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Vigilante group apprehend ritualist in Taraba

Members of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) in the Jalingo local government area of Taraba State have arrested a ritualist who is suspected to have kidnapped a three-year-old girl, Mercy.

The Jalingo local government Commander of the VGN, Munir Bello Arabi said the 23-Year-old Rashid Shino was arrested at the Magami area in Jalingo where he is leaving in a rented single room.

Mercy (3 Years old)

Mr Arabi explained that the arrest of the suspect was followed by a report received of a missing girl from the parent of one Mercy (3 Years), suspecting that one of their neighbor Rashid should be held responsible because they left him with the girl while he was playing with her.

“According to the parent, he gave her coconut and that was the last thing they have noticed since then they have not seen the girl. And they said he had never allowed anybody to enter his room since he came into the compound and he does not sleep inside.

Mr Arabi said when they reported I also went to the police headquarters as well as the GRA division and reported from where the police ordered that we should go ahead and arrest the suspect but before arresting him we insisted that we must see his room and when we entered we discovered some things meant for rituals where he admitted that he inherited them from his father and he used to sacrifice blood for the Juju but refused to admit that he kidnapped Mercy”.

He also revealed that two days after, during surveillance by his men they smelled an odor around an uncompleted building at the Agada Ata area in Jalingo, and when they entered they discovered a yellow leather where they found the body of the girl with a cut head without a private part form where they reported to the police and carried the pieces of the body to the hospital.

However, Commander Munir Bello Arabi advised parents to be security conscious and always monitor the movements of their children as well as desist from allowing them to be associating with strangers to avoid such incidents.

Meanwhile, the local government Command of the VGN has handed over the suspect to the police special anti-kidnapping squad at the Taraba State Command for proper investigation.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Taraba State Command, DSP Usman Abdullahi did not respond to an SMS text message sent to his phone.

It was further gathered that the suspect, Rashid Shino hails from Ado Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

Reporting by Sani Sulaiman, Editing by Omotola Oguneye