Kwara court remands herbalist for r@ping 21-year-old woman and setting her ablaze in his shrine

Kwara court arrests herbalist for raping 21-year-old woman and setting her on fire at his shrine

An Ilorin-based Kwara State Magistrate's Court has ordered the remand of an Ibadan-based herbalist, Sultan Ojuwoni, at the Federal Correctional Service Centre, Oke-Kura, Ilorin, for alleged rape and arson.

The state Police Command arraigned Ojuwoni (also known as Atakoro) and his accomplice, Olaitan Ibrahim Olalekan, before the court on Tuesday, December 5, 2023.

The herbalist was found to have serially raped a 21-year-old fashion designing apprentice, Firdaus Jimoh, and set her on fire at his shrine in Ibadan.

According to a police source, the victim sought refuge with a friend of his mother, one Omowumi, following a misunderstanding with his mother in Ilorin.

“Firdaus temporarily moved in with her mother’s friend, Omowumi, when she had minor domestic differences with her mother because the house was closer to the designer store where she was an apprentice,” the source said.

However, after a few days at Omowumi's house, the woman declared that her gold trinkets were missing and suspected Firdaus.

“Omowumi called and informed Firdaus' mother about the disappearance of her jewellery, threatening to invite the police. She took Firdaus and her own children, Medinat and Ayinde, to the B Division police station as suspects. They left the police station, Ilorin , shortly after and went to Atakoro’s house in Ibadan for traditional consultation,” the source added.

Atakoro reportedly inquired and confirmed that none of the trio of Medinat, Ayinde and Firdaus stole the jewelry.

“Not satisfied, Omowumi insisted that Firdaus stole her jewelry and as such should be ‘spiritually’ checked thoroughly,” the source said.

“According to Firdaus, Omowumi then asked Firdaus to stay with the herbalist who allegedly pushed her back to her 'potency' and made her kneel. Atakoro poured whiskey on her before hitting her with a spell in the chest. Later when she recovered she realized she was on fire, it was Ayinde who ran to look for water,”

Upon seeing this, Omowumi left Firdaus with Atakoro while she and her children went to sleep elsewhere.

“Atakoro later entered Firdaus after rubbing a spell on her genitals before having carnal knowledge of her twice before dawn.”

Doctors reportedly confirmed that Firdaus suffered bruises from multiple rapes and had just been deflowered.

The Kwara State Police launched a manhunt for Atakoro last Friday and Saturday. He was arrested in Lagos and taken to Ilorin.

According to the Police First Information Report, Atakoro allegedly serially raped and set fire to 21-year-old Jimoh at his shrine in Ibadan, Oyo State in connivance with Olalekan and one Omowumi and her children who are currently at large.

The suspects were charged with crimes of criminal association, illegal trial by ordeal, rape, serious bodily injury by dangerous means and attempted culpable homicide, in violation of articles 97, 214, 283 and 229 of the Penal Code Law.

Magistrate Kolawole Aluko, who also did not accept the suspects' plea when the FIR was read to them, said the court did not have jurisdiction to try the crimes they were accused of.

He, however, listened to the submissions of the prosecution and the second accused's lawyer, following which he ordered the preventive detention of the suspects and adjourned the case until January 17, 2024, for mention.

The magistrate said the crimes the suspects were charged with were not normally bailable.


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