Aliyu Mutairu, the shrine operator apprehended by the police in Mobarajo village via Ifewara along Ilesa/Ife express road in Atakumosa-West Government Area of Osun State for alleged felony, possession of criminal charms and fake currency, says he has no regrets of his actions. He has since been granted bail by the Osogbo Magistrate Court.
Aliyu said he had been in the business for 12 years so he could make ends meet. Before operating a shrine, he was an auto electrician, then motor parts dealer, but was “duped.” This is when he decided to take up herbs business, and later, into defrauding unsuspecting persons in Lagos.
According to him, the shrine for which he was arrested and arraigned came into existence in January this year with the procurement of acre of land from one traditional chief in Ile-Ife inside the thick forest of Mobarajo. The traditional chief in his confession later became one of the influential personalities that assisted him in bringing customers from Lagos, Kaduna and other parts of the country.
Though he was not reported officially by any of his clients or rather customers, Aliyu claimed that he normally charged between N300,000 and N400,000 from his customers depending on the cases for which they are seeking assistance.
The shrine was discovered on 22nd October 2013 around 5pm by security operatives following a tip-off. It was gathered that one of the vigilante men in Ile-Ife had a disagreement with his wife, and the woman moved out of her matrimonial home along with two of her children without informing her husband.
The man reported the case at the Ile-Ife Area Command from where a directive was issued that the surrounding bush be combed along with the vigilante. It was in the process that the shrine was discovered in the thick forest.
While the shrine was discovered, the woman and two children had been located where she had gone to meet her relations for the settlement of the dispute with her husband.
Upon the discovery, Aliyu Mutairu, otherwise called Aburagbaja, a native of Inisa in Odo-Otin Local Government Council of Osun told the security operatives that he was only using the shrine to defraud unsuspecting people.
No corpse was discovered in the shrine, but a live python was seen inside a coffin Aliyu allegedly constructed to invoke the spirit that produced fake naira and foreign currencies.
He was also said to be using the shrine to assist people seeking appointments into high offices, those in dire need of children and all other sorts of related problems.
Arrested along with Aliyu Mutairu Aburagbaja were Eneji John (55), Tosin Olalekan (17) and Segun Fakanyi (13). They were said to be employees working for him in the shrine.
Discovered within the shrine were about 15 huts where his customers normally stayed or slept whenever they were with him, underground tunnel, different idols, tombs, naira notes, fake dollar notes, black native pots, among other items.
The accused claimed further that the graves, masquerades and other idols in the shrine were meant to terrify his unsuspecting “customers” to do his bidding by bringing money for sacrifices to appease the gods to answer their prayers.
Aliyu also disclosed that he committed a sum of N4 million into the business, adding that influential people in the society were those bringing customers for him. He normally had not less than 15 customers in a week.
He explained further that all the incantations he spoke were mastered by him from a particular book adding that he had no charm to harm even flies let alone human beings.