Rivers State ritual killing: University undergraduate, accomplice to die by hanging (Nigeria)

A gruesome murder; a gruesome verdict. 

Warning: the article below contains graphic details which may shock the reader (webmaster FVDK).

Rivers Ritual Killing: University Undergraduate, Accomplice to Die by Hanging

Published: May 14, 2020
By: This Day (Nigeria)

Justice Adolphus Enebeli of the Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, has sentenced one Ifeanyi Maxwell Dike to death by hanging for the killing of an eight-year-old Victory Chikamso, a female for ritual purposes in 2017.

Also sentenced to death alongside Dike is one Ugochukwu Nwamairo, his accomplice who reportedly requested for the supply of the human body parts for money ritual.

Also, an ex-police sergeant who allegedly aided Dike’s escape from prison at night after his detention, Johnbosco Okoronze got one year imprisonment, for aiding and abating escape of the murderer.

Dike, a 200-level Physics student of the University of Port Harcourt, (UNIPORT), on August 18, 2017 allegedly strangled his victim who was also his niece and primary two pupil of a private school in Port Harcourt.

Dike perpetrated the act in his (Dike’s) room at Eliozu community, in Obio/Akpor Local Government of the state, where he also removed the vital parts of her body.

Chikamso’s body parts such as, breast, private part, fingers, ear, heart, eyelid, among others, were discovered missing when the remains were found with Dike.

He was on his way to the community central crash bin at midnight to dispose of what was left of the body of the child when he was apprehended by men of the community vigilante and was handed over to the police.

The duo, Dike and Nwamiro were found guilty of the two-count charge of conspiracy and murder levelled against them.

Sentencing them, Justice Enebeli pronounced that Dike should be hanged on his neck until he dies, while Nwamiro should be hanged on his leg until he dies (upside down).

The court explained that it decided to sentence the ex-police sergeant to just one year jail term because he has already served two years in prison from the time he was arrested, adding also that he has been dismissed from police force, since the case began.

He noted that Nwamairo’s conviction and sentence was based on Dike’s evidence-in-chief and voluntary confession/ statement on four different occasions that, the second defendant (Nwamairo), had requested the body parts of a little girl, including the heart for financial independence.

The court ruled that the prosecution proved his case beyond reasonable doubts, insisting that counsel to Dike, Lezina Amegwa “in his written address did not deny the fact that his client committed the murder but said he was not in his right frame of mind when he committed the act, meaning that he was mentally deranged and insane.”

The court verdict caused panic and serious outburst among Nwamairo’s family members who were present when the judgment was delivered.

His wife collapsed and was carried away by other members of the family present while one of the brothers, was noticed shouting on top of his voice, insisting that the brother was innocent of the crime, adding that the judgment was wrong and would be appealed as they cried profusely.

Speaking to journalists shortly, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Chidi Eke, described the judgment as landmark, adding that “it has brought about justice for the state, the family of late Victory Chikamso and the soul of the departed.”

However, counsel to Nwamiro, Mr. John Ndah expressed displeasure over the judgment and assured that it would be appealed.

As for Dike and his lawyer, Amegwa, it is all over with the case.

“We may not appeal the matter because of the circumstances in the judgment,” they concluded.

Source: Rivers Ritual Killing: University Undergraduate, Accomplice to Die by Hanging

It would be recalled that Dike escaped from police custody, using the darkness of the night to run away from the cell of the State criminal investigation Department, the night he was arrested and was re-arrested in Jos, Plateau state, two weeks after.
Source: 
Undergraduate, accomplice to die by hanging in Rivers (The Nation, May 13, 2020)

Ghana, Volta Region: two fetish priests engage in ritual killing practices

Two fetish priests in the Eastern Region (Volta Region) have been apprehended and are suspected to be ritual killers. The article below is a follow-up on my posting of May 4.

Allegedly, a link exists with Togo, where the two men are hailing from. On this site I have presented several cases of ritual murders committed in Ghana. Ritual murder cases are seldom reported from Togo. This does not mean that in this country ritual practices and murders are non-existent. I suspect that it is more a question of under-reporting. There is no reason to believe that ritual murders do not occur in francophone African countries.

Unfortunately, there exists a bias in my reports on ritual murder cases across the African continent. The case presented below is another reason to be more vigilant and more balanced in my reporting on this site (webmaster FVDK).

How Fetish Priests Killed Ex-Soldier And Buried Him Including Others

The scene where the bodies were exhumed

Published: May 4, 2020
By: Modern Ghana 

Details are emerging about how a special police team raided a shrine in the Eastern Region and exhumed headless human remains from the place.

At least three bodies were found buried in shallow graves when the special team raided the shrine where body parts were also found scattered all over the place. 

Two fetish priests, namely Christian Lawoe Gameli aka Power-One, 40, and Famous Adukonu aka Scorpion, 36, who were operating a shrine called ‘Power 1 Herbal & Spiritual Centre’ located at Adu Kwadwo and Kofi Nyarko villages near Maame Dede Junction on the Nsawam to Adeiso road in the Upper West Akyem District of the Eastern Region, were arrested and brought to Accra during the raid. 

The taxi driver, who was arrested alongside both fetish priests last Thursday, had been named as Allotey, and they were being detained by the police for ritual murder, fraud and the production of fake currencies. 

The arrest is coming at a time when there are swelling allegations of collaboration between fetish priests, some spiritualists and some fake pastors in the country. 

Old Soldier

It is turning out that at least one of the victims is believed to be a retired soldier, and his disappearance triggered intense police investigation that led to the raid. 

The suspects allegedly murdered the 64-year-old ex-soldier, Edward Quartey Papafio, from Accra, who reportedly went to the shrine two weeks ago to seek spiritual help from the priests. 

The soldier’s phone led investigators to the shrine, according to police sources. 

He was reported to have been duped by the suspects who told him to go and come back in some days. 

The old soldier later informed his wife and son, who was also a serving soldier, about the incident before visiting the shrine on the second attempt. 

Shooting Incident

DAILY GUIDE gathered that when he went back to the shrine to confront them, the suspects asked him to sit somewhere in the shrine and in the process they shot him, killing him instantly. 

They then buried him at the back of the shrine in the dress that he was wearing. 

The deceased’s wife who was not hearing from him started calling his mobile phone several times, but the calls didn’t go through. 

Police Intervention

The deceased soldier’s son went to the community in search of his late father before reporting the matter to the police CID, who also deployed some investigators to the community to gather more facts. 

Their Roots

The fetish priests, as gathered, hail from Togo and came to stay at Suhum, but moved to settle in the current village about five years ago. 

They have reportedly built two shrines and a hotel at separate locations during their short stay in the area and are said to be feared by the people. 

Modus Operandi

They usually run advertisement and talk shows on Starr TV, a private television station based in Koforidua, to lure their clients who want to turn millionaires overnight. 

They are said to have used their so-called powers to ‘dupe’ many clients and normally charge not less than GH¢1,000 as ‘participating’ fees. 

Serial Killing

Some residents have made wild claims that a lot of people who visited the shrine vanished afterwards whenever the clients tried to fight back after being felt duped by the fetish priests. 

The suspects, after the heinous crimes, allegedly bury the victims in their dresses in a manhole at the back of the shrine, and others in the rituals room after removing their parts. 

They further claimed that some kids have been reported missing in the community ever since the duo settled in the area. 

Some even alleged that the suspects usually ‘camped’ their clients who threaten to expose them when they failed to perform what they promise to do for them. 

Some of the victims reportedly managed to escape and filed complaints at the police station at Adeiso, but the suspects were never arrested and questioned. 

Marching Suspects

The police upon arresting the suspects marched them to the spots where they suspected the remains had been buried, and the suspects allegedly pointed to those spots for the bodies to be exhumed. 

At around 11:00am on Thursday, the police used an excavator to dig the graveyard and also pulled down the walls of the shrine before exhuming fresh human skulls and plenty of bones. 

The exhumation exercise ended around 4pm.

There are wild rumours in the village that a certain Kwashie Zormelo (age unknown) from Kasoa may have also been murdered by the suspects. 

DAILY GUIDE understands the CID will be addressing the media on the matter at 2pm today.

Source:  How Fetish Priests Killed Ex-Soldier And Buried Him Including Others

Related article:

How two fetish priests murdered and buried a biochemist, others at their shrine

Published: May 4, 2020
By: MyJoyOnLine

Two traditional priests are in the custody of the police for allegedly killing a biochemist consultant and siphoning what is suspected to be his blood into a gallon.

The deceased Edward Quartey-Papafio, 64, had left his house on January 15, 2020, at about 3:30 am after receiving a phone call. 

According to the Director-General of the CID, COP Isaac Yeboah, after police investigations, it was discovered that the deceased was last spotted in Adeisu, near Nsawam in the Eastern region.

The police intensified investigation, and on April 21, 2020, they arrested suspects Christian Gameli Lawerh alias Power, 36, and Famous Adorkunu alias Scorpion, 37.

Both fetish priests hail from the Volta region but reside at Maame Dede near Adeisu.

After a search was conducted at their residences, police retrieved two pump action guns, a single barrel gun, together with eleven packets of cartridges from Lawerh’s room.

On April 29, both suspects admitted having interacted with the missing person for some time, but he was later shot and killed on January 15, 2020, at their shrine.

The suspects reiterated that the deceased was buried at a particular spot within the shrine and led police to the scene. The area was secured for an exhumation order to be granted by the court.

On April 30, the police including pathologists and other forensic experts went to Maame Dede and executed the exhumation.

The pathologists retrieved the decomposed body from a grave.

A second decomposed body whose name the suspect Gameli gave as Kwesi Zomelo also from Kasoa was retrieved from a separate grave.

The team later exhumed human parts, hair attachments, bead (belonging to a woman, police suspect), and bones from a third grave within the same perimeter.

A decomposed human flesh with bones wrapped in a cloth buried among the bodies was also retrieved from another grave. The team in addition retrieved human skulls together with bones, suspected to be human, hidden under two ‘idols’ in the house.

Investigations have so far established that on December 2019, the two conspired to murder Edward Quartey-Papafio, according to police.

They are alleged to have lured the deceased to their shrine and succeeded in collecting cash amounting to 10,000 Ghana cedis from him with a promise to fortify the deceased spiritually to enable his company to flourish.

On January 15, they invited Quartey-Papafio to the shrine for what they claimed to be the final purification rites but in the process they shot, killed and buried his body.

Police say after committing the crime, Lawerh took possession of the deceased’s Itel and Nokia mobile phones and handed them to his third wife, together with a bunch of keys.

Police say the second suspect Adorkunu, has confessed that he shot and killed Mr. Quartey-Papafio.

He also confessed to killing Zomelo and one of his masons after the deceased demanded money owed him.

According to COP Isaac Ken Yeboah, the remains exhumed from the shrine have been deposited at the Police Hospital Mortuary awaiting DNA testing and identification.

The suspects have been remanded and are awaiting trial.

Source: How two fetish priests murdered and buried a biochemist, others at their shrine

Ghana – ritual murder: four headless bodies uncovered in shrine in Eastern Region

Also Ghana is not an exception to the gruesome reality of the widespread occurrence of  ritualistic murders in SSA-countries, as I stated in one of my previous posts. Can anyone explain that to me? (webmaster FVDK).  

Four Headless Bodies Uncovered In Shrine

To listen to the report click on the image in the original article (in Source, below)

Published: May 2, 2020
By: Modern Ghana

The fetish priests and a taxi driver have been picked up in a joint security operation, carried out by armed police and military personnel from Accra, for allegedly killing six people at their shrine.

The police have given the names of the fetish priests only as Power One, believed to be 40 years old, and Famous, 36. 

The shrine of both spiritualists was also named ‘Power 1 Herbal & Spiritual Centre’ located at Adu Kwadwo, near Maame Dede in the Upper West Akyem District of the Eastern Region. 

The taxi driver, identified as Allotey, was also grabbed for allegedly aiding the fetish priests in committing the alleged crime. 

The suspected fetish priests and the driver are being held for ritual murder, fraud, and the production of fake currencies after the raid at the shrine last Thursday. 

DAILY GUIDE gathered that the shrine of both spiritualists was raided because the police suspected they had buried people there. 

Upon their arrests, the police reportedly marched the suspects to spots where they suspected the remains had been buried, and the suspects allegedly pointed to those spots for the bodies to be exhumed. 

The police retrieved fresh human head, skulls and other human parts tied in a polythene bag and they suspected it was to be used for sacrifice. 

The suspects have been transferred to Accra along with the exhibits retrieved.

Source: Four Headless Bodies Uncovered In Shrine

Related article:

Breaking News: Police, Military Raid Shrine in Upper West Akyem over Ritual Murder

Published: April 30, 2020
By:  Obed Ansah mybrytfmonline 

Two spiritualists at Adu Kwadwo Community near Maame Dede in the Upper West Akyem District of the Eastern Region have been busted by a joint team of Police and Military personnel.

The two fetish priests arrested are Power 1 and Scorpion.

They were arrested for alleged ritual murder and fraud and the production of fake currencies.

According to the report, the joint armed security team that carried out the operation has exhumed some two bodies.

Mybrytfmonline.com will provide detailed information about the operation as and when it unfolds.

Source: Breaking News: Police, Military Raid Shrine in Upper West Akyem over Ritual Murder

Upper West Akyim District, Eastern Region, Ghana

Another muti murder in South Africa? Child murder accused described as ‘quiet and reserved’

Warning: some of the articles below contain graphic details of the crime (webmaster FVDK).

Child murder accused described as ‘quiet and reserved’

Amanda Zitho, L, the mother of Mzwandile Zitho, 05, who was killed in Orange Farm about 2 weeks ago. PHOTO : ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN

Published: April 29, 2020
By: The Sowetan – Tankiso Makhetha

The woman accused of killing a five-year-old boy whose body was found in a local tavern has been described as a quiet and reserved person.

This was a sentiment shared by community members at Mzwandile Zitho’s funeral yesterday in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg.

Mzwandile was allegedly murdered by Pontso Mohlanka who appeared in the Vereeniging magistrate’s court yesterday where she is facing a charge of murder.

Her matter was postponed until May 15 when her bail application is expected to be heard. The matter was also postponed to allow the state to verify Mohlanka’s nationality with the department of home affairs.

She was initially arrested with her partner and tavern owner, who was not formally charged due to insufficient evidence.

“We are still dumbstruck by what happened. It’s hard to make sense of the whole thing because she is the last person who we thought would be charged for Wandi’s murder,” said Petunia Nkwanyane, a resident in the area.

She spoke to Sowetan at Mzwandile’s Orange Farm home, moments after his burial. The deceased’s home is just across the street from the tavern where the body was discovered on April 15.

The tavern house, now a crime scene, is sealed off with police tape.

Mzwandile’s body was found in an upright position in a fridge, with his hands and feet tied.

According to residents, he also had a red rope around his neck which had small packets containing a powdery substance.

“The only time we saw anyone there was when the tavern owner’s sister came to fetch something while the couple was in jail. We know that the owner was released from jail but we don’t know where he is,” Nkwanyane said.

Another neighbour, Phindi Majola, said Mzwandile’s mysterious death had enraged the community which wanted to burn down the tavern.

“Everyone was upset because of the way Mzwandile was killed. People wanted to burn the house when the police were done with their work because they suspected that Mzwandile was killed in a muthi ritual,” Majola said.

She said she was familiar with Mohlanka, with whom she interacted while peeling vegetables at homes preparing for funerals in the area.

“She is so quiet and shy. I am familiar with her; we talk a lot when we peel vegetables for funerals here,” she said.

Mzwandile was buried at De Deur Memorial Park near Vereeniging. His distraught father, Simphiwe Mosala, said: “I just want to know why he was killed. He was an innocent boy who had so much potential. We want justice; we are also grateful to everyone who has shown us support.”

Source: Child murder accused described as ‘quiet and reserved’

Related articles:

Woman charged after senseless killing of five-year-old boy

Five-year old Mzwandile Zitho was reported missing by his grandmother on Wednesday. 
Image: Supplied

Published: April 20, 2020
By: The Sowetan – Tankiso Makhetha

A woman has been charged with the murder of a five-year-old boy who was found killed in a tavern in Orange Farm last week.

Pontso Mohlanka appeared in the Vereeniging regional court on Monday where she was charged with Mzwandile Zitho’s murder.

Phindi Mjonondwane, the National Prosecuting Authority’s spokesperson said the matter was postponed until Wednesday for further investigations.

“The matter was also postponed to set a date for the bail application hearing,” Mjonondwane said.

The woman was arrested along with her husband at the tavern, which is located less than 30 metres from Zitho’s home.

“Charges against the man were not placed on the roll as there is currently no prima facie case against him,” she said.

Zitho was found in an upright position with his legs tied and a red rope around his neck in what his family believes was a muthi killling.

Zitho’s grandmother Nompumelelo Zitho previously told Sowetan how she frantically searched for her grandson last Wednesday with the tavern owner allegedly telling her not to worry when she asked him if he had seen Mzwandile.

“I was worried sick because I didn’t know where he was. I started searching for him and asked the owner of the tavern if he had seen Wandi and he said no. He said Wandi was a smart boy and would return home,” she recalled Wednesday’s events.

Zitho said the tavern owner assisted them to search for Mzwandile and went as far as sending one of his employees into a neighbouring township.

“He was telling me not to go to the police station and that we would find Wandi by the end of the day. He was so reassuring, but I was concerned and wanted to find my grandson,” she said.

Zitho said after several hours of searching, she then went to the police station to report Mzwandile missing.”Four hours after our conversations, I was shocked when I arrived at the police station to report Wandi missing, only to find him [tavern owner] there. 

“He told us that he had found Wandi’s body in his tavern and did not know how it got there,” Zitho said.

“I feel betrayed because he was one of the first people to start a search party for Wandi when I told him he was missing.

“He didn’t tell me that my grandson was in his tavern the whole time we were looking for him. He said he also didn’t know that Wandi was there.”

Zitho said she was heartbroken because she raised Mzwandile since he was five months old. She recalled the condition in which they found Mzwandile’s body.

“He was standing upright, there was a red rope with small papers containing powdery substances attached to it. His legs were also tied with a handkerchief with a small bottle containing white muthi attached to it.

“It is as if he was a sacrifice.”He was an active child and full of energy. He would say to me that he wanted to be a priest because he was tired of seeing me take a taxi to church. He said he would take me to church with his own car.”

Source: Woman charged after senseless killing of five-year-old boy

and:

Tavern owner and wife arrested for boy’s murder

Nompumelelo Zitho , the grandmother of 5 year old child, Mwzandile Zitho, killed in Orange Farm, Johannesburg . PHOTO: ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN

Published: April 20, 2020
By: The Sowetan Live, South Africa – Tankiso Makhetha 

The tavern owner who helped the family of a five-year-old boy to search for him after he went missing last week has been arrested for the child’s murder.

Mzwandile Zitho’s grandmother Nompumelelo Zitho recalled how she frantically searched for her grandson in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg, on Wednesday with the tavern owner allegedly telling her not to worry when she asked him if he had seen Mzwandile.

“I was worried sick because I didn’t know where he was. I started searching for him and asked the owner of the tavern if he had seen Wandi and he said no. He said Wandi was a smart boy and would return home,” she recalled Wednesday’s events.

Zitho said the tavern owner assisted them to search for Mzwandile and went as far as sending one of his employees into a neighbouring township.

“He was telling me not to go to the police station and that we would find Wandi by the end of the day. He was so reassuring, but I was concerned and wanted to find my grandson,” she said.

Zitho said after hours of searching, she then went to the police station to report Mzwandile missing.

“Four hours after our conversations, I was shocked when I arrived at the police station to report Wandi missing, only to find him [tavern owner] there. He told us that he had found Wandi’s body in his tavern and did not know how it got there,” Zitho said.

Mzwandile was found in an upright position with his legs tied and a red rope around his neck in what his family believes was a muthi killling.

Provincial police spokesperson Capt Kay Makhubele said the tavern owner’ and his wife were arrested on Friday and are expected to appear in the Vereeniging magistrate’s court today on charges of kidnapping and murder.

“I feel betrayed because he was one of the first people to start a search party for Wandi when I told him he was missing.

“He didn’t tell me that my grandson was in his tavern the whole time we were looking for him.

“He said he also didn’t know that Wandi was there.”

Zitho said she was heartbroken because she raised Mzwandile since he was five months old.

She recalled the condition in which they found Mzwandile’s body.

Source: Tavern owner and wife arrested for boy’s murder

and:

Boy’s body found in Orange Farm tavern fridge

Published: April 17, 2020
By: The Sowetan Live, South Africa – Tankiso Makhetha 

A five-year-old boy was found dead in a tavern in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg, on Wednesday, in what his family and community suspect was a muti-related murder.

Mzwandile Zitho was reported missing by his grandmother on the same day.

Residents said they were shocked by the gruesome discovery of his body in a fridge.

Anna Makhubu, who was one of the first people to enter the tavern where Mzwandile’s body was found, said: “His grandmother said she grew worried when she could not find him around the yard at 10am. She said he was still in his pyjamas when he went missing.

“She asked the tavern owner, who lives across from them, if he had seen Mzwandile. He said no. But she was shocked to find him at the police station as well.”

According to Makhubu, the tavern owner told the police he did not know how the boy’s body ended up on his property.

“He said he doesn’t know how the body got there and wanted to help. When we got there we found Mzwandile naked, standing in an upright position. His hands and feet were bound. There was muthi bottles and a handkerchief that had small ropes in it.”

Makhubu said she was heartbroken as she raised Mzwandile since he was five months old.

“He was an active child and full of energy. He would say to me that he wanted to be a priest because he was tired of seeing me take a taxi to church. He said he would take me to church in his own car.”

ANC branch chairperson in the area, Macy Monageng, said: “We are hurt because we are in a lockdown and then this happens. We thought children and women abuse would end in this situation but clearly not. The law needs to take its course.”

Police spokesperson Capt Kay Makhubele said they were investigating a case of murder and that no arrests have been made.

Source: Boy’s body found in Orange Farm tavern fridge

and:

Boy found dead in tavern fridge

Five-year old Mzwandile Zitho was reported missing by his grandmother on Wednesday. 

Published: April 16, 2020
By: The Sowetan Live – Tankiso Makhetha 

A five-year-old boy was found dead in a tavern in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg on Wednesday in what the community suspects was a muthi-related murder.

Mzwandile Zitho was reported missing by his grandmother on the same day. Community members said they were shocked by the gruesome discovery.

Anna Makhubu, who was one of the first people to enter the tavern where Zitho’s body was found, said: “His grandmother said she grew worried when she could not find him around the yard at 10am”. 

She said he was still in his pyjamas when he went missing. Makhubu added: “She asked the tavern owner, who lives across from them, if he had seen Mzwandile. He said no. But she was shocked to find him at the police station as well.”

According to Makhubu, the tavern owner told the police he did not know how the boy’s body ended up on his property.

“He said he doesn’t know how the body got there and wanted to help. When we got there we found Mzwandile naked, standing in an upright position. His hands and feet were bound. There was muthi bottles and a handkerchief that had small ropes in it,” she said.

Macy Monageng, ANC branch chairperson in the area, said: “We are hurt because we in a lockdown and then this happens… a naked boy in a fridge? We thought child and woman abuse would end in this situation but clearly not. The law needs to take its course.”Police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said they were investigating a case of murder.

Source: Boy found dead in tavern fridge

South Africa – Provinces

Upsurge in ritualistic crimes in Benin (2018 article)

A few days ago I posted an article on the ritual murder of Gracia Prunelle, a young girl in Benin. Knowing that it was not the first ritualistic murder in Benin’s contemporary history (see my previous postings on this site), I went browsing on the internet and came across this article describing an upsurge in ritual killing and ritualistic acts in this West Africa in 2018. The author concludes her article with an alarming cry: despite the increase of these heinous acts, inspired by superstition, the authorities remain silent…. One wonders why….

For the convenience of readers who do not understand Frenchch, a brief summary in English follows here. The translation is the sole responsibility of this site’s webmaster who does not claim to present an exact and precise translation of the VOA article which is subsequently presented in is original version.

Summary:

“An increase in the number of ritual murders terrifies Benin. Missing people have been found in deserted houses and in the forest, sometimes they have vanished, ‘never heard of again’. Behind this phenomenon are witch doctors, people whisper. 

A few days ago, a young girl was raped and almost murdered but she was rescued by the police. It happened near Porto Novo, the country’s capital.

The suspect’s house was searched, and police found a human skill as well as organs of some of the victims.  

Joël Akondé, a journalist testifies. His brother was the victim of a ritual murder. “He was murdered in a savage and cruel way”, he stated on VOA radio (Afrique radio services). His brother was found back with his throat cut and his blood taken by his murderers.

These ritualistic crimes are committed by internet-criminals, nicknamed ‘gaymen’, who want to impress girls who subsequently become the victim of their unscrupulous assailants.  

Some allege these crimes are caused by the widespread unemployment and social pressure. 

The ‘keepers of tradition’ have been accused of complicity since they are the ones who teach the youth the secrets of their convent.  David Coffi Aza, a well-known keeper of the tradition and Fa priest defends himself. “Voodoo cannot cure, it does not harm” he says, “it’s a neutral force.” 

In view of the large scale of these atrocities the silence of the authorities is very worrisome.”, Ginette Fleure Adandé reports from Benin.

Translation by the webmaster (FVDK)

Upsurge in ritualistic crimes in Benin

Recrudescence des crimes rituels au Bénin

The community of keepers of tradition and indigenous religion in Benin (translation FVDK)
La communauté des gardiens de la tradition et de la religion endogène au Bénin, le 22 février 2018. (VOA/Ginette Fleure Adande)

Published: February 22, 2018
Publié: le 22 février 2018 
By: VOA – Ginette Fleure Adandé
Par: VOA – Ginette Fleure Adandé

Recrudescence des crimes rituels au Bénin

Le Bénin connaît une montée des crimes “rituels”. Des êtres humains portés disparus sont retrouvés sans vie dans des maisons inhabitées ou dans la brousse.Parfois, ils ne réapparaissent jamais. Ce phénomène serait l’œuvre des nombreux féticheurs autoproclamés qui passent par ces sacrifices pour asseoir leur hégémonie.

Il y a quelques jours, une jeune fille violée et sur le point d’être sacrifiée a été sauvée de la mort par les forces de l’ordre. Cela s’est passé à quelques kilomètres de Porto Novo, la capitale.

“Vers 3 heures du matin, le conseil de sécurité m’a expliqué qu’une fille de 12 ans a été violée”, raconte Michel Bahou, maire de la commune.

Il a ôté la vie à bien de personnes. Au cours de la perquisition à son domicile, des crânes humains et autres organes ont été retrouvés. 

Lors de son audition, il a fait des révélations comme l’explique Joël Akondé, un journaliste dont le son jeune frère a été égorgé et vidé de son sang. 

“Il a été sauvagement assassiné, égorgé”, confie-t-il à VOA Afrique.

Ces crimes rituels seraient l’œuvre de cybercriminels communément appelés “gaymen”; les nouveaux modèles de réussite sociale qui se servent de leurs richesses pour attirer les jeunes filles, souvent victimes de ces morts violentes. 

Le phénomène serait aussi causé par l’inégalité sociale et un chômage accru.

Devant la barbarie des meurtres, les gardiens de la tradition sont souvent montrés du doigt comme étant complices de ce dérapage; pour avoir mis dans les mains des jeunes sans scrupules les secrets de leurs couvents.

Sur la question David Coffi Aza, gardien de la tradition et prêtre du Fâ connu sous le nom géomancie, se défend. 

“Aucun vaudou ne peut faire du bien ou du mal, c’est une énergie neutre”, soutient-il.

Face à l’ampleur du phénomène, le silence des autorités est inquiétant.

David Coffi Aza, keeper of tradition and Fâ priest, Benin, February 22, 2018 (translation FVDK)
David Coffi Aza, gardien de la tradition et prêtre du Fâ, Bénin, 22 février 2018. (VOA/Ginette Fleure Adande)

Source: Recrudescence des crimes rituels au Bénin

Nigeria: herbalist, wife nabbed for killing stepson for ritual purpose in Ogun State

Another ritual killing case in Nigeria. Even though Nigeria is Africa’s most populated country, by far the largest number of reported ritual murders – locally called ‘money rituals’ – are being committed in this West African country (webmaster FVDK). 

Herbalist, wife nabbed for killing stepson for ritual purpose in Ogun State

The suspects

Published: April 25, 2020
By: Vanguard Nigeria, James Ogunnaike

ABEOKUTA – Men of the Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested a herbalist, Lajuwon Ogunleye and two others for alleged conspiracy and murder of a seven-year-old boy, Pelumi Apalaya for ritual purpose in Abigi area of Ogun State.

Other suspects arrested included the herbalist wife, who is also the mother of the deceased, Adetutu Apalaya and Fatai Sefiu.

The command spokesman, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, made this known to newsmen in a statement released in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Oyeyemi said the suspects were arrested following an information received by the police at Abigi divisional headquarters that the seven-year-old boy who did not show any sign of sickness suddenly slumped and died, saying that this aroused the suspicion of people around that the boy might have been used for ritual.

The statement read, “A herbalist, Lajuwon Ogunleye, his wife Adetutu Apalaya and one Fatai Sefiu were on the 22nd of April 2020 arrested by operatives of Ogun State Police Command for conspiracy and murder of a seven-year-old boy Pelumi Apalaya for ritual purpose”. 

He added, “upon their suspicion, the people around started monitoring the herbalist who incidentally happened to be the step-father of the deceased boy and his wife who is the mother of the boy”.

“Unknown to them, they were monitored to the bush where they took the victim corpse to for burial in company of the third suspect who is a friend to the herberlist and the boy was buried in an upright position after removing some parts from his corpse”.

“This confirmed the suspicion of the people and they quickly informed the police”.

“Upon the information, the DPO Abigi division SP Tarkighir Joseph led his men to the bush in Iwopin area of Ogun Waterside where the suspects were rounded up”.

“They led policemen to where the victim was buried and it was discovered that the deceased was buried in standing position”.

“On interrogation, the second suspect Fatai Sefiu told the detectives that the boy was actually used for ritual by the stepfather in connivance with the deceased boy’s mother”.

“He stated further that the couple have reached a conclusion before he was coopted into the business”.

“The mother of the victim Adetutu Apalaya who first denied having knowledge of her husband plan to use her son for ritual was dumbfounded when asked whether or not she followed them to the bush where her son was buried and the mode of burial of the boy”.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, CP Kenneth Ebrimson has ordered the immediate transfer of the case to homicide section of the state criminal investigation and intelligence department for further investigation and prosecution.

Source: Herbalist, wife nabbed for killing stepson for ritual purpose in Ogun

Benin: ritual murder of a young girl (7) for the purpose of making a ‘magical ointment’

Ritual murder of a young girl (7) for the purpose of making a ‘magical ointment’ 

Gracia Prunelle, 7 years old, murdered for ritualistic purposes

Gracia Prunelle, 7 years old, had disappeared on the night of February 3, 2020. Her mother immediately suspected one of her neighbors, a seller in a liquor store nearby, of involvement in her disappearance, but the man denied, he even went to the police and accused her of ‘character assassination’ and insulting him. However, when the police investigated the mater it was found out that several indications pointed at his involvement. After questioning, the suspect confessed and showed where he had hidden the dead body of the poor girl which had several parts missing. He also revealed the name of an accomplice, who had fled to Adjohoun, in the Ouémé Department, where he was apprehended and jailed on Saturday February 8.  The police found out that the extracted body parts – the hearts and brains of the young girl – were meant to be used to make ‘a magical soap and ointment’.

Gracia Prunelle was buried on April 11, 2020 after her parents had finally obtained authorization of local authorities to pick up their daughter’s mortal remains and bury her according to traditional ceremonies. It was an emotional scene when Gracia Prunelle was lowered in her grave. Meanwhile everybody awaits the start of the trial of her murderers somewhere in the near future. 
(translation by the webmaster FVDK).

Benin: Ritual murder of a young girl (7) for the purpose of making a ‘magical ointment’ 

Published: April 11, 2020
By: Sene News
Publié: le 11 avril 2020
Par: Sene news 

Bénin : Vive émotion après le meurtre rituel d’une fillette de 7 ans pour fabriquer une « pommade magique »

Gracia Prunelle, âgée de 7 ans, avait disparu dans la soirée du lundi 03 février 2020. Sa maman avait très tôt soupçonné un employé d’une boutique de vente de liqueurs à proximité. Ce dernier a nié les faits, et s’est même présenté à la police pour porter plainte contre la mère de la petite, pour diffamation.

Mais selon BeninWebTV,  comme tous les indices des investigations conduisaient vers lui, la police l’a interpellé. Au cours de l’interrogatoire, il a avoué son crime, avant de conduire la police sur les lieux où il avait caché le corps, dépourvu de certains organes sensibles. Il a par la suite dénoncé son complice qui s’était réfugié à Adjohoun, dans le département de l’Ouémé après l’éclatement de l’affaire. Mais il a été lui aussi arrêté le samedi 8 février 2020 par la police républicaine.

Selon le Procureur, le cœur et l’encéphale, extraits du corps de la victime, devraient rentrer dans la « composition d’un savon et d’une pommade magique ». Tous les regards sont désormais tournés vers le procès prévu pour les mois à venir.

La petite Gracia Prunelle a été inhumée dans la matinée de ce samedi 11 avril 2020. L’environnement était chargé d’émotion ce matin du samedi 11 avril 2020 au domicile des parents de la petite Gracia Prunelle.Les parents avaient finalement eu l’autorisation de retirer le corps de leur fille pour les cérémonies funéraires. La fillette de 07 ans a été inhumée dans l’intimité familiale.

Source: Bénin : Vive émotion après le meurtre rituel d’une fillette de 7 ans pour fabriquer une « pommade magique »

Related article: 

Benin: Young girl Gracia Prunelle buried this morning

Bénin: la petite Gracia Prunelle enterrée ce matin dans l’intimité familiale

Published: April 11, 2020
By: Benin Web News TV – Edouard Djogbénou

Elle se repose désormais. La petite Gracia Prunelle, cruellement assassinée le 03 février 2020 pour un crime rituel, est inhumée dans la matinée de ce samedi 11 avril 2020.

L’environnement était chargé d’émotion ce matin du samedi 11 avril 2020 au domicile des parents de la petite Gracia Prunelle. Cruellement assassinée le 03 février 2020, les parents ont finalement eu l’autorisation de retirer le corps de leur fille pour les cérémonies funéraires. La fillette de 07 ans a été inhumée ce jour dans l’intimité familiale.

Pour rappel, Gracia Prunelle, âgée de 7 ans, avait disparu dans la soirée du lundi 03 février 2020. Sa maman a très tôt soupçonné un employé d’une boutique de vente de liqueurs à proximité. Ce dernier a nié les faits, et s’est même présenté à la police pour porter plainte contre la mère de la petite, pour diffamation. Mais comme tous les indices des investigations conduisaient vers lui, la police l’a interpellé. Au cours de l’interrogatoire, il a avoué son crime, avant de conduire la police sur les lieux où il avait caché le corps, dépourvu de certains organes sensibles. Il a par la suite dénoncé son complice qui s’était réfugié à Adjohoun, dans le département de l’Ouémé après l’éclatement de l’affaire. Mais il a été lui aussi arrêté le samedi 8 février 2020 par la police républicaine. Selon le Procureur, le cœur et l’encéphale, extraits du corps de la victime, devraient rentrer dans la « composition d’un savon et d’une pommade magique »Tous les regards sont désormais tournés vers le procès prévu pour les mois à venir.

Source: Bénin: la petite Gracia Prunelle enterrée ce matin dans l’intimité familiale

Nigeria: police arrest pastor, 2 others over alleged ritual killing of 19-year old girl in Kogi State (2018 article)

Below follows an older article, dating from 2018, showing that the awful practice of ritual murder for money ritual purposes is not a recent phenomenon (webmaster FVDK). 

Police arrest pastor, 2 others over alleged ritual killing of 19-year old girl in Kogi

Published: June 22, 2018
By: Sundiata Post

Lokoja –   Police in Kogi State have arrested a cleric, Oluwasegun Aturu and two others over the suspected ritual killing of a 19-year-old commercial sex worker, Miss Mercy Moses.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, ASP William Aya confirmed the arrest of the suspects to newsmen in Lokoja on Friday.

He said that Aturu who claimed to be the shepherd in charge of Voice of Canaan Temple, Cherubim and Seraphim Aladura Church, Ozuri, in Adavi Local Government Area of the state was arrested on June 19.

He was arrested alongside Samuel Oluwasegun and Abdulmumini Yakubu, all of Ozuri area in the local government, he said.

According to the police, both Oluwasegun and Yakubu were said to have at about 10 pm on June 11 gone to a popular brothel in the council area to pick the late girl to an unknown place.

They were said to have conveyed the deceased out of the brothel on a motorcycle after exchanging pleasantries with the manager of the brothel simply identified as Mohammed.

“The two men then approached one Mercy Moses, one of the commercial sex workers’ residents in the brothel. After discussing with Mercy, she was seen being taken away by the men on a motorcycle.

“When after two days she did not return, the brothel manager, Mohammed reported at a nearby Police Station at Adavi from where the case was taken up by the State Criminal Investigation Department, Lokoja,” the statement said.

He said that police investigation later led to the arrest of Pastor Otaru, Oluwasegun and Yakubu but they all denied the knowledge of Mercy’s whereabouts.

“However, following diligent interrogation by the Homicide Detectives of the State CID, both Oluwasegun and Yakubu opened up to the gory details of how they were hired by the pastor to bring a female for him.

“They confessed that Otaru hired them to bring a female for ritual purposes, promising them N700,000.

“The arrested suspects thereafter led the investigators to an area called Uhodo in Ogaminana area of Adavi where the torso of the remains of Mercy Moses was dug out from a shallow grave,” he said.

According to him, police in a well scripted move was able to track and arrest Pastor Otaru who had since the arrest of his accomplices, fled the neighborhood.

He said that the exhumed remains of the victim were deposited at Okene General Hospital mortuary for autopsy.

Source: Police arrest pastor, 2 others over alleged ritual killing of 19-year old girl in Kogi

Osun State, Nigeria: two men sentenced to death for murdering Uniosun student for money ritual

On Tuesday, March 10 the Osun State House of Assembly passed into law a bill that made kidnapping, banditry and ritual killing a crime punishable by death. See my March 13, 2020 posting.

Therefore, the following is not surprise. Recently, on Thursday, April 2, an Osun State High Court in Ikirun has sentenced two men to death by hanging for murdering Rofiat Adebisi for money ritual purposes. Rofiat Adebesi was a a student of the Osun State University when she met her untimely death. The following article provides more details though it is not known when the hanging will take place (webmaster FVDK).

2 Men Sentenced To Death For Using Uniosun Final Year Student For Money Ritual (Photos)

Published: April 3, 2020
By: Sundiata Post (Ebere)

An Osun State High Court sitting in Ikirun has sentenced two men to death by hanging for killing one Rofiat Adebisi, who at the time of her death was a student of the Osun State University, Osogbo.

Giving his judgment on Thursday in the trial that lasted almost two and half years, Justice Oyejide Falola, said 25-year-old Elijah Oyebode and Jelili Raji, aka Ifa, 35, should be hanged after he found them guilty of murdering the undergraduate.

The convicts were first arraigned on November 14, 2017, alongside one Yusuf Ajibade on three counts bordering on conspiracy to commit murder and murder contrary to sections 324 and 316, and punishable under sections 319 and 322 of the Criminal Code, Cap.3, Laws of Osun State, 2002.

The prosecution team called five witnesses and tendered exhibits before the court, while the accused testified for themselves.

Giving the facts of the matter, the lead prosecution counsel, Kareem Adekilekun, who appeared with Kemi Oyolola for the Ministry of Justice, said on December 22, 2016, Rofiat, a 400-level student of UniOsun, Ipetu-Ijesa campus, boarded a car driven by Oyebode and went missing.

However, a day after, Rofiat’s dead body was found by the Egbeda/Iragbiji Road.

Following investigation by the police, Ajibade was arrested for selling the deceased’s iPhone to one Kolapo Quadri on the instructions of Oyebode.

When apprehended, Oyebode claimed that Raji hired him to get a lady with the aid of a charm he gave him, which would make the victim to obey all instructions given to her.

Oyebode said Raji paid him N10,000 to bring the victim to his shrine, adding that he hit Rofiat with the charm, while she was putting her luggage in the car.

Giving evidence, a police officer from the Homicide Section of State Criminal Investigation Department, Adeyeye Simon, told the court that Oyebode, a commercial driver plying the Akure-Owena Road, took Rofiat to Raji house’s after he had sex with her.

He also claimed that Rofiat died at Raji’s house, while Oyebode assisted him to dump her remains on the road.

Another witness, Olatomiwa Alade, from the Department of the State Services, said the deceased’s phone was traced to Quadri, who claimed that he bought it from Ajibade.

The counsel for the accused, Suleiman Bello, urged the court to be merciful on his clients.

In his judgment, Justice Falola found Oyebode and Raji guilty of murder and conspiracy, and sentenced them to death by hanging.

The court, however, discharged and acquitted Ajibade on the counts of murder and conspiracy, but sentenced him to two years in prison for receiving stolen property.

Source: 2 Men Sentenced To Death For Using Uniosun Final Year Student For Money Ritual (Photos)

Related article: Two to Die by Hanging in Osun for Killing Final Year Student

Published: April 2, 2020
By: Sundiata Post

Abuja – Justice Jide Falola of Osun High Court sitting in Ikirun has sentenced two men to death by hanging for murder.

Falola, in his judgement on Thursday, said the prosecution counsel proved his case against the convicts – Elijah Oyebode, 25, Yusuf Ajibade, 28, and Jelili Raji, 35 – beyond reasonable doubt.

He, however, acquited the second convict, Ajibade, of two-count charge of murder and conspiracy but convicted him on the third count charge of receiving stolen property.

The judge sentenced him to two years imprisonment, while Oyebode and Raji were sentenced to death by hanging.

He also said that the shrine where the deceased was murdered be forfeited to the state government.

The convicts, who were first arraigned on Nov. 14, 2017, pleaded not guilty to three-count-charge of conspiracy to commit murder, murder and stealing preferred against them.

The State Counsel, Mr Kareem Adekilekun, had earlier told the court that the defendants murdered one Miss Rofiat Adebisi, a 400-level student of Osun University, Ipetu-Ijesha, on Dec. 22 2016.

Adekilekun said the offences were contrary to Sections 324 and 316, and punishable under Sections 319 and 322 of the Criminal Code Cap.3 Law of Osun, 2002, respectively.

The prosecution counsel told the court that on that fateful day, the deceased boarded a golf car with Lagos number plate FKJ 636 DL, driven by the first convict, Oyebode.

Adekilekun further told the court that on Dec. 23, 2016, the lifeless body of the deceased was found by the road side along Egbeda road in the state.

He said the convicts were arrested with help of the police through the iPhone 5 of the deceased, which was sold to Ajibade.

Adekilekun said Oyebode, in his confessional statement, said that Raji asked him to supply him a maid.

According to the prosecution counsel, a charm was given to Oyebode by Raji to charm any lady that he will bring and that such lady will be unconscious.

He also explained that in Oyebode confessional statement, he said the charm was used against the deceased.

He said Oyebode thereafter handed the deceased to Raji in his shrine and paid him N10,000.

He also told the court that the confessional statements of the three convicted persons were corroborated by the police, whose report showed that Oyebode had sex with deceased before taking her to Raji’s shrine.

Counsel to convicts, Mr Suleiman Bello, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.(NAN)

Source: Two to Die by Hanging in Osun for Killing Final Year Student