- A 200-level female student of the Kwara State University, Dorcas Oluwatimilehin Olanrewaju, has recounted how she narrowly escaped death at the hands of ritualists
- She was kidnapped by the ritualists after boarding a vehicle to convey her back to campus
- Dorcas was eventually released after one of the ritualists took a personal interest in her after she disclosed her hometown to him
- The victim has taken time off from studies to deal with the traumatic event, and would not be able to complete the semester with her coursemates
Dorcas Oluwatimilehin Olanrewaju, a 200-level female student of the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, has narrated how she narrowly escaped death at the hands of ritualists, Tribune reports.
The victim is the daughter of Layi Olanrewaju, chairman, Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kwara state council.
NAIJ.com gathers that in an audio recording, she recalled how she left her off-campus hostel at about 11:16 a.m. on Thursday, November 7, after picking up her course registration.
She stated that she flagged down a painted taxi after being unable to find a commercial motorcycle to convey her back to campus.
However, she was unaware that the taxi was being operated by ritualists.
According to Dorcas, there were two passengers in the front seat, while she sat behind. She stated that few minutes after the vehicle began moving, a female passenger complained of being cold, and asked that the glasses be wound up.
She stated that immedaietly afterwards, she lost consciousness and woke up later, in the kidnappers’ den where she met 12 other victims.
In her words: “We were kept in a room. When they touched me, the woman said I was not pure. They started touching my body with some things, and the woman said they should go and keep me somewhere, that they don’t need me now, that I’m on my period and it is not the time they need people who are menstruating.
“I think around 2:00 a.m., one of them called me and started asking me questions. He said where am I from, and that do I know what I was doing there? I said ‘no’, that ‘I just found myself here’ and that ‘I was supposed to be in school writing my exam.’
“At times, they (the ritualists) speak in Hausa but it was not audible.
“They would stay by the door and later open the door and talk. And sometimes, they would come inside and just parade and go.
“When I got there, we were 13 but I left five people there. The man told me that I should not worry, that he would not allow them to touch me.
“So, he took me out, and that was when I knew we were in a compound. He covered my face and locked me up in the boot. I knew they entered the car and were talking about Ekiti State. They dropped me around 5a.m.
“I knew when we got somewhere, I was almost losing consciousness and the man said he had forgotten to put water in the radiator and he came to the boot, took me out and told me to go.
“I didn’t know I was in Omu-Aran. It was when I started walking around 5a.m. and I got to the roundabout (close to First Bank) before I realised that I was in Omu-Aran.”
She also stated: “If they took people out, it was their screaming that we would hear. I wrapped my school ID card in my back pocket and did not leave any trace that I had a phone on me.”
Dorcas’ friend and course mate also gave an account of the situation, stating: “After the examination, I went everywhere searching for her, still without any breakthrough. So, I later went to my hostel to see if she was waiting for me there.
“I also had to go down to her hostel but didn’t see her either. I asked her hostel mates the same thing. I didn’t want to call home, so that her parents would not panic, as I was anxiously waiting for her call.
“Around 6:54 p.m., I saw a text message that she has been kidnapped and that I should call her brother and inform him. Immediately I called her brother, they came to Malete that night.
“After I saw the message, I went to Safety Unit to report and the Safety Unit called the police station (in Malete) to report it.
“She said she was the only one (student) in the taxi. A female ritualist was beside her and that was the woman she said was feeling cold.
“At about 1:16 a.m. the following day, we were still communicating because they didn’t know she had the phone on her and I was asking her the situation of things and she said somebody called her out and was asking where she was from and she told them she was from Omu-Aran.
“So, in the morning, I sent her a text message asking her the situation of things but she didn’t reply. I was even scared but the message delivered. That means the phone was still on.
“When they called her, she was even thinking that it was her turn, but they took her inside the car and drove her to Omu-Aran and dropped her in front of her father’s house.”
In a telephone interview, the president of the Mass Communication Students’ Association (MACOSA), Prosperity Adewale, disclosed that the victim had written to defer her studies due to the trauma, and would not be able to complete the semester with them.
He stated: “We are praying for her and we are confident that she would pull through. I spoke to her on phone, and I am happy to note that she is improving. We would want her to take adequate treatment so that when she returns to school, she would not have any problem whatsoever.”
In a related development, NAIJ.com previously reported that there was anger and outrage among residents of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital, following the cutting off of the breast of an 18-year-old girl by suspected ritualists.
The victim, simply identified as Faith, a native of Epie speaking area of the state, was reported to have been lured to a hotel along the Biogbolo area of the state capital for a sexual rendezvous with an unidentified man.
It was gathered that later in the night, the suspected ritualist who had lodged in the hotel and requested for female company, cut off the girl's left breast and left her in a pool of blood.
NAIJ.com visits the kidnappers' den discovered in Lagos - on NAIJ.com TV: