Security challenges in Nigeria

This is the third posting in a row focussing the huge and apparently growing security problems which nearly 200 million Nigerians are facing daily. On January 30, I published Nigeria: curbing the menace of ritual killings in the South West and on January 31 I posted Nigeria: Insecurity: Government must keep its end in this social contract, says Ekhomu.

Nigeria’s security problems have many faces. In the northeast of the country Boko Haram terrorizes the population and has disrupted ordinary, daily life. The exact number of victims of the jihadist terrorist organization which also operates in neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, can no longer be counted. It is estimated that since the beginning of the uprising, in 2002,  between 25,000 and 30,000 people have been killed, over two million people have been displaced, and a countless number of children have been kidnapped – girls for sexual motives, boys to be forcibly recruited as soldier in the terrorist organization which originally started as a campaign against corrupt officials.

The seemingly perennial violent conflicts between herders and farmers in several states also have cost thousands of  people their lives. Furthermore, a countless number of people have been abducted by kidnappers, bandits and cultists. Moreover, superstition and the greed for (more) power, prestige or success are at the origin of the notorious ‘money-rituals’ for which Nigeria is known and which is feared by virtually the entire population, not only in the southeastern states as my posting of January 30 could suggest. Last but not least, ‘ordinary’ criminal killings, manslaughter, murder and extrajudicial killings by security personnel add to the many security challenges which Nigeria is facing. 

In the coming days and weeks I will elaborate on the ‘money-rituals’ and the criminal activities of cultists, herbalists, witchdoctors, and other perpetrators of heinous, criminal ritualistic acts. If a government wants to effectively fight and eradicate this ugly, partly traditional phenomenon it will have to take the overall (in)security situation of the country into consideration.

The author of the article reproduced here, Femi Falana, SAN, is a Human Rights Lawyer and a recipient of the prestigious Bernard Simmons Award of the International Bar Association. In his article he explains the violent clashes between herders and farmers, and provides a possible solution to their conflict which basically is a dispute over land. Although the topic of his article is beyond the main focus of the present website, the article is reproduced here in its entirety, not only for a well-deserved respect for the author but also for information reasons as well as to illustrate that for every problems there exists a solution (webmaster FVDK).

Violent Clashes Between Herders and Farmers: A Legal Panacea

Published: February 2, 2021
By: This Day, Nigeria – Femi Falana SAN

Introduction

From 1999 to 2021, thousands of people have been brutally killed in herders/farmers’ clashes in several States of the Federation. The mindless killings have continued, due to official impunity and negligence which have led to the virtual collapse of the security architecture of the neocolonial State. Hundreds of other citizens have been abducted by gangs of kidnappers and bandits. While some of the abducted people were killed in gruesome circumstances, others were released after the payment of ransoms running into hundreds of millions of Naira by their family members. The hardened criminal elements, have subjected abducted women to sexual abuse. Over 100 school girls in captivity, have been forced to marry their abductors. In spite of the routine assurance of the security of life and property of every citizen, the Federal Government appears to have lost the monopoly of violence to the criminal gangs.

As a result of desert encroachment, the Fulani herders have been forced to seek fertile land for grazing of their cattle in the middle belt and southern parts of the country. Since the State has failed to address the challenge of desertification, the herders have continued to graze their cattle in the bush. In the process, they graze their cattle without regard to State laws and the rights of the farm owners. In struggling to survive on fertile land, the herders attack farmers who resist the invasion of their land. They attack farmers with AK 47 rifles, which have been acquired to protect cattle from rustlers. The violent clashes between herders and farmers have continued, due to the failure of successive governments to revive the ranches inherited from the regional governments of the First Republic, but which collapsed during years of the locusts under successive military regimes.

History of Ranching in Nigeria

The point that I am struggling to make is that, ranching is not a new phenomenon in the country. It is on record that the regimes of Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe established ranches in the Northern, Western and Eastern regions respectively. The Obudu Cattle Ranch which was the oldest in the country, was established in 1951 by a Scot, but was later taken over by the Eastern Regional Government. The Northern Regional Government established a ranch in Mokwa (Niger State). In the West, there were ranches in Iseyin (Oyo State), Oke Ako (Ekiti State) and Akunu (Ondo State).

Under the Yakubu Gowon regime (1966-1975) , the Kano State Government headed by Police Commissioner Audu Bako, established ranches in the State. All the ranches collapsed during the years of the locusts, under successive military juntas. The famous Obudu Cattle Ranch has since been turned to Obudu holiday resort.

In 2014, the Jonathan regime decided to establish ranches in the country. A team of young people were sponsored to learn animal husbandry in Botswana, while the sum of N100 billion was released to some State Governments to establish the ranches. In a recent probe, the House of Representatives confirmed that the money was diverted, as not a single ranch was established.

In 2016, the Buhari regime also opted for the establishment of ranches, in order to end the perennial violent conflicts between farmers and herders. About 55,000 hectares were acquired in 11 States, for the project. The Federal Government also announced its plan to disarm the herders, and other armed bandits. But, instead of establishing the ranches and disarming the herders, the Federal Government has handled the violent clashes between farmers and herdsmen rather lackadaisically. The sudden embrace of cattle colony or RUGA policy by the Federal Government, was suspected by many citizens as a design to take over and turn over land seized from farmers to herders.

Clashes and Kidnapping

Even though the dangerous policy has been dropped, the plan to establish ranches has equally been abandoned. In recent times, the clashes between herders and farmers has been compounded by many incidents of kidnapping that have been traced to some herders. Owing to the failure of the Federal Government to bring the situation under control, some people have reported to self help and jungle justice. The various State Governments have come up with policies such as enactment of anti-grazing laws, and compulsory registration of all herders and farmers operating in forest reserves. The Umar Ganduje administration, once invited displaced herders in Benue and Taraba States to Kano state.

Instead of adopting knee jerk reactions to the crisis, the Federal Government and State Governments should encourage the immediate establishment of ranches. Apart from ending clashes between herders and farmers, the policy will lead to large scale production of meat which will be distributed throughout the country, and possibly exported. Ranching is working in Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya and South Africa. It has worked before in Nigeria. It can work again. Let the Authorities move speedily to end the violent clashes between herders and farmers, without any further delay. Let the Authorities adopt proactive measures to end kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and ritual murder, as well as extrajudicial killing by security agencies.

State Governments and Security Challenges

A few years ago, armed robbers launched violent attacks on banks in Lagos State. The criminals killed many bankers, customers and security personnel, and carted away millions of Naira. The then Babatunde Fashola administration, sought the permission of the Federal Government to purchase and import some modern security equipment and gadgets. As soon as the licence was granted by President Umaru Yar’adua, the Lagos State Government brought in the equipment and gave them to the State Police Command. Armed with such equipment, the Police succeeded in securing the banks and other commercial institutions in the State. Shortly thereafter, about 20 well armed members of the Boko Haram sect sneaked into the State and concluded plans to launch bombing attacks on people, religious centres and schools. The terrorists were arrested and detained under the Terrorism Act, a Federal offence. The State Government requested the Federal Government, to try the dangerous suspects.

When it became clear that the Federal Government was foot dragging over the matter, the Attorney-General of Lagos State applied for the fiat of the Attorney-General of the Federation to enable him to prosecute the terror suspects. As soon as the fiat was granted, the suspects were tried, convicted and jailed.

In another development, the State Government faced fresh security challenges when another set of criminal elements embarked on kidnapping school children and other innocent people. Again, with the acquisition of more sophisticated equipment by the Lagos State Government, the Police Command has frontally attacked the crisis and brought the situation under control. About three years ago, the Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Unit recently arrested a billionaire kidnap suspect, Mr. Chukwudimene Onwuamadike (a.k.a Evans). The suspect was alleged to have specialised in extorting millions of dollars and other foreign currencies, from victims of his criminal enterprise. At the end of the Police investigation, the Lagos State Government took over the matter and has since charged the suspect and his cohorts with armed robbery and kidnapping, before the Lagos high court.

Before then, the Ondo State Government had invoked its sovereign powers to deal with the challenge of insecurity. On September 21, 2015, Chief Olu Falae, a former Secretary to the Federal Government was kidnapped by a gang of kidnappers on his farm at Ago Abo in the outskirts of Akure, Ondo State. The criminals demanded a ransom of N100 million, for his release. President Muhammadu Buhari who was embarrassed by the report of the incident, directed the Inspector-General of Police to rescue Chief Falae without further delay. The Chief regained his freedom three days later, after the payment of an undisclosed ransom. The seven kidnap suspects (Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibrahim, Masahudu Mohammed, Idris Lawal, Abdulkadir Umar and Babawo Kato) were arrested and paraded by the Police at Abuja, in the Federal Capital Territory.

As soon as the investigation was concluded by the Police Headquarters, the then Ondo State Government decided to take over the case in exercise its constitutional powers. Since the case had disclosed that the offence of kidnapping was committed in Ondo State, the then State Attorney-General, Mr. Tayo Jegede, SAN requested the Police to transfer the suspects to Akure, together with the case file and the exhibits recovered during the investigation of the case. As soon as the suspects were brought to Akure, they were charged with conspiracy and kidnapping before the Ondo State High Court. At the end of the marathon trial, the presiding Judge, the Honourable Justice Williams Olamide found the Defendants guilty as charged, convicted and sentenced them to life imprisonment.

No doubt, by prosecuting the dangerous kidnappers and armed robbers, both Attorneys-General of Lagos and Ondo States have demonstrated that State Governments are not encumbered from maintaining law and order in their areas of jurisdiction. It is my strong belief that it is the failure of other Attorneys-General to enforce relevant criminal and penal codes, that has led to a breakdown of law in several States of the Federation. Even though hundreds of suspects have been arrested in several parts of the country by the combined teams of Police and Army personnel for abducting several people including children, they have not been brought to book by the Attorneys-General of the affected States. Majority of critics who are not aware that it is the exclusive constitutional responsibility of State Attorneys-General to prosecute suspects indicted for the offences of kidnapping, armed robbery and culpable homicide, have continued to blame the Federal Government for not prosecuting herders who have been arrested by security agencies.

Welfare of the People

Since a country cannot be secured by a Government that is not prepared to attend to the welfare of the people, the Constitution has outlined the socioeconomic rights of the people and embodied them in Chapter two of the Constitution. The said socioeconomic rights are otherwise called, the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy. Even though the ruling class has made them not justiciable, the workers in alliance with other progressive civil society organisations have compelled the Government to enact a number of laws to promote the welfare of the people. But, the welfare laws have not been implemented due to alleged lack of ,funds in spite of the nation’s enormous wealth. On account of the failure of the Government to fund welfare programmes, Nigeria is said to have the largest number of poor people in the world.

The economic paradox has been fuelled by large scale looting of public funds, by the ruling class. Most of the problems at the root of insecurity in Nigeria, are traceable to the implementation of neoliberal policies imposed on the nation by imperialism. Over 25 million young people including university graduates, are in the unemployment market. In addition to that figure, there are over 10 million children of school age who are roaming the streets, which is said to be the highest figure in the world. Not unexpectedly, such street kids are easily recruited by terrorists, bandits and other criminal gangs to unleash mayhem on the people. The hijack of the recent #EndSARS protests by hoodlums and other criminal elements, has confirmed that the nation is sitting on a keg of gunpowder.

Conclusion

Since armed robbery, kidnapping and murder or culpable homicide are State offences, we have pointed out that State Governments ought to be blamed for failing to end impunity, by prosecuting the herders and other criminal suspects arrested and indicted for kidnapping and killing of innocent people. Instead of engaging in ethnic profiling, concerned citizens should be organised to prevail on the Federal and State Governments to discharge their constitutional duty of protecting the life and property of every citizen. The Governments should also be compelled to put an end to the perennial violent conflicts between farmers and herders, which have needlessly claimed many lives and the destruction of properties worth several billions of Naira in many States of the Federation. As a matter of urgency, herders and bandits should be disarmed by the Federal Government. Having embraced ranching as a permanent solution to the clashes between herders and farmers, the Federal Government and State Governments should proceed to establish ranches in a number of States.

Femi Falana, SAN, Human Rights Lawyer, recipient of the prestigious Bernard Simmons Award of the International Bar Association

Source: Violent Clashes Between Herders and Farmers: A Legal Panacea

Why killings for rituals are on the increase in Nigeria (2017 article)

During the past three days I have posted three articles related to the alarming rate of ritual killings in Nigeria, in 2014. The article below contains a similar cry for attention, but now in a 2017 article. In other words, there is no interruption in the occurrence of ritual murders in Nigeria, locally called ‘money rituals’. Moreover, also in November and December 2018 and February 2020 newspapers reported that ritual killing was rampant in Nigeria. In other words, nothing has changed over the years.

This means that ritual murders are a structural problem in the Nigerian society and that both the federal government and the government of the individual states repeatedly and continuously fail to protect their citizens, which is a ****** shame. Governments have an obligation to protect the population, notably the most vulnerable, and to arrest, try and punish perpetrators of heinous crimes.

Warning: the following contains a graphic description of ritualistic acts and murders (webmaster FVDK).

NB This article was posted before, on May 24, 2018.

Why killings for rituals are on the increase in Nigeria

Published: September 2, 2017
By: Vanguard, Nigeria – Evelyn Usman

…‘Human parts for sale’

The spate of killings for ritual purposes is gradually assuming an alarming rate in Nigeria with little or no effort by concerned government agencies to checkmate the trend.

One would have expected such pseudoscience acts to be a thing of the past going by increase in religious activities and in civilization. But murdering people to appease the deities appears to be on the increase.

Ritual den

These dastardly acts are carried out in a 21 st century, when other countries of the world are experimenting and advancing in technology.

It is also shocking to know that some acclaimed high and mighty indulge in ritual killings. For instance, some politicians and government officials have been accused by arrested suspects and herbalists who allege that they use human beings for rituals in order   to sustain their affluence as well as remain in positions of power.

Investigations revealed that cases of ritual killings and disappearance of persons are usually high whenever elections are around the corner.

Just last week, this barbaric act assumed a cannibalistic dimension following the arrest of a suspected kidnapper alleged to have killed one of his victims and used his intestines to prepare pepper soup.

The suspect, Roland Peter,  according to the Rivers State Commissioner of Police , Zaki Ahmed,  abducted his victim  from his house on August 2017, adding that the suspect was at the verge of eating pepper soup and yam porridge when the police swooped on him and some accomplices.

These vampires hide under different covers to get their victims. For some, they kidnap their victims from various points , while others who pretend to be commercial bus drivers, pick unsuspecting commuters at bus-stop only to take them to their slaughter slabs to carry out what they know how to do best.

Killings for money rituals

On August 17, 2017 , the lifeless body of the four-year-old girl was found  close to a shrine at 28 Ogbe Close in Iwaya area of Lagos, with her throat slit. In her case , the toddler who strayed from her siblings’ watch, on their way from the mosque, was suspected to have been used for sacrifice on the Ogun shrine which ironically is built in the same compound with her parents . Till date perpetrators of the dastardly act are yet to be fished out.

A suspected ritualist

A week earlier, precisely August 20, another lifeless body of an eight-year-old girl, Chikamso Victory , was found in the apartment of one Ifeanyi Chukwu Dike (23) at Messiah street , Eliozu area of Port Harcourt. Helpless and defenseless Victory was not only abducted by Dike, she was raped before she was killed. As at the time her body was recovered, some parts had been removed. They included her vagina, eyes, tongue and breasts which the suspect kept in a polythene bag awaiting the appropriate time to take them to his contacts. He was however, arrested by members of a local vigilante group while going to dispose of the body. But the incident assumed a laughable dimension following report by the Police that the suspect had disappeared from custody.

Elsewhere in Oyo state, on March 30, 2017 , a suspected ritualist,  Tunde Jimoh, who was arrested by the Police, gave a chilling description of how he and other members of his gang abducted their victim, Akintoye Oyeyemi, took him into a deep forest and murdered him in cold blood. Thereafter, they took the body to a Muslim cleric to prepare concoction for money rituals for him. At the end of the day, the wrists, heart and legs were cut off. Luck ran out on the suspect while on his way to dump the body in the bush.

Not too long ago, reports had it that an evil forest used as ritualists’ den was uncovered in Enugu state with the recovery of fresh and decomposing human parts. The nation’s Federal Capital Territory is not speared from the rising trend of killing for rituals. Late last year, a dismembered body of an unidentified lady was recovered at the  Lower Usuma Dam junction, along Dutse-Bwari Road. One of her breasts was cut off, while the rest of the body was cut into two from the abdomen, an indication that the killing was for ritual.

Badoo ritual killing

In Lagos state, the commercial hub of the country, different methods are devised by ritualists. One of such was the surge in the killing of residents by members of a dreaded cult group identified as Badoo Boys in Ikorodu area of Lagos. So far, over 50 persons have had their lives snuffed out of them by the perpetrators who were initially thought to be invisible, until they were decimated by the Police , under the watch of the new Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Mr Edgar Imohimi, while he was the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations.

Ritualist den

Before the raid and subsequent arrest of over 200 suspected members of the cult group by the Police with the support of the Oodua peoples Congress, OPC local vigilante and the Neighborhood Watch Corps, Badoo Boys had been  unleashing an orgy of killings, during which they used heavy stones to crush the skulls of their victims.

Their modus operandi included storming victims’ residences while they are asleep. It is suspected that they usually hypnotize their victims, as none of them had ever been conscious of their presence. They would, thereafter, smash heads of their victims with a grinding stone and after which they use a handkerchief to clean the blood and brain before leaving the scene.

During interrogation, one of the suspects confirmed that each handkerchief stained with blood was sold for N500,000 . He further revealed that they were mere errand boys for rich politicians within and outside Lagos state.

But in their case , the blood and semen stained handkerchief were used to prepare spiritual defence for well to do Nigerians.

Mad people in disguise

The latest method devised is the feigning of madness by these criminal elements. Recently in Lagos, some persons who disguised as lunatics were discovered to be using tunnels as dens for their activities. Two instances of note were along Lagos-Abeokuta road and Ile Zik, along Agege Motor road.

The latest was an uncovered ritualits’ den Wednesday , at Challege bus-stop , Mushin, where some suspected members who posed as lunatics were found with sophisticated phones, four ATM cards and over 100 syringes with blood stains.

One of the suspects was lynched by a mob while two others were rescued by policemen from Area ‘D’ command, Mushin.

Not too long  Nigerians received with shock, news of a den in Soka village, Oluyole Local Government area of Oyo state, where about 20 corpses, majority of which were   earlier declared missing   by their relatives, were found while 18 victims were rescued. From all indications, it was obvious that the den had been existing for long before it was uncovered, following a heap of victims’ clothes.

One of the rescued victims was reported to have said he was kidnapped in Ogun while attending an interview. The most celebrated ritual killing appeared to be the notorious Otokoto saga in Owerri, Imo State where a businessman belonging to a cult was alleged to have used his apprentice for ritual. The boy’s corpse was later exhumed at the premises of Otokoto Hotel. It exposed many other bizarre acts in hotels.

Religious leaders also involved

One would have expected such primitive acts to be going down, going by the increasing religious groups in the country. Regrettably,  some leaders of religious have been caught in the act. But investigations have shown that many evil men only use religion as a cover up. They are never true religious leaders.

One of the ready cases that comes to mind was that of the arrest of a Pastor who allegedly killed a seven-year-old boy and buried his head where the church’s alter was mounted. This action was to ensure the influx of members into the church located at  Odokekere/ Odogunyan in Ikorodu area of Lagos state .

Elsewhere in Edo state and Ogun states, some pastors were also arrested over similar acts.

Few months ago, an unidentified woman who left her abode in Sango Otta area of Ogun in search of spiritual cleansing at the place of a Muslim cleric popularly called Alfa , in Badagry area of Lagos, ended up being victim of ritual killing.

A 61-year-old landlord,  Toafeek Hassan, who confessed to have slaughtered the woman, was found with her fresh human head and other body parts which were to be used to prepare concoction by the  alfa

Investigation shows that female parts are more in demand than their male counterparts.  This is because of   what was described as the potency of some parts like the breasts and lower private parts in money rituals and other purposes by herbalists and occult groups.

Ritual used to elongate life —suspect

One of the herbalists who spoke with Vanguard at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, SCIID , Oseni Bello, admitted to be preparing concoction with human body parts but said he was not involved in the killings. Oseni disclosed that some of the rituals were done to elongate lives . He added that the heart was used to prepare concoction for boldness and fear.

He stated further that virgins   and   babies on the other hand , were used by some politicians and government officials   for ritual purposes as their blood is said to be used to elongate the user’s life span as well as fortify them against spiritual attacks. These are some of the reasons, he said, killings for rituals are on the increase.

A particular case in mind was that of a South-West politician alleged to have been caught by his driver with a dissected day-old baby whose blood he was drinking. The incident as reported two years ago, occurred inside a bush, while the driver was taking his boss (names withheld) to a function. Half way into the journey, the politician was said to have ordered his driver to pull over.

He thereafter, alighted and headed for a bush with a promise to be back. Having waited   without any sight of his boss, the ignorant and curious   driver reportedly went in search for him,only to meet   him stark naked and pouring the blood of a dissected baby into his mouth. Barely two weeks later, the driver reportedly   died under mysterious circumstance.

The event that occurred   before his death was related by a Pastor friend whom the deceased   confided in before his demise. The lust for money and power drives these people into ritual killings.

While some kill to achieve this unfathomable dream, others   resort to digging graves   and removing needed human parts for ritual purpose.   Saturday Vanguard scooped that most guards at cemeteries connive with agents to sell human parts. It was learnt that  if a fresh human head is needed, an agent will contact some   cemetery workers ahead.

In this case, the cemetery official will be on the look out for fresh dead bodies, preferably those of Muslims   who are usually buried within 24 hours after death. Immediately the body is interred, they exhume the body at night, cut off the needed parts and place the body back in the grave.

Human parts for sale

Those who patronize cemetery officials are usually herbalists, herbal traders and even prominent Nigerians who usually use middle men. Surprisingly, human parts   are sold in some markets in Nigeria. We gathered that a fresh human head could go for N60,000 and above, while a skull is sold for N20,000. Fresh legs are sold for N30,000 each while a decomposed leg is sold for N20,000. A fresh finger is sold for N5,000 each while the decomposed is sold for 3,000. Fresh intestines are sold for N20,000 while dry ones are sold for N5000. Pieces of fresh bones are sold for N2,000 and above.

Public react

Reacting to the upsurge , the president,  Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria , AISSON Dr. Ona. Ekhomu called on the Nigeria Police to set up Special Ritual Murder Squads in various State Commands to focus on the investigation, detection, arrest and prosecution of ritual killers. He said that the high incidence of serial ritual killings demands an urgent action at the level of the police high command.

According to the first chartered security professional in West Africa, citizens were rapidly losing faith in the ability of the police agency to detect and punish ritual killers.   This, he said was responsible for the increase in lynching of suspects as members of the public resort to jungle justice to get redress for the heinous murders.

Said he: “The conscience of Nigerians should be troubled by reports of recent ritual murders including that of   one-year-old Success lme in Calabar whose heart was ripped out from her small body for ritual purposes and was discovered in a Church along with other items for occult rituals. There is also the case of Pastor Samuel Okpara in Ahoada East LGA of Imo State who was kidnapped, killed and cannibalized by ritualists.   The pastor was reportedly beheaded and his liver and intestines used for pepper soup and plantain porridge. What a horrific occurrence?”

He also decried the excesses of the Baddoo murder cult in Ikorodu Lagos State , saying it was a direct challenge to the Police.

Economic recession in the land is not a license to commit ritual murder.   Impunity encourages ritualists to commit murders because they believe they will not be apprehended or punished.

I advise Nigerians against late night outings because if a vehicular breaks down one could fall victim of kidnap by ritualists.   Commuters should always write down the identification markings of public conveyance vehicles which they enter and make phone calls to loved ones to pass on the information. Because ritual murderers always wish to be unidentified.   They want to kill people, but don’t wish to be apprehended. Once information about them has been passed on to someone else, it becomes difficult for them to do evil”.

Nigerians should also assess public transport vehicles before boarding in order not to board the “wrong bus. Likewise, women are advised to carry whistles on them in order to raise an alarm if there is an attempt to abduct them”.

On his part, the national Coordinator,  Network on Police Reform in Nigeria , NOPRIN  Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma, attributted the rise in  cases of killing for ritual   to collapse in moral values “ 

It is also caused by , ignorance and superstition,   the inordinate quest and pursuit of quick wealth and lack of effective punishment system.In a way,   poverty and unemployment may also be a risk factor. If Nigerians have equal opportunities to   earn income in legitimate ways ,   there will definitely be reduction in such abominable crimes   like humans killing fellow humans for ritual.”

Also baring his opinion on the matter,  Treasurer of the Action Democratic Party , Cross River State Chapter, Offiong Okon, in a recent interview, advised that:  “Before a church is established, government should carry out investigation before license is granted because many of the church leaders and founders are ritualists, acting in the capacity of being Pastors.”

“Government should investigate the Pastors and checkmate their activities because what they do under the cover of being a religious leader.”

Source: Why killings for rituals are on the increase in Nigeria

Nigeria: how 18-yr-old boy killed girl, 12, for money ritual (2014 article)

This is the third posting in a row on ritualistic murders in Nigeria, locally known as ‘money rituals’. All articles were originally published in 2014. On December 20, I posted ‘Nigeria: ritual killings everywhere‘ and on December 21 ‘Nigeria: ‘How I killed, drained teenager’s blood for money ritual’ – Suspect‘. The reason for including the 2014 articles here is to demonstrate that the occurrence of ritual murders in Nigeria is not a recent phenomenon.

In fact, the history of ritual murders in Nigeria is a long one although nobody knows when the first ritual murder was committed or the total number of ritual killings. Nigeria as an independent country exists since 1960. A partial overview of ritual murders since the year 2000 can be found on the website ‘Liberia: Past and Present of Africa’s Oldest Republic, on the page ‘Not only in Liberia – ritual killings in Nigeria.’ The overview includes over 60 ritual murder cases, but it should be emphasized that it does not pretend to be exhaustive.

Warning: Readers are warned that the following article contains a graphic description of a ritualistic act (webmaster FVDK). 

How 18-yr-old boy killed girl, 12, for money ritual

Ikechukwu Friday, the suspect

Published: January 8, 2014
By: Vanguard, Nigeria – Ifeanyi Okolie      

LAGOS — The police in Lagos State, yesterday, said they have arrested an 18-year-old boy, Ikechukwu Friday, who allegedly killed a 12-year-old girl for money ritual.

The suspect, who is currently being interrogated at the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Panti, Yaba, was paraded before newsmen.

According to him, a pastor he asked for money instructed him to kill a young girl and obtain her faeces.

He said the pastor promised him N100,000 if he was able to accomplish the task.

According to him, “I attend a popular church around Ketu Street, Aguda but I live with my parents in Badagry. I just finished secondary school and I have been very broke so I approached the pastor for money but he told me that I should strangulate a little girl.

“He said when strangulating the girl, she would pass out faeces. The pastor said I should obtain the faeces and bring it to him. He said if I could do this, he would give me N100,000.

“So, on December 30, 2013, I approached a young girl, Bose Ogoja. Her mother sells food in Badagry and I usually patronise them, so she trusted me. I told the girl that I wanted to show her something and that she should follow me. So I took her to an abandoned NITEL building and locked the door.

“I pressed her neck tightly and she passed out faeces. I was, however, not able to get the faeces because I was caught before I could escape.”

The suspect, an indigene of Onitsha, Anambra State, pleaded for mercy, adding that this was his first crime.

State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, said the boy was arrested by neighbours in the area and handed over to the Badagry Police Division.

Braide said the pastor, who allegedly gave the boy the instruction, had been arrested and was already cooperating with the police.

While displaying the gruesome picture of the slain girl, Braide said: “He was arrested in an uncompleted building. The security guard manning the building told the police that he saw the boy entering the building with the girl.

“He said a few minutes later, he heard the girl screaming and later saw the boy leaving. The security guard raised the alarm and the neighbours were alerted and they arrested the boy.”

On entering the building, the discovered that the girl was dead.

“The picture of the girl’s corpse shows that the girl was naked and defecated on the floor.”

Source: How 18-yr-old boy killed girl, 12, for money ritual

Nigeria: ‘How I killed, drained teenager’s blood for money ritual’ – Suspect (2014 article)

Yesterday I posted an article entitled ‘Nigeria: ritual killings everywhere‘, describing in great detail the widespread occurrence of ritualistic activities for ‘money rituals’, i.e. ritual murders, in Africa’s most populated country. One of the cases included in the article is about the murder of a 13-year old boy, Rilwan Amuda, by Muyideen Salaam, a 35 year-old apprentice at Aketegbo community in Seme, Badagry area of Lagos. The murderer gave a chilling confession of how he killed his victim.  

Warning: the following article contains a graphic description of the ritual murder committed (webmaster FVDK)

‘How I killed, drained teenager’s blood for money ritual’ – Suspect

Published: July 12, 2014
By: Vanguard, Nigeria 

Muyideen Salaam, a 35 year-old apprentice at Aketegbo community in Seme, Badagry area of Lagos, gave this chilling confession of how he killed a 13 year-old boy, Rilwan Amuda, in his crave for materialism.

The Ibadan-born suspect claimed he was tempted to opt for money ritual after his wife left with their two children when feeding became an uphill task for him.

According to him: “ I was alone in the video shop club owned by my master when one of my friends named Nuru came and said he knew someone who could make us rich . He told me all that was needed was just the blood of a boy of about 15 years of age.

He said all I needed to do was to get the person since he had already contacted a herbalist. In my desperation, I told him we would take Rilawan, mama elewa’s son since I had easy access to him because he usually ran errands for me and sometimes I gave him money and used closthes. We felt it was useless to go out and get someone else since Rilawan stayed in the same area with us. I made him understand that getting someone was not the problem but taking him to the herbalist’s shrine where he would be killed.

When we told baba our constraint, he gave Nuru a ring and instructed us to just touch whoever we wanted to bring with it, that the person would follow us without hesitation.

On that fateful day, I called Rilwan and touched him with the ring . To my surprise, he became dumb and followed us to the shrine. We kept him there until it was dark.

When it was midnight and there was no one in sight, we took him away from the shrine and laid him on the ground. While Nuru slashed his throat with a knife given to us by the herbalist, I held a bowl close to his neck for the blood to pour into it.

Rilwan did not put up any resistance as promised by baba because he was hypnotized. And his memory was gone.

After we collected the blood, we gave the bowl to baba and carried Rilawan’s body far away from the shrine to avoid suspicion and dumped it on the expressway so as to give an impression that he was hit by a vehicle. We thereafter, went to bath with the blood as instructed by baba.

He performed some rituals fore us and mixed the blood with a black native soap and gave us to bath with after which he said we would become rich.

But after bathing with the substance, by the third day, we did not see any money as promised by baba. We were as poor as we used to be. We were so angry and decided to go to baba’s place to fight with him.

But on our way, Rilwan’s mother held me and asked me to produce his son for him. She said she was informed that he was last seen with me. She vehemently refused to let go of my trouser even when I denied. This caused a scene and people gathered around me and started beating me. Nuru who was with me managed to escape. Policemen from Seme division came and took me away. It was at that moment I opened up.

But Nuru who lured me into it is nowhere to be found. I am left to bear the brunt alone. If I had known, I would have continued working for my master where I was paid N1,500 every month. The most painful aspect is that I do not have a mother, father, sister or brother. I am just all alone in the world. I do not want to die even though I partook in killing somebody “, he said in an emotional laden tone.

After his arrest, policemen reportedly took him to the herbalist shrine where the suspect showed them the bowl that was used to drain Rilwan’s blood. The herbalist identified as Soji Akodiya did not deny demanding for a human blood from Muyideen and his fleeing friend but he stated that the killing never took place in his shrine.

Out of curiosity, this reporter was forced to ask why he looked so haggard and tattered when he could make money to take care of himself. In response,he looked at the reporter, smiled sheepishly and said, “you will not understand”.

Continuing he said : “ Yes, I told them what they needed for money ritual was human blood. Because money ritual is one of the greatest tasks in our line. I told them they could either use their own blood for it but I believe they never wanted to and brought that of the boy. I was not around when the boy was slaughtered . I did not even know when they brought him. He was not even killed in my shrine….”

But Muyideen interrupted saying “It is a lie. You knew when we brought him. It was even you that gave us knife and a bowl to put the blood. You even told us not to kill him in your shrine for security purpose and you were aware we were going to kill him that night”.

But the herbalist ignored the interjection and continued “ I am a herbalist who speacialise in attending to barren women. I also help people to get jobs and also give charms to traders to sell more than their fellow traders. I collect, N50 to N500 , depending on what the oracle demands. It is then left for my clients to appreciate me.  I got money ritual charm from a colleague ten years ago when all herbalists went for a meeting in Ijebu-ode . Usually, what we do at such meeting is to help ourselves. For instance, if I have the cure for any disease and others do not, I will give to them and vice visa.

That was how the baba gave all of us ogun owo (money ritual charm)and instructed us on how to administer  to our clients . I have never used it before, this is my first time. It was even when Nuru came to me that I realised I had the charm”.

Asked why it did work for the suspect and his fleeing partner in crime, the herbalist relied “ it did not work because they did not follow my instruction. The instruction was to bathe with the prepared concoction nine days after its preparation but they used it on the third day. Had they followed the instruction, they would have noticed a total turn around in whatever they set their hands to do . Their businesses would have been lucrative . And if they leave N1000 in the bag, they would wake up to meet triple of what was there”.

Mystics. Pure mystics. It’s unbelievable the extent many go to get rich. There are the politicians who believe that charms can make them powerful and transport them into powerful positions. Even when the efficacy of these rituals is in doubt, some people still believe that rituals can change their lives for the better. Evil men continue to chase their shadows. One thing is clear. Evil begets evil. There’s a price for every bad thing. Those who indulge in these primitive and devilish tendencies never end up well.

Source: How I killed, drained teenager’s blood for money ritual – Suspect

Nigeria: ritual killings everywhere (2014 article)

The following article sounds unreal. Reading it, one wonders if this can be true. Is it gossip, rumor, fantasy, or indeed the reality? The article dates from July 2014 whereas many ritualistic acts described date from much further back, even 2007.

I will return to this page and add more shortly.

Warning: some images and description of ritualistic acts may be shocking (webmaster FVDK).

Horror: ritual killings everywhere in spite of civilization

Published: July 12, 2014
By: Vanguard, Nigeria – Evelyn Usman and Ebun Sessou

Looking curiously as this reporter approached her make-shift restaurant around J4 , Aketegbo community in Seme Badagry area of Lagos two weeks ago, mama Rilwan as she is popularly called, stood up from her seat, apparently thinking the stranger had come to patronize her.’ ki lefe ra? (what do you want to buy ?)  she asked.

But when this writer disclosed her mission, the seeming expectation on her face dropped, giving way to a sad expression of a memory she never wishes to recall. She immediately beckoned on two teenagers later discovered to be her children to take over the stand while she went inside the shop, with this reporter following with caution.

After a long silence accompanied with a long stare at this reporter, she said: “ I recognize you now. You were here in 2007 when the incident that threw my entire life upside down occurred. My son, Rilwan would have been 20 years this month (June), had he not been sent to an early grave by my neighbor. He was my first child and  also my back bone”.

Tried as she could to control her emotion as she spoke, her strength failed her. Tears trickled  down her cheeks.

All was going on well for the food vendor until September 1, 2007, when her son , Rilwan, was reported missing. Three days later, his remains were found with the throat slashed, signifying that he could have been a victim of ritual killing which was said to be common in the area.

Accusing finger was pointed at one Muyideen Salam whose shop was close to the deceased’s mother’s place. He was said to have been seen with the deceased before his disappearance. After much persuasion which took a brutal dimension, Muyideen confirmed everyone’s fears, by confessing that  he killed Rilwan and used his blood for money ritual.

In an interview with Sunday Vanguard at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba ,  seven years ago (published October 7, 2007) the then  35 year-old Muyideen gave a chilling account of how he gruesomely murdered the teenager and drained his blood, with the help of his friend, one Nuru.

Strange as this sounded, Muyideen disclosed that he was sent to get the blood of a virgin by a herbalist with which to prepare the  concoction  he would use to bath for nine days, after which he would become rich.

But he never lived to see his devilish  wish come true ,even though he succeeded in killing the teenager. This was as a result of his arrest by policemen at Seme division. He was convicted for murder.

Muyideen’s startling confession was, no doubt, a reflection of a society that is fast becoming bestial. Killing of human beings for rituals or whatever reason, dates back to the ancient times when people used to appease the gods of the land with human blood and for the purpose of winning wars. Twins, who were considered an abomination, were killed until its abolition through Mary Slessor’s missionary works.

One would have expected that such pseudoscience should rather  be imagined than witnessed  in Nigeria in this 21st century, when other countries of the world are experimenting and advancing in technology. More baffling is the fact that some Nigerians still indulge in such superstitious process of ritual killings in spite of  the escalation of religious groups across the country as  well as the exposure of majority of  the populace to education and Western culture.

Sadly, even some acclaimed high and mighty indulge in ritual killings. Some politicians and government officials have been accused by arrested suspects (and herbalists), alleging that they use human beings for rituals in order  to sustain their affluence as well as  to remain in power. Records also show that cases of ritual killings and subsequent disappearance of persons are usually on the increase whenever elections are around the corner.

In Lagos  state for instance, about fifteen cases of kidnap attempts have reportedly been recorded in the last four months. One of the foiled attempts was at Ori-oke, in Ejigbo local council development area, two months ago, where a woman who kidnapped two primary school pupils was heard describing  them as goods to an unknown person on the phone.

The saddest part of this evil act  is that hundreds of victims of ritual murders only get mentioned as missing persons. While some manage, by sheer stroke of providence to escape the slaughters’ slab, others never live to share their ordeal with any person.

Investigation by Saturday Vanguard revealed that agents of these vampires who hide in  forests and other unknown places are spread across the country, lying in wait like a hungry lion for their preys. Majority of their victims  are innocent school children, poor street hawkers, commercial sex workers, stranded visitors  and unsuspecting commuters.

Watch out for these black spots

Investigation carried out by Saturday Vanguard showed that black spots where these agents prowl include areas like Otta, Ibafo and Mowe , all in Ogun state,  Epe, Ikorodu, Shagamu Road Isheri/Olowo Ira,Cele Express along Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, Badagry axis, Ikeja, Toyota Bus-stop, Mile Two, Ajah,all in Lagos State; Lagos / Ibadan Express Road; Lagos/Benin by-pass in Edo State; Igwurita ,Rumuokoro in Port Harcourt, Rivers state; Ilorin/Oro Road in Kwara state; Lokoja, Abuja Highway in Kogi State and River Kaduna. Other areas are bush paths, markets, lonely environments, hotels and brothels, popular bus stopovers or terminals, and other hot spots across the country.

Modus Operandi

Some of these agents, most times disguise as lunatics. A typical case in mind was that Clifford Orji  who  was arrested under the bridge at Toyota Bus-stop along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Lagos with human parts in 2001. He confessed  to be selling human parts to prominent Nigerians who undoubtedly used them for ritual purposes. The amazing thing about this peculiar case was the fact that Orji who later died while in Prison custody, was presumed a lunatic. Unknown to passers-by, he only masqueraded as a mad man in order to achieve his sinister motives.

Investigations further revealed that one of their ways is to attack job seekers. They print fliers for recruitment. Some even go the extra mile to advertise for vacancies in national dailies. They then send text messages or email to applicants, informing that they have been listed for the job and will be invited for interviews. In many cases, hotels turn out to be the venues for the interviews. At this point, if the prospective  applicant gets to the designated hotel, he/she will reportedly  be hypnotized and thereafter taken to the slaughter’s slab which is usually in the bush or some remote places. At other times, an applicant will be informed that the venue for interview has changed on reaching the hotel, from where they will provide a vehicle, which unknown to the applicants, have been sprayed with substance that automatically puts them to sleep.

Barely four months ago, Nigerians received with shock, news of a den in Soka village, Oluyole Local Government area of Oyo state, where about 20 corpses, majority of which were  declared missing  by their relatives were found and 18 victims were rescued. From all indications, it was obvious that the den has been existing for long before it was uncovered, following a heap of victims’ clothes. One of the rescued victims was reported to have said he was kidnapped in Ogun while attending an interview.

The most celebrated ritual killing in the recent past was the notorious Otokoto saga in Owerri, Imo State where a businessman belonging to a cult was alleged to have used his apprentice for ritual. The boy’s corpse was later exhumed at the premises of Otokoto Hotel. It exposed many other bizarre acts in hotels.

Female parts

Investigation shows that female parts are more in demand than their male counterparts. This is because of  what was described as the potency of some parts like the breasts and lower private parts in money rituals and other purposes by herbalists and occult groups.

Virgins  and  babies on the other hand are also reportedly used by some politicians and government officials  for ritual purposes as their blood is said to be used to elongate the user’s life span as well as fortify them against spiritual attacks.

Security hints at Saturday’s Vanguard’s disposal reveal that sometimes, these ‘celebrities’ employ the services of some restaurant owners, hotel operators and their trusted domestic workers  to get them virgins who are  subsequently murdered for ritual purposes. Majority of girls who have fallen prey to these death traps were discovered to be secondary school students as well as those in tertiary institutions as they were at the initial stage carried away by money and expensive gifts from their  assailants.

A particular case in mind was that of a South-West politician alleged to have been caught by his driver with a dissected day-old baby whose blood he was drinking. The incident as reported two years ago, occurred inside a bush, while the driver was taking his boss (names withheld) to a purported function. Half way into the journey, the politician was said to have ordered his driver to pull over.

*Joshua caught with some human skeletons

He thereafter, alighted and headed for a bush with a promise to be back. Having waited  without any sight of his boss, the ignorant and curious  driver reportedly went in search for him,only to meet  him stark naked and pouring the blood of a dissected baby into his mouth. Barely two weeks later, the driver reportedly  died under mysterious circumstance. The event that occurred  before his death was related by a Pastor friend whom the deceased  confided in before his demise.

The lust for money and power drives these people into ritual killings.

While some kill to achieve this unfathomable dream, others  resort to digging graves  and removing needed human parts for ritual purpose. Saturday Vanguard scooped that most guards at cemeteries connive with agents to sell human parts.

It was learnt that if a fresh human head is needed, an agent will contact some  cemetery workers ahead. In this case, the cemetery official will be on the look out for fresh dead bodies, preferably those of Muslims  who are usually buried within 24 hours after death. Immediately the body is interred, cemetery worker will exhume the body at night, cut off the needed parts and place the body back in the grave.

Human parts for sale

Those who patronize cemetery officials are usually herbalists, herbal traders and even prominent Nigerians who usually use middle men. Surprisingly, human parts  are sold in some markets in Nigeria. We gathered that a fresh human head could go for N60,000 and above, while a skull is sold for N20,000. Fresh legs are sold for N30,000 each while a decomposed leg is sold for N20,000. A fresh finger is sold for N5,000 each while the decomposed is sold for 3,000. Fresh intestines are sold for N20,000 while dry ones are sold for N5000. Pieces of fresh bones are sold for N2,000 and above.

Arrests made

Five months ago, the Oyo  State Police Command, arrested a Muslim cleric, one  Alfa Gbolagade Dauda Ileanwo, in Agbaje area of Ibadan with  three human skulls and charms. The suspect, according to the command, confessed that he had been in the trade for ten years. Though he claimed to be using the human parts for concoctions to assist sterile women, his accomplice, Saheed Azeez, countered  the  claim, stating rather that his boss was into money making rituals.

The command also arrested two other suspected ritual killers,Musa Dauda and Sango Olojo-Onile with a human head and two heel bones. During interrogation, Dauda revealed that the human parts were removed from a grave at Ojetete village, Kisi, for money ritual.

Olojo-Onile  according to the command was  arrested in April  with a fresh head of a woman which still had cotton wool stuck inside the ears.

Also in Epe, the  lifeless  body of a  68-year-old man,Ade Lekuti, earlier declared missing was discovered at Owode, near Ogombo in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, with the head, hands and  private organs cut off.

Surprisingly, the alleged killer was discovered to be his in-law, one Teju Rajimu. The suspect according to the deceased’s family, confessed to have given the missing parts to a herbalist who prepared  concoction with them for him. The missing parts were reportedly pounded into powdery form and mixed with a greasy substance which was discovered in the suspect’s apartment.

Similarly, in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, a three-man gang  led by one Kamaru Yusuf allegedly  beheaded  one Omobola Moses at Ira, a village in Oyun Local Government Area.  The deceased who was a niece to one of the suspects, was reportedly lured from her parents’ abode into a bush where her head was severed. The suspects, according to report, confessed that they took  the head to  a 52-year-old herbalist whose name they gave as Saliu Oyewole, for money ritual.

From the West to the East and North to the South , the story is same.

In Enugu state for instance, an evil forest suspected to be a den for killers was discovered  in Igbo Eze North local government area with fresh and decomposing human parts littered all over,with vital parts of some bodies missing.

Report said the  victims were taken to the forest and butchered by killers who then removed the vital parts needed for money-making rituals. Some prominent citizens of the state and environs were alleged  to be patrons of herbalists and native doctors who perform rituals in the forest.

One of the mind bugling  incidents was the discovery of another horror sight at the Okija shrine in Anambra state.  The shrine achieved notoriety in 2004 when it was raided by the Anambra State Police Command ,where  50 decomposing or shrunken bodies and 20 human skulls were found. The shrine was also  reportedly patronised by politicians. Till date, politicians still visit Okija shrine.

It is tragic  enough that some Nigerians still believe in gaining power and making money through this practice. But more worrisome and astonishing   is the use of loved ones, such as one’s parents, siblings and wives  for this devilish purpose. One of such horrifying incidents occurred in Abia state, when a 26 year-old boy allegedly killed his mother for ritual. The suspect,Ebi Onu, who hailed  from Igbere, Bende council area of the state, reportedly  went to Nguzu Edda in Ebonyi State where he consulted a herbalist to make charms that would make him become rich. The herbalist was said to have asked Ebi to kill his mother and bring her private part  which he said  would be used  to prepare  concoction for him. He allegedly connived with three of his friends to lay ambush for his mother along a bush path and lured his mother into taking a walk with him along that route.  On sighting them, his killer friends reportedly sprang out from  their hiding and hacked Ebi’s mother to death after which they  cut off her  private part .

Worried by her disappearance, a search party with Ebi  reportedly combed the vicinity for her without luck.  Report said some of the residents said they saw the missing woman with her son and consequently Ebi was subjected to questioning  and tortured by some youths until he allegedly owned up and took the youths to where he buried his mother at the bank of a river .  The angry youths were said to have beaten him to death , thereby depriving him of living to see his  inordinate ambition of becoming rich through ritual means.

In the same vein, residents  of Bale Ilado village in Morogbo area of Lagos State were thrown into panic recently after  a member of the community identified as Segun Adisa allegedly  beheaded his own father for money ritual .

However, in his confessional statement to the Police, the suspect claimed that he had to strike first to prevent his father whom he claimed earlier took him to a shrine where he claimed there was an attempt to kill him for money ritual.

Again in Aba, a landlord was alleged to have killed his two children for ritual purpose. The landlord (names withheld) as gathered, dashed out of his  three-storey  building on Omenazu road in Aba, on sighting some policemen approaching. Policemen from the Abia state command who acted on tip off, were said to have  swooped on the  building and according to residents of the area , two unconscious children identified as his children were found inside one of the rooms transfixed.

Not too long ago in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory , the body of a lady was found in the boot  of  a Honda  car with plate number AG 847  SUL belonging to an Abuja based businessman whose identity was given as Abdullai Ibrahim.  The suspect was said to have been arrested by policemen on patrol while he was cleaning the blood stain on the back seat of the car. Preliminary investigation, according to police sources, revealed that the suspect slit the deceased’s throat with a knife for alleged ritual purpose.

In Kaduna state, three youths were reported in 2007 to have lured a 17 year-old sugarcane hawker,  Ibrahim Shehu, to the outskirts of a village and  strangled him. They were said to have been at the verge of removing his eyes when  policemen  that were  alerted by a farmer swooped on them. The suspects, according to the Kaduna State Police Command, confessed to have wanted to pluck out the eyes for money ritual.

Same year in Ibafo area of Ogun state, a woman who managed to escape from a kidnappers den alerted policemen led by one Charles Ogenegbe, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, who  stormed the hideout , where a shrine used as slaughter for human beings was discovered.

Also same year in Benue, a 77 year-old woman identified as Adiya Omachi was murdered in her farmland at Odaleko, along Ikachi Adum road. Not done , her assailants reportedly slashed her private parts, signifying they could be ritualists.

In Niger state, three persons were arrested by the police for allegedly   beheading a 10-year-old boy in Amale Village, Kaffi-koro District, Paiko local government area of the state for ritual.

The deceased as gathered, was  lured by one Salleh Ibrahim who took him on his motorcycle from Amale village to meet two of his other accomplices: Usman Sarki and Dantala Doma. During interrogation, Sarki told policemen that he was contracted   by one Gajere to bring the boy’s head  for money ritual. The lad’s headless body was reportedly found in Salleh’s residence while the head was found buried in a shallow grave  near Erena in Shiroro local government, pending when they would take it to the herbalist.

If the startling confession  of 20 year-old Agu Nwanu, who disclosed that he had  so far killed  twenty children for money rituals, all in his bid to ensure he does not end up like his poor father must be taken seriously,  then all hands must be on deck to address this rising incident of ritual killings. Security operatives appear to be doing their best to curb these evil and very primitive rituals. But their best appears not to be enough as the menace is on the increase going by daily reports of these killings.

Police react

When the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide was contacted on the spate of ritual killings, she said about Lagos.

“I will disagree with you on the issue of ritual killing being on the increase in Lagos state. There has not been any of such since my assumption. Sometime last year and   about two months ago ,we paraded some suspects for being in possession of human parts. The arrests were effected by men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad and the suspects were arrested from other states.

“During interrogation, we discovered they had same modus operandi. They always go to the grave yard to exhume corpses. It’s something they commit in connivance with the security men at the cemetery. And the buyers, comprising the native doctors and other persons will be there.

“Let me state here that the Police as security agents do not believe in mystics. We work with facts and   physical evidence. So, when you say people indulge in rituals, we do not understand that language.

What we have also recorded are cases of persons suspected to be kidnappers who were attacked by the mob. It happened at Apapa, Iyana-Ipaja , Shahsha areas . In Shahsha, a man was sighted with a little child in his car and they accused him of wanting to use the child for money ritual and a mob attacked him, without giving him room to explain himself. But for the quick intervention of the traditional ruler of the area who contacted policemen, the man would have been lynched.

“On interrogation, it was discovered that parents of the child begged him to help drop the child in school and on the way, he started crying. We invited the parents who collaborated the claim. If they had killed him, the news would have been all over the place that a ritualist was mobbed.

“Another case was of an elderly woman at Ajegunle who was seen with a day old baby. Before you knew it, people rounded her up and started beating her, claiming she wanted to use the baby for ritual. The local government chairman contacted the police who rescued the woman who said she was the grandmother of the baby and that her daughter just gave birth but was in an unstable condition in the hospital. What we did was to invite the doctor of the hospital who collaborated her claim . The doctor said he advised the woman to take the baby home while they tried to stabilise the mother. I want to use this medium to advise Lagosians not to engage in mob actions.

“On our part, we have a lot of overt and covert policemen in   strategic places in the state, considering the nature of security in the country right now. We have tried to cover up sensitive places like churches, schools, motor parks among other places and we have enough security men.”

Source: Horror: ritual killings everywhere in spite of civilization

South Africa: life sentence for ritual murderer (2015 article)

Yesterday I posted an article on the sentencing to life imprisonment of four people found guilty of ritual murder in Limpopo Province, South Africa. It is not the first time that the rule of law was applied by prosecuting and sentencing a ritual murderer in Limpopo Province, a region which unfortunately is notorious for the occurrence of muti murders. In October 2015, a Mocambican man who had been apprehended in possession of body parts was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Limpopo High Court at Makhado (webmaster FVDK).

Life sentence for ritual murderer

Life imprisonment for a Mocambican man found guilty by a Limpopo Province Court

Published: October 29, 2015
By: Letaba Herald, Matome Maila

A Mocambican man who was found in possession of body parts last year was sentenced to life imprisonment during a sitting of the Limpopo High Court at Makhado last Tuesday.

Nkovani Samson Majoko (36), originally from Mocambique, but residing a Xiphuraphuleni Settlement in Malamulele, outside Giyani was arrested in June last year after he was found in possession of a bag containing two hands and male sexual organs

The court heard that he lured the victim, John Miyambo (35), from Mocambique to South Africa with the promise of a job and then killed him and cut off the body parts to sell as muti.

He was arrested after information was received of a man trying to sell body parts in the Malamulele area.

He was found guilty on a charge of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Source: Life sentence for ritual murderer

Malawi persons with albinism launch anti-killings campaign

Following a court order, presidential elections are going to be held on July 2. The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has stipulated that the official campaign period will run from May 2 to June 30. 

The Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) fears that this will increase the already fragile position of people living with albinism in Malawi. History teaches us that attacks on people with albinism increase during election campaigns. The Malawian government fails to react properly. Since 2014, 171 attacks against people with albinism were carried out of which 25 persons were killed and 13 were reported missing. Hence, the Association of People with Albinism in Malawi has launched an anti-killings campaign. 
(webmaster FVDK).

Malawi persons with albinism launch anti-killings campaign

Published: March 24, 2020
By: xinhuanet.com         

The Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) has launched a campaign to condemn killings of people with albinism for rituals ahead of the fresh presidential polls in the country.

APAM President Ian Simbota, told local media Sunday after the launch that members of the Association fear for their lives as some study showed that persons with albinism are targeted for rituals during elections. Simbota told Xinhua Monday that as of March 23rd, 2020, APAM had recorded 171 cases of attacks against people with albinism of which 25 persons were killed and 13 were reported missing since 2014. (italics added by the webmaster FVDK)

“We received the February 3 judgement with mixed reactions because on one hand we were happy that we will be given back our ballot power but on the other hand looked at the threatening times that we always go through because of the same election exercise,” said Simbota.He said during the campaign the APAM members want to sensitize mostly political leaders to desist from beliefs that killing a person with albinism and getting their body parts for rituals can make them win an election. 

“Those things don’t exist, it’s just some evil way of thinking. We are the voters and politicians should use us as such and not as rituals; it does not work,” said Simbota.”We are a population of 134,636 people and those are the votes that we are worth,” he added. In 2015 UN Human Rights Expert on Albinism Ikponwosa Ero, linked the killings of persons with albinism in Africa to elections, saying many political hopefuls believe that body parts of persons with albinism can be used as charms for one to win an election. (bold added by the webmaster FVDK)

Source: Malawi persons with albinism launch anti-killings campaign

Uganda: successful surgery of boy rescued from ritual sacrifice

Warning: the article reproduced below contains graphic details of the heinous crime committed (webmaster FVDK).

Successful surgery of boy rescued from ritual sacrifice

The victim, Robert Mukwaya – ‘Doctors are confident in helping him improve.’

Published: February 25, 2020
By: Uganda Christian News

Robert Mukwaya suffered severe spinal injuries in 2014, it was thought he would never walk again. 

He had been resting in his grandmother’s kitchen in Mukono district when a witch doctor heartlessly dragged him out of the room and stabbed him in the neck, leaving him with a spinal damage and feet permanently facing down.

Robert was left paralysed, but the surgery he had on 20th February, 2020 at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Salt Lake City, USA might change his story.

Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, a Christian charity organisation founded by Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga issued a statement saying the young man’s surgery was “all success.” 

He had a “big operation on his hip, foot and hands” among other areas. 

“More prayers for healing,” the statement read. “He has done very well this brave and strong miracle gem! His post operation recovery is longer, but doctors are confident in helping him improve.”

Kyampisi Childcare Ministries helps child sacrifice survivors and their families rebuild their lives and overcome the trauma. The organization has helped over ten victims since its creation in 2009. 

In an update shared online, Ms Anne Mitchell who interacted with Robert in USA before his Thursday surgery had this to say:

“Robert was unfortunately cut in his neck by a witch doctor. He was left with many issues especially in walking and using his arms. He was left a partial quadriplegic. Hopefully his surgery can allow him to walk and move much better. He will need considerable rehabilitation, but Robert is a wonderful resilient boy. Praying for the best outcome possible.”

Since 2014 Robert has undergone a series of operations, all aimed at seeing him walk again. In 2017, he has surgery performed at the John Hunter Hospital in Australia.

“On that day I left him alone at home and went to the church to pray, when I came back I found him laying on a mat in a pool of blood,” Robert’s grand mother, Yowani Nakiwala told Transterra Media earlier. “His neck was almost falling off, the doctors worked on him and dressed him with a collar around his neck.”

Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga told Transterra Media: “The condition we find them is quite sad, those that die, we find their bodies completely a part – they cut the head and drain the blood – They can cut the stomach and take the organs out of their bodies. They are shocking incidences, shocking pictures. Those that survive need huge medical attention.” 

“Children are sacrifice because there is a growing belief that when you sacrifice a child, you get wealth, you get protection, you get healing and this belief which is a lie has spread all over the country and there has not been a tiger reaction from the Government or from people concerned to be able to educate masses that you don’t have to kill a child to get wealth or you don’t have to kill a child to get protection.
Wealth comes from hard work, protection comes from God and because people are desperately poor and desperately in need of wealth issues, there is a witch-doctor in the community who claims to bring healing, to bring joy and happiness and blessings – the people go to that person and they are lied and they are sent for body parts of children,” Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga said.

Source: Successful surgery of boy rescued from ritual sacrifice

Zambia: over 50 arrested in Chingola riots after police allegedly failed to arrest a suspected ritual killer

Early January of this year riots broke out in Chiwempala Township in Chingola District on the Copperbelt. The rioters took to the streets to protest the alleged failure by police to arrest a man they suspect to have been behind the alleged ritual killings in the district. Mob justice, often based on rumors, is wrong and reprehensible. People should respect the authorities, but as one comment on the first article reproduced below shows, not everyone disagrees  with people who take the law in their own hands: ‘(…) let the civilians do what they can do. (…)’ 

Every year hundreds of innocent civilians – i.e. not found guilty by an independent court – die as a result of mob justice in African countries. In South Africa it even has a special name: ‘necklacing’. The apprehended suspected criminal is tied up by civilians, who put a tire doused in gasoline around the neck of the suspect. They then set the tire and the suspect on fire (alive!), who usually perishes. In 2011, 543 people died as a result of ‘lynching’ (mob justice) in Kenya, according to official statistics. In Uganda, 568 people succumbed as a result of mob justice in 2014.

Murderers must be arrested and tried by an independent court. ‘Law abiding’ citizens who turn into murderers as a result of mob justice must be apprehended and prosecuted too. Therefor, the Zambian police must be complimented for doing its work (webmaster FVDK).

Chingola fire.

Over 50 arrested in Chingola riots
Published: January 9, 2020
By: Chris Phiri, Zambia Reports

Over 50 people have been arrested in connection with the riots that broke out in Chiwempala Township in Chingola District on the Copperbelt.

The unruly rioters took to the streets to protest the alleged failure by police to arrest a man they suspect to have been behind the alleged ritual killings in the district.

They blocked roads, burnt three motor vehicles and one house all properties belonging to the same person.

The rioters did not only damage property but also rooted various goods among them groceries and household goods.

Copperbelt Police Deputy Commissioner Wamunyima Wamunyima has stated that police managed to bring to book some of the rioters who are currently detained at Chingola Central Police.

Officers from the Zambia Army and Zambia Police have since managed to contain the situation.

Source: Over 50 arrested in Chingola riots

Related article:

Falsehood negatively affected law and order in Chingola
Published: January 9, 2020
By: Alice Nachilembe, The Independent Observer

Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga: What sparked the riot was news that a suspect behind the ritual killing was at Chiwempala police.

Nigeria: Ritual killers on rampage in Adamawa State (2014 article)

Published: April 15, 2014
By: BluePrint (Nigeria)

The residents of Yola, the Adamawa state capital, now sleep with their eyes open as ritual killers are on the prowl; this followed the discovery of the corpse of an 11-year-old boy, Master Umar Saleh, in Rumde Baru ward in Yola North local government area of the state.
The residents have decried the increase in ritual activities, saying that the frequency with which mutilated dead bodies were found was alarming.

The corpse which was semi-concealed in a polythene sack was discovered by a passerby who quickly raised alarm.
Some residents said they believed that the corpse might have been dumped for about three days as it had completely decomposed.
The discovery of the dead body of Umar Saleh, whose eyes, tongue, nose, ears and genitals were severed, has ignited apprehension as many residents said the “trend is becoming rampant despite emergency rule clamped on the state.”
Father of the victim, Malam Sale Usman, told newsmen that the family had been looking for the victim for five days following his failure to return home after he accompanied his little sister to the popular Jambutu Motor Park where she sells food.

“The family has waited with baited breadth for the return of Umar which never occurred as we only found his mutilated body later,” he said.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Adamawa state Command, DSP Usman Abubakar, confirmed the development, saying that the police were doing all they could to get to the root of the matter.

Source: Ritual killers on rampage in Adamawa