There was a shock find in Onitsha, the Southeast commercial city, yesterday.
Three fresh human heads were found in a hotel. They were discovered by policemen after a raid.
Eleven persons, suspected to be kidnappers or ritualists were with the heads, kept in a polythene bag.
The policemen who smashed the syndicate were deployed from the office of the Inspector General of Police, on special duties.
The three heads were allegedly those of two women and a man. Also recovered from them were two military AK47 rifles and two magazines. An Infinity Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) belonging to the owner of the hotel marked DA203FST, two army caps, 40 rounds of live ammunition and many cell phones were also recovered.
The hotel was demolished by officials of the state government last night in accordance with the policy of the government. The demolition operation was code named Nzacha.
The Police arrested six female and five male suspected to be employees of the hotel, and the owner of the hotel, Chief Bonaventure Mokwe (Obiridike-Akanani). They are already being interrogated.
The Policemen acted on a tip off that human meat was being sold in the hotel.
Anambra State Police spokesman Emeka Chukwuemeka, a DSP, confirmed the incident and said the police have intensified a manhunt for other members of the syndicate.
The upper class hotel is located at the bank of the River Niger near the popular Ose-Okwodu market.
The Commander 302 Artillery Cantonment Onitsha, Col. T.A. Gagariga, said the recovery of the military regalia did not mean that soldiers were involved. He said such regalia could be procured in the Onitsha market.
”I am not aware of this particular case but my official reaction would be when I get the official police report on the issue, then I would be able to make an official report on the military apparel and where it emanated from.”
Onitsha Area Commander, Mr. Benjamin Wordu, said the suspects and the recovered items have been transferred to the Special Armed Rubbery Squad (SARS), Awkuzu, for further investigation.
An eye witness, a vegetable seller at the Ose-Okwodu market, opposite the hotel where the suspects were arrested, said she had raised the alarm over the criminal activities in the hotel before the incident, but nobody listened.
Her words: “Each time I came to the market, because the hotel is very close to the market, I always noticed some funny movements in and out of the hotel. So I was not surprised when the police made this discovery in the early hours of yesterday.”
A pastor who was among the early callers at the Onitsha Area Command who did not want his name in print, said: “I went to the hotel early this year, after eating, I was told that a lump of meat was being sold at N700, I was surprised. But I did not know it was human meat that I ate at such expensive prize”
Southeast Campaign for Democracy (CD) chair Dede Uzor A. Uzor, urged the police to ensure that investigations are carried out unhindered.
The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) said those behind it should be unravelled.