilorin.
The convicts were found guilty of criminal conspiracy, trafficking in and possession of 11 human skulls, 11 lower jaw bones, a bunch of hair and 29 pieces of bones taken from various burial grounds in Ilorin.
Delivering the judgment, which lasted for about three hours on Wednesday,justice Durosilorun kawu the Chief Judge of the state, described the activities of the convicts as despicable and shameful, first defendant, Azeez Yakubu,was sentence to 15 years’ imprisonment and N100,000 fine for each of the three counts.
The other convicts, Aishat Yinusa, Lukman Saka, AbdulGaniyu Bamidele, Ahmed Yahaya, Saliu Ayinde and Abdurasak Babamale, were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment each and N100,000 fine on each of the two counts they were convicted on.
Justice Kawu stated that the prison terms would include the period already spent in custody,he also added that the convicts were free to appeal the judgment.
The judge had earlier rejected the fact that the convicts were being tortured by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Abuja, to extract the information contained in their written statements, describing it as unreasonable and inconsistent, while also affirming that the evidence found on the suspect were of human beings not animal parts as claimed.
Dr Kazeem Ibrahim,The Head of Pathology Department, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital,was invited and he confirmed that the items were human parts.
The first witness in the case, of the Homicide Department, Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department of the state police command Sergeant Mohammed Kolawole had testified that on October 5, 2018, a case of criminal conspiracy and selling of human parts was transferred to his office from the Adewole Police Division.
He further said that Yakubu the first accused person, was arrested with 11 human skulls, bones and human hair, and brought to the station for investigation, adding that he recorded the exhibits as well as obtained the statement of the accused.
He said the exhibits were sent to the UITH for examination to confirm if they were genuine human parts.