A freshly severed human head and hands of a boy were found in the bag of a bus passenger in Kwara, Nigeria, during a police stop and search of the commercial vehicle, Nigerian authorities announced on Monday.
Kwara State Police Command spokesman Ajayi Okasanmi called the crime “heinous” and said that the suspect, Kehinde John Moses, was arrested and during an interrogation he confessed to murdering the victim for “ritual purposes” with an unnamed partner who was with him on the bus.
“The commissioner of police, CP Mohammed Lawal Bagega wishes to advise criminals to vacate Kwara State, as the Command possesses the capacity to deploy all legal means to deal with criminals, if that is what it will take to ensure the good people of Kwara live in peace at all times,” Okasanmi said.
The decapitated victim was identified as Mohammed in Ajase Ipo, but his age has not been released.
TVC News Nigeria reported that Moses is 24 years old.
On Monday at about 6:30 a.m., law enforcement team Operation Harmony stopped the commercial bus along Ajase Ipo/Ilorin road before making the gruesome discovery when it searched Moses’ bag.
While Moses was apprehended on the vehicle, his partner reportedly fled. It was unclear at press time if the second suspect was captured.
Moses later took authorities to where the victim’s body was dumped in order for it to be recovered and transferred to a local hospital for an autopsy.
Police Commissioner Bagega directed the state criminal investigation department for Kwara to “thoroughly investigate the case” and arrest anyone that is found to be connected to the crime.
“With the rate of insecurities, one has to be very careful and vigilant,” Twitter user @toji316 wrote in response to the press release Okasanmi shared on Twitter about Moses’ arrest. “Most especially avoid unnecessary night walk.”
“When I saw how police are conducting a search on every motor on the highway in kwara I was very impressed. On my way to ilorin, I submitted myself and the police officer was so polite. Safe trip was his last words,” Twitter user @Azeezolatunjis1 responded to Okasanmi’s thread of the crime.
Kwara is a state located in Western Nigeria.
Nigeria has been named one of the least peaceful countries in the world in 2020, according to the Global Peace Index. It ranks 17th due to safety and security challenges.
“Political instability, citizen alienation, terrorism and violence define the Nigerian crime scene,” according to Statista.
Newsweek has reached out to Okasanmi for additional comment.