THE STORY OF OTOKOTO MONEY RITUAL KILLINGg OF 1996
On 19th September 1996, during the regime of late General Sani Abacha's, in city of Owerri - Imo, an innocent 11-year-old boy named Anthony Ikechukwu Okoronkwo was murdered for Ritual.
He strolled along, selling his groundnuts for peanuts to whoever wanted to buy.
When he got to Amakohia area of Owerri, his eyes lit up with joy when a customer beckoned on him to approach.
The boy was called into the famous Otokoto Hotel and the little groundnut seller was visibly very excited, since it was a hotel, it meant that the new ‘customer’ would probably be buying plenty groundnuts which will mean ..
While waiting,the boy was treated like a guest, he was given a bottle of Coca-Cola to cool off from the punishing heat of tropical Africa.
Innocently, he took the Coke and gulped it with relish.
Observing the boy from a safe distance was the man who had called him to buy his groundnuts. He had spiked the boy’s drink and once he saw he was asleep,..
Not done yet, the boy's genitals were not spared as well.
After butchering the boy,and sorted out the organs, he packed his head inside a polythene bag, and buried his remains.
After the grisly murder of the little Okoronkwo by Mr. Innocent Ekeanyanwu (what a name, innocent indeed), he left the hotel to deliver the head where it was needed. He then Stopped a Bike man (Okada rider) to convey him to the place.
he was going to the residence of a highly-influential figure named Chief Leonard Unaogu at Eziama, Ikeduru Local Council Area with the head
So Ekeanyanwu had no other option but to return to Owerri with the boy’s head.
When it was time to take the headless body of Ikechukwu to the local mortuary,there was a massive procession and protested by Owerri people
They stayed around and within the hotel premises, waited for the police to confirm that it was indeed a ritual murder.
While more were matching and trooping to the scene of the ritual Murder as the news was spreading.
The goal of the media was to assure the people, assuage public fear, ask the public to help identify the boy ...
Unemployed and disgruntled youths took over the parks and issued threats to the Owerri millionaires.
From the Owerri main market, the riots exploded and spread.
From there,the crowd split into attack groups and spread out to other sites of the priviledged elite and unleashed maximum destruction.
The well-known Piano Plaza and Stores, alongside another hotel, Chibet Hotel,
Ekeanyanwu, who murdered the boy, was aged 32 and he worked as a gardener inside the Otokoto Hotel.
At the time of its existence, Otokoto Hotel was located in an upscale area of Owerri, specifically the Amakohia side, and it was a favourite location for the rich and wealthy youths to meet, drink and have all manners of fun.
It was owned by Chief Vincent Duru, the father of Obidiozor Duru, the leader of the Black Scorpions secret cult that was responsible for robberies and kidnapping of children in the state.
Before this horrible incident, the people of Owerri were already very mad at the bizarre actions of some loud, extremely powerful and obscenely wealthy individuals in the state. These people were highly-connected and oppressed everyone where they went.
This was how Owerri was described at that time:
For two straight days, the people of Owerri trooped out in their thousands, protesting and rioting.
Any property suspected to belong to the ’Otokoto men’ were set ablaze,..
Any suspected member of the Otokoto gang was lynched.
Following the arrest of Ekeanyanwu,he was remanded in police custody while awaiting trial. But while he was in the police custody,magic happened,he was killed by food poisoning 4days after.
He killed the boy on Thursday and by Sunday morning, he was found Dead.
He confessed that the ritual killing ring was a well-organized machine that specialized in the harvesting of human body parts
Reports has it that the Otokoto saga had been in place as far back as 1976.
No one knows the exact exhumed at Otokoto Hotel was up to 24 bodies.
The man that Ekeanyanwu mentioned before he was poisoned to death, Leonard Unaogu, was a business tycoon.
And he was the junior brother, Laz Unaogu, a serving minister under Abacha.
When the police arrested Unaogu, he lied with a straight face that he never knew anyone called Innocent Ekeanyanwu and that he was not even in Owerri when the crime was committed, saying he was in Laos.
Trial started on the 9th of December, 1996 with Hillary Ngozi Opara as the first prosecution witness.
Nine people testified before Justice S.O Ekpe, who took over from Justice Gabriel Ojiako,the retired chief judge of Imo State, during the trial.
Margaret Acholonu a receptionist of the hotel stated that two spots were dug at the hotel premises and it was from the second one that the body of Okoronkwo was exhumed.
She also implicated Chief Duru.
A sergeant Sunday Onwucheka, told the court he was in the office when Ekeanyanwu was arrested with a fresh human head of the innocent boy.
For the murder of Ekeanyanwu.
Ifeanyi Anozie, an assistant commissioner of police
Chukwu Obasi, an assistant superintendent of police
The case snailed on till 14th October, 1997, over a year,and after series of adjournments, absence of lawyers,Presiding judge, suspects or even the retirement of judges or their transfer etc
Many judges handled the case.
First, it was Gabriel Ojiaku, then Simeon Ekpe who was almost done with the prosecution until he was elevated to Court of Appeal.
Then finally on 28th April 1999, Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme
She Sentenced All the seven suspects to death, they were:
Chief Vincent Duru, the owner of the Otokoto Hotel and Unaogu denied knowing each other, but Justice Nwosu-Iheme said that was a lie.
Leonard Unaogu: He would later die some years ago at the Port Harcourt Prisons in what has been described as very mysterious circumstances.
After judgment, the convicts all moved to the Port Harcourt Prisons in the middle of February, 2003 pending their execution.
Prior to the case of Okoronkwo, several children had disappeared in Owerri, never to be found till date.
It was so serious that in May 1995,the daughter of Dr. Okoh, a Physician in the city was kidnapped by the Black Scorpions, one of the elite secret cult,asked the doctor to pay $12000 before the girl Will be released.
Businessman and politician Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu was also mentioned in the saga but he denied ever knowing anything about the case.
Duru and Onuoha were treated like royalties in the prisoner rather than criminals awaiting the death penalty.
They got the most liberal visiting privileges, ate food cooked and brought from their homes. They were like lords
And while they were incarcerated, the rate of child kidnappings in Imo dropped drastically.
One of those killed was Obidiozor, the son of Chief Vincent Duru, leader of Black Scorpion Cult.
Chief Vincent Duru(alias Otokoto) one of the men convicted in the celebrated case of the ritual murder of September 19, 1996 in Owerri, Imo State, was reportedly hanged.
His execution took place on Sunday, November 13, 2016.
This was after government approved the execution warrant.
For His Properties:
During the administration of Ikedi Ohakim as governor, he tried to revoke the right of occupancy of the police to the confiscated Otokoto properties ...
Nigeria is still in the grips of ritual killers, almost two decades after the Otokoto saga. The same factors that gave birth to the 1996 Otokoto ritual killings are still in place today: poverty, irrational beliefs in supernatural powers ...
The Nigerian disease is still there – yet to be healed.
We should stop that our great pf "Getting Rich Quick" Syndrome.
Funny enough, all those who involves in Human Ritual Killing, doesn't end well. This because 'THE DEVIL HAS NO FREE GIFT'.