A Kwara State Magistrate Court sitting in Ilorin 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.
It was gathered that the herbalist serially raped a 21-year-old fashion design apprentice, Firdaus Jimoh, and set her ablaze at his Ibadan shrine.
According to a police source, the victim had sought refuge with her mum’s friend, one Omowumi, after a disagreement with her mother in Ilorin.
“Firdaus went to temporarily live with her mum’s friend, Omowumi when she had minor domestic differences with her mother because the house was closer to the fashion designer shop where she was an apprentice,” the source said.
However, after a few days in Omowumi’s house, the woman declared her gold trinkets were missing and suspected Firdaus.
“Omowumi called and intimated Firdaus’ mother of her missing jewellery, threatening to invite the police. She took Firdaus and her own children, Medinat and Ayinde, to B Division police station as suspects. They left the police station, Ilorin, shortly afterwards and headed to Atakoro’s house in Ibadan for traditional consultation,” the source added.
Atakoro was said to have inquired and confirmed that none of the trio of Medinat, Ayinde and Firdaus stole the jewellery.
“Not satisfied, Omowumi insisted that Firdaus stole her jewellery and as such should be ‘spiritually’ checked thoroughly,” the source said.
“According to Firdaus, Omowumi then asked that Firdaus be left with the herbalist who allegedly pushed her back into his ‘ powerhouse’ and made kneel. Atakoro poured whiskey on her before hitting her with a charm on the chest. When she recovered later, she realised she was on fire, it was Ayinde who rushed for water,”
On seeing this, Omowumi left Firdaus with Atakoro while she and her children went to sleep elsewhere.
“Atakoro later went into Firdaus after rubbing a charm on her genitals before forcefully having carnal knowledge of her twice before daybreak.”
Medical doctors reportedly confirmed that Firdaus suffered bruises from multiple rapes and had only just been deflowered.
Kwara State Police launched a manhunt for Atakoro last Friday and Saturday. He was arrested in Lagos and brought to Ilorin.
According to the Police First Information Report, Atakoro allegedly serially raped and set ablaze the 21-year-old Jimoh in his shrine, in Ibadan, Oyo State, conniving with Olalekan and one Omowumi and her children who are currently at large.
The suspects were arraigned on offences of criminal conspiracy, unlawful trial by ordeal, rape, causing grievous bodily hurt by dangerous means and attempt to commit culpable homicide, contrary to Sections 97, 214, 283 and 229 of the Penal Code Law.
Magistrate Kolawole Aluko, who also did not take the plea of the suspects when the FIR was read to them, said the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the offences for which they were charged.
He, however, listened to the submissions of the prosecution and counsel for the second defendant after which he ordered the remand of the suspects and adjourned the case till January 17, 2024, for mention.
The magistrate said the offences for which the suspects were charged were not ordinarily bailable.