Ritual Killings in Nigeria: The Case of Timothy Adegoke in Osun State

“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 that lead people to believe money can be made from flesh without doing any work, weak/corrupt law enforcement agencies and a super-slow judicial system.” —


The alleged ‘ritual’ killing or the cold blooded murder of innocent people is another of too many shocking news report that frequently oozed out of the disastrous and comprehensively Failed State of Nigeria.

This particular recent case is about the late Mr Timothy Adegoke, an Executive MBA student of the Obafemi Awolowo University who was allegedly ritually killed and unceremoniously buried in a shallow grave in the vicinity of the hotel where he lodged.

Mr Adegoke travelled down from Abuja on the 7th of November, 2021 for the purpose of writing a scheduled examination in the University as part of his MBA programme. He prebooked and lodged at Hilton Honours Hotel in Ile-Ife, Osun State for two nights. But he disappeared on the very first night of his stay in the hotel.

His wife raised the alarm on the very next morning of his stay in the hotel when she didn’t hear from him. According to his wife, by his habit and good nature, he normally calls home to check on the family whenever he travels out of Abuja. She did try to call him to wish him well for the examination he was to write on the 8th, but she couldn’t get hold of him on phone.

The alarm raised by the family of Mr Adegoke and the quick intervention of the Nigerian Police Force in Osun State, revealed that he has been killed and his body was found near the Hilton Honours Hotel. The police are still investigating the event as a criminal case of abduction, murder and illegal burial. So, we need to exercise some caution and say less about this case for now.

However, there is a need for Nigerians to recall that there have been too many cases of this nature in Nigeria over the years. Hence, there is an urgent existential need to begin to ask pertinent questions about our nature as a people and societies, about the nature of our values and our beliefs. We must ask,

• WHY do this type of diabolical and fetish events keep on happening in the Nigerian societies?

• WHAT are the factors spurring the perpetrators into the satanic thoughts and into actually performing the dastardly deed of ritually killing fellow human beings?

• WHO are the financial sponsors; the executioners; and those (lawyers, police, and other authorities) willing to get paid to hide or to cover up the news and to distort the prosecution proceedings of the criminal cases on the rare occasion when the public got to know about them?

This writer has stated in the past that,

“Our values and beliefs are the invisible psychological softwares with capacity to influence the direction and the limit of intellectual, cultural and social development of a people or race.” —


I think it is high time Nigerians began to put intelligent and moral searchlights on what we are proudly proclaiming as values, as beliefs, as traditions and as cultures in our societies. When macabre occurrences such as the cold blooded killing and the diabolical murder of fellow mankind are happening up and down the country, not once, not twice but severally over the years, there is a need to put the overall norms, mores, beliefs and the overarching values of the society under a sober scrutiny.

When we hear the juvenile tales, doctrines and illogical moral precepts that the Priests and Imams of religious organisations are pumping into the heads of Nigerians, we need to start getting concerned about the aftermath and the eventual consequences of the ill-wind that these low-life type of indoctrinations are bound to bring on the nation.

Today, and thanks to the Television, the Radio, and the Mass Media, which have helped to reveal the teachings hitherto meant for the ears of members only, to the curious perusal and the listening pleasure of a wider audience. We have since found, among other distasteful pronouncements, that powerful doctrines on the need to pursue material prosperity are constantly being preached to hapless and credulous followers. Wealth acquisition has been raised up as the most important value and as a god-pleasing goal that are incessantly recommended to the followers and believers of religions as something worthy of their fervent devotion.

It should be expected that when any society gladly but stupidly embraced the rich and the prosperous among them without asking pertinent questions about the source and the manner of their wealth acquisition, that society has foolishly dug its own grave of eternal extinction.

On the other hand, an enlightened and a morally upright people will not find it difficult to instantly ostracise those members of their community that got rich too quickly and without any known or honest or verifiable source for the wealth.

A civilised and disciplined society, with sound moral values and high ethical standards to guide them, would never have succumbed to welcoming such crazy nouveau-riche people into civilised society as heroes and would not allow them to pollute the society to the extent of becoming role models for their children and youth.

Unfortunately, when we looked around and took a cursory survey of the marvellously wealthy and the fabulously prosperous people in every community in Nigeria, most of the people that came readily into focus are found glaringly wanting on probity. Hardly could we find enough wealthy people to be tagged with laurels of moral integrity, with honest methods or above the board ethical manners in the acquisition of what they are flaunting as prosperity.

This is an indictment, not only on the priests, politicians, police institutions, educational institutions, judicial institutions and other such like institutions, but an indictment on everyone in the Nigerian societies.

A Case Study: The Story of the Otokoto Hotel, Owerri

Twenty- five years ago in Owerri, Imo State, there was the Breaking of the Story of Otokoto Hotel Money Ritual Killings. Okoronkwo, an innocent young boy hawking groundnut in the town, was lured into the hotel by Mr. Innocent Ekeanyanwu who pretended as wanting to purchase groundnuts from the boy. Okoronkwo was soon beheaded in cold blood in the hotel after his soft drink given to him was spiked as he was being pampered by a supposedly kindhearted customer.

The Otokoto Hotel in this story “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.”

Does that connection of father-son ring a bell? This was a Father and Son incorporated Crime Syndicate. While the son was the hunter and purveyor of human body parts, the father was seen and known in the society as a successful hospitality investor and a business magnate.

Apparently, the killing of the young Okoronkwo was not the first time that such gory events have happened in the Otokoto Hotel. Later,

“Confessional statements revealed that no one was spared at the Otokoto Hotel. Innocent guests and unsuspecting travellers who lodged at the hotel were drugged or attacked in the middle of their sleep and hacked to death after which they were cut into pieces for sale.” —


Fortunately, the Otokoto Hotel Ritual Murder Case was successfully prosecuted “after series of adjournments, absence of lawyers, Presiding judge, suspects or even the retirement of judges or their transfer etc”. At last, the “very important personalities” in the society who were behind this particular incidence were found guilty and given death sentences.

In total, 9 police officers including an Assistant Commissioner of Police and an Assistant Superintendent of Police were indicted. “Seven suspects were sentenced to death along with Chief Vincent Duru, the owner of the Otokoto Hotel, Obidiozor Duru, the son, Leonard Unaogu, a business tycoon, the junior brother of Laz Unaogu, a serving minister under Abacha.

The culprits in this barbaric case were found to be the high and the mightiest — the shakers and the movers of Owerri Society of those days. In the copious account produced by PENPUSHING, it was stated that:

“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. Rumours were all over the place as to their very dark dealings and even the possibility of ritual murders and killings but no one really had any hard evidence yet or probably those who had it were too jittery to say anything. Whatever the case, these rich people who had no really tangible or easily traceable sources of wealth kept on living large and instilling an atmosphere of terror and fear on the Owerri populace. “ —


Lesson and Conclusion

The Otokoto Hotel Case of 25 years ago has too many uncanny similarities to the present case of what we are still learning that happened at the Hilton Honour Hotel, Ile-Ife in Osun State of Nigeria. For starters, the Father and Son involvement in this case is an angle that should be worthy of pursuit by the investigating officers.

It is very unfortunate but it has to be stated that a Failed State like Nigeria can only come into this particular state of ignominy, barbarism, and beastly existence because the moral and ethical values on which the foundation of the country was laid, were endemically wobbly and worthless to support a progressive human society. Trying to build a high rise edifice on the soil of sinking sand is like asking and waiting for an expected disaster to happen.

In the case where a Get-Rich-Quick syndrome is the principal ethos of the society and Mammon is the pre-eminent god that is worshipped arduously by the small and the great in Nigeria, then the ritual killing of fellow mankind and other diabolical atrocities for the sake of prosperity, power, and prominence, can never depart from the society.

On the long run, such societies that regularly indulged in the shedding of innocent blood, like Nigeria is currently doing in an industrial scale by both the government and the private citizens, cannot avoid the extinction treatment that are reserved for such a country, as was told in the Biblical Tale of Sodom and Gomorra.

We are referencing Sodom and Gomorrah in order to remind Nigerians that Mother Nature and Lady Justice, “though slow to anger and plenteous in mercy”, have a plethora of divine and impartial judgements that are reserved for all the recalcitrant Homo sapiens who messed up and fouled the peace and serenity of planet Earth.

We can only wish that the indigenous people of Nigeria will hearken to the voice of reason, will repent from the perverted ways on which they are joyously travelling at the moment and will seek divine forgiveness before the judgement time comes upon everyone. Both the Silent Innocent Majority that are claiming not to see evil or hear evil and the actual hard-hearted perpetrators among Nigerians cannot evade the divine justice when it is finally meted on the nation.

We can only hope that it is not too late for Nigerians to mend their perverted minds, their unclean hearts and their dying souls before the judgement gong is sounded.

In The Spirit of Truth