Story Of Otokoto The Greatest Ritualist In Igbo History

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If you’re Igbo and born before the millennium, you’d definitely know about the untold story of Chief Vincent Duru, alias, Otokoto who was infamous for ritual killings.

His son Obidiozor Duru then was the kingpin of the notorious Black Secret Cult that was responsible for sporadic robberies and abduction of children within Owerri, Imo State.

In fact, following rumours of the nefarious activities of the Otokoto family, Owerri residents subjected the Otokotos under the radar and surveillance.

It is said there’s no smoke without fire. Also, when the wind blows, the ruff of the fowl is exposed.

On the 19th of September, 1996, Otokoto was incriminated. His dirty linens were washed outside, his exotic hotels, ‘Otokoto hotels’ were razed down. He was incarcerated and later executed 20 years after indictment.

Who Implicated Him?

It all happened in the capital city of Owerri, Imo State on the 19th of September, 1996 when an 11-year-old innocent boy named Anthony Ikechukwu Okoronkwo was murdered for ritual.

The young boy was a groundnut hawker who frequented the streets of Owerri to sale his wares.

On that fateful day, he was walking past Otokoto hotels, when a man identified as Innocent Ekeanyanwu at Otokoto hotels, aged 32, beckoned on him to come.

Unsuspectingly, the young lad excitedly went into the hotel to sell his wares and was treated like a guest.

He was given a bottle of chilled Coca-Cola which he chugged down with relish. Sadly, the drink was spiked and soon, poor Ikechukwu slipped into everlasting unconsciousness.

Ekeanyanwu then carried the limp body of Ikechukwu into one of the hotel rooms and what follows after is what both the gods and human beings forbid.

He decapitated the boy’s head, ripped open his abdomen, harvested his liver, and cropped off his penile tip.

He selected other organs he needed and stacked them together in a polythene bag and buried his remains in a shallow grave near the hotel.


After burying the ill-fated lad, he immediately left the hotel to deliver the head to a big cat, named Chief Leonard Unaogu at Eziama, Ikeduru, near Owerri.

Blood was still oozing from the bag when he alighted which stirred the suspicion of the Okada man identified as Mr Hilary Ngọzi Opara.

Ekeanyanwu could not deposit the head as Chief Unaogu had already left the town for Lagos. Remember the year was 1996 and there was no mobile phones.

He had to go back to Owerri with the head. The bikeman quickly tipped the policemen and they intercepted Ekeanyanwu on his way back to Owerri in a Peugeot 505.

Hell was let loose when the news spread. The media even fueled it as they beamed live Ekeanyanwu carrying the fresh head of little Ikechukwu.

The poeple of Owerri went berserk when they beheld the gory sight. They all trooped out in their numbers to Otokoto hotel for protest.

The hotel buildings were razed down completely. They equally marched to the palatial mansion of Otokoto nearby and destroyed his expensive cars and choiced properties.

The unstoppable rioters equally went round destroying other properties linked to Otokoto, even those of his friends


Ekeanyanwu who was later identified as a gardener in Otokoto hotel was remanded in prison. Surprisingly, he died four days later from food poisoning.

Luckily before he croaked, he was able to confess. He implicated Chief Unaogu as the mastermind behind the brutal killing of Ikechukwu.

In fact, they ran a killing syndicate which specialised in kidnapping and harvesting of human organs for rituals.

According to him, Chief Unaogu had directed him to get the human head. He further confessed that the Otokoto and his gang had been in the business as far back as 1970’s.

The guests at his hotel were not spared too. They were drugged or attacked in the middle of their sleep after which they were dismembered and their organs plucked.

The police swung quickly into action and discovered tens of shallow graves. More than 24 decomposing and dismembered bodies of human beings were exhumed.

Chief Unaogu was immediately arrested but he blatantly denied knowing whom Ekeanyanwu was. He was the junior brother of Laz Unaogu, a then serving minister under General Sani Abacha.


Trial properly commenced on the 9th of December, 1996 with the Okada man, Ngọzi Hilary Opara as the first prosecution witness.

Other witnesses came up which include: Ambrose Onah, a police sergeant who recorded the confessional statement of Ekeanyanwu before he was mysteriously killed, Margaret Acholonu, a receptionist in the hotel who confessed that Chief Vincent Duru was actually in the hotel the day poor Ikechukwu was beheaded.

Another police sergeant, Sunday Onwuchekwa told the court that Ekeanyanwu had lied about the crime scene. According to Onwuchekwa, Ekeanyanwu had told them he executed poor Ikechukwu and dumped his dead body inside Mba River near Owerri just to mask the actual crime scene.

The police was deceived at first with the false trail before information reached them about the commotion at Otokoto hotel.

It was even reported that Chief Vincent Duru had shouted at Ekeanyanwu during the course of the investigation before he was murdered. Otokoto screamed at him in Igbo, ‘I mebo la m?’ meaning ‘Have you implicated me?’

The distraught mother of the poor lad, Laeticia Okoronkwo, Sulaiman Idris Ibe, the police officer on seat when Hilary Opara the Okada man came to testify, another police photographer and Ralph Nwaiwu, the doctor that performed autopsy on poor Ikechukwu all testified in court.

The case snailed on without progress for three years as there were series of adjournments, absence of presiding judges and lawyers even to the transfer and retirement of judges.

There were reports about the preferential treatment given to Chief Unaogu because he was the Minister’s brother. The case was stalled until Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme, a powerful and fearless judge, took over the case on 28th April, 1999.

She sentenced the seven suspects linked to the murder to death. Their names were:

Chief Vincent Duru (Otokoto), Alban Ajaegbu, Samson Nnamito, Ebenezer Egwueke, Lawrence Ebu, Rufus Anyanwu and Chief Leonard Unaogu.

In fact, while delivering her judgement, Justice Nwosu-Iheme referred Otokoto and Unaogu as a hardened and unrepentant murderer and a highly-sophisticated criminal respectively.

She said that the blood of poor Ikechukwu must be a very strong and powerful one that screamed to God in high heavens for vengeance.

After her epic judgement, all the convicts were ferried to Port Harcourt Prissons in February, 2003 pending their execution.

Their lawyers kept on appealing the judgement which was futiles as the sentence of execution was still upheld.

Finally twenty years after the inglorious saga, Otokoto was hanged. His execution took place on Sunday, November 13, 2016. Chief Unaogu on his part died in Port Harcourt prisons in very mysterious circumstances.


Evil is evil and no evil would go impunity as what goes around, comes around. Just work hard and believe in yourself and legitimate hustle. Forget about the get-rich-quick syndrome.

Be careful. Say no to social vices such as human ritual killings, blood money, kidnapping and short-cut to wealth. Hardwork pays. Every cloud has a silver lining. May God almighty keep us and deliver us from evil.

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