The Borno Police Command says it is investigating the activities of ritualists to curb their nefarious motives in the state.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Damian Chukwu, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri on Sunday.
Chukwu said detectives were probing the two isolated cases of the killing of a young lady a month ago and the recent forceful removal of the eye of a 58-year-old with mental problems in Maiduguri metropolis for suspected ritual purposes.
He recalled that the lady was found murdered with her throat cut off in a hotel room in Maiduguri.
“It is not that the cases usually happen. These two cases are isolated incidents,” he said.
The commissioner assured residents that “investigation is ongoing to unravel the perpetrators’’.
NAN reports that residents of 202 Housing Estate in Maiduguri were yet to recover from shock after the brutal removal of the eyes of the man believed to be an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) within their neighborhood.
Sources told NAN that the incident occurred on Thursday, less than 24 hours after the lifeless body of a seven-year-old girl (name witheld) was found at Mairi ward in the metropolis.
Mr Gulumba Galtimari, a resident of the estate who confirmed the incident, told NAN that the victim was pinned down by suspected ritualists before gorging out his eyes with sharp object.
Galtimari said: “We saw the man screaming helplessly with no one to come to his aid. We tried our best to know his name or where he came from to enable us reach out to his families but to no avail.’’
Malam Yahya Muhammad, another eye witness, told NAN that efforts to ameliorate his pain at the hospital proved abortive.
“We took him to the state specialist hospital and the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, but we were told that the hospitals were on strike so they cannot attend to him.
“We also put an extra effort and took him to the State Psychiatric Hospital, but we learnt that the facility has not been operational in the last four years due to the Boko Haram insurgency.
“We later took him to the Eye Hospital but they said they don’t have bed space to admit him.
“Eventually, we took him back to where we picked him from and dropped him there. All we could do to him at that moment was to give him food and some pain reliever prescribed by a pharmacist to reduce his anguish.
“Two days after, we were able to locate his family members in Konduga. After we told them what happened, they said there was nothing they could do because they are financially incapacitated to take care of him,’’ Muhammad said.
Meanwhile, Mr Dogara Yohanna, the father of the seven-year-old victim, said the deceased was earlier declared missing for about six days.
Yohanna said she was last seen when her mother sent her on an errand to buy Maggi cube but never came back alive.
“I leave everything to God,’’ said Yohanna as he cried profusely.
However, Mr Ibrahim Wada, a resident of Tasham Bama, said that more than 12 of such ritual cases had occurred in the area in 2018.
Wada said that the high incident of serial ritual killings going in the area demand an urgent action by security agencies in the state.