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THE police in Plateau State have arrested a 21-year-old man who slaughtered an eight-year-old boy and removed his eyes for ritual purposes.
Parading the suspect and his accomplices before journalists in Jos, the state capital, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Chris Olakpe, said the incident occurred in February at Shwar village in Kanke Local Government Area.
Tacha Tali was said to have waylaid Goltona Salihu, strangulated him and used a knife to remove his eyes.
The commissioner stated that the father of the boy, Salihu, reported the matter to the police, saying that the decomposing body of his son, who had left to graze cows, was found with the eyes missing by a search party, which was organised after the boy failed to return home.
He said on July 26, Tacha was arrested with dry human eyes and subsequently confessed, in the course of interrogation, that the body parts belonged to Goltona.
The suspect, according to the commissioner, also named his co-conspirators, two of whom are herbalists.
Tacha told Saturday Tribune in an interview that he handed the eyes to the herbalists, Kulime Nangkum and Tapyitda, to prepare a disappearing charm and the items, that is, the eyes, were returned to him after the necessary rites were performed on them.
The police also arrested seven suspected members of an armed robbery gang, some of whom were undergraduate students.
According to Olakpe, the suspected robbers, who had terrorised Jos residents for some time, were arrested through a combined effort of the police and other security agencies in the state, as well as members of the public.
Items recovered from the suspects, he said, included eight live ammunition, five cartridges, a knife, two televisions, a home theatre and two laptops.
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