A man from Benue State in the Middle Belt of Nigeria has been arraigned at the magistrate court in Makurdi for cannibalism.
Forty-five-year-old Jeremiah Ode, from Igwe Ochekpo in Oju Local Government Area of the state, was reportedly caught eating the head of a woman he allegedly killed on her farm.
Ode is being prosecuted for the murder of the woman – his uncle’s wife Priscilla Adoga, 65 – which occurred Friday, August 19.
Prosecuting police officer Omaye Ujata told the court that the incident was reported to the police by Silas Igiri of Oju Local Government Area.
According to Igiri’s report, the accused went to the farm where Priscilla was working and used a machete to kill her.
After severing Priscilla’s head, Ode prepared pepper soup with it right on the spot and was eating it when he was caught.
When Priscilla did not return from the farm when she was supposed to, her relatives went in search of her and found Jeremiah, known in the community to be mentally unstable, having a meal prepared with the woman’s head, sources in the community told the media.
Jeremiah reportedly told the police he started (his meal) with the woman’s head after which he would proceed to the rest of her body,. He then went on to tell them how he and Priscilla fought each other with their machetes until he overpowered her.
Stateflash – a Benue-focused blog – said: “the police considered the narration too normal to be that of a mad man and, therefore, decided to prosecute him. Although the prosecutor told the court that the accused has confessed to committing the crime, no plea was taken for want of jurisdiction.”
Chief Magistrate Regina Alagh ordered that the accused be remanded at the Federal Correctional Centre, Makurdi.
Although the court declined jurisdiction to hear the case, the accused pleaded guilty of the charge at the mention of the case.
The case was adjourned to November 11 for legal advice from the state’s ministry of justice.