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

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

Zambia: body of murdered albino still unclaimed

The article below is a follow-up to another article by the same reporter, Chris Phiri, in the same newspaper, Zambia Reports, which was earlier published on March 26, 2020 (my posting of March 29, 2020). 

Though I haven’t included the comments of readers below, it’s worth reading what the readers think about this disgusting murder and the Zambian police authorities (see the original article – webmaster FVDK).

Body Of Murdered Albino Still Unclaimed

Picture not related to news story 

Published: April 5, 2020
By: Chris Phiri – Zambia Reports

The Eastern Province police command has expressed concern over the delay by the relatives of an albino who was found dead without some body parts on March 24. The body was without a tongue, arms and eyes.

Provincial police Commissioner Luckson Sakala said the body had remained unclaimed and is currently at Chipata Central Hospital mortuary.

Mr. Sakala said police suspect that the deceased was taken from somewhere and was just dumped in Chipata. He is appealing to members of the public who could be missing a relative to come forward and identify the body.

The body of the deceased was found near Yamene Farms along the Chipata/Lundazi road.

Source: Body Of Murdered Albino Still Unclaimed

Ghana: women accused of witchcraft find refuge in outpost run by sisters

Ghana has a fairly good reputation, both on the African continent and beyond. This positive reputation mainly applies to the state of the economy and the country’s political affairs. (This has not always been the case. Notably in the 1970s Ghana offered a very different outlook. It is thanks to flight-lieutenant-turned-president Jerry J. Rawlings – and the two Bretton Woods Institutions (BWI), World Bank and the IMF – that Ghana nowadays is what it is).
However, superstition is rampant in the country. I drew attention to it at earlier occasions. See my posting on the work of Anas Aremeyaw Anas and Seamus Mirodan, both fighting infanticide in Ghana as well as Burkina Faso, Benin and Nigeria (June 4, 2018), and the activities of Seth Kwame Boateng and Jospeh Asakibeem (June 23, 2018), also fighting ritual baby killing in this West African country.

The article below treats the fate of women who are accused of witchcraft, sometimes triggered by jealousy and criminal intentions, sometimes based on superstition and a belief in the supernatural powers which the victims of the repression and mob justice are supposed to possess. Fortunately, the women are being rescued  by a group of benevolent nuns, but shouldn’t it be better if these age-old practices and belief in witchcraft cease to exist? (webmaster FVDK).

Women accused of witchcraft in Ghana find refuge in outpost run by sisters

Vivian Salamatu, outside her house, relates how she escaped death from angry villagers who had accused her of killing her brother-in-law. (Doreen Ajiambo)

Published: April 13, 2020
By: Global Sisters report – Doreen Ajiambo

GUSHEGU, GHANA — Vivian Salamatu and 200 hundred other women here are bound together for life. They share each other’s misfortunes and all have a similar story. They were accused of witchcraft, beaten, cast out and sent to “witch camps” that serve as havens.

“When my nephew died after a short illness, everyone hated me,” Salamatu explains in Dagbani, her native language. “My brothers-in-law said I was responsible, they accused me of being a witch.”

Dozens of elders and villagers gathered at her home to determine her innocence or guilt. One of the elders participating in the ritual test grabbed a chicken, slit its throat and flung it overhead. After it finished struggling, the chicken fell head first and died face down.

It was clear by the village standard she was a witch.

“If the chicken had died face up, then I would have been declared innocent of witchcraft,” said Salamatu, 39, a mother of three. “That night, villagers led by my brothers-in-law attacked me with machetes and set fire to my house. They wanted to kill me with my children.”

Her attackers, who had tied her up with a rope, were intercepted by nuns and local authorities. She was rescued with her children and taken to Gushegu “witch camp,” located in the north of the country.

One of the mud huts where women accused of practicing witchcraft live in the Gushegu camp of northern Ghana (Doreen Ajiambo)

“I can’t believe I’m alive today,” she said, noting that the allegations came barely a year after losing her husband in a road accident. “I had no one to protect me from the angry villagers. But I want to thank God and the sisters who came and rescued me. It was a miracle!”

Salamatu is among hundreds of women who have been rescued by the Missionary Sisters of the Poorest of the Poor and taken to Gushegu. The refuge, which is run by Sr. Ruphina Anosike and other sisters, provides homes to women accused of witchcraft. Anosike also cares for the homeless by providing meals and other necessities such as medical care and education for their children.

The immense majority of these women are widows with children. They have been accused by relatives, or sometimes by a competing wife, neighbors or village elders, of witchcraft, mainly of killing their husbands or other family members, said Anosike.

“It’s heartbreaking to see that these women suspected to be witches are no longer needed in their families and communities,” she said, noting that her camp, which accommodates more than 200 women, has become a safe haven for widows accused of witchcraft. “They stay here because they have no place to go, no food to eat, and no one cares for them.”

The motive to call someone a witch

Anosike notes that the chief motive behind such acts is often greed, and labeling these women as witches becomes a means of taking away their husbands’ wealth. Camp residents also include mentally ill women and children who are considered outcasts in Ghana, she said.

Salamatu agreed there is a motive.

“My father-in-law wanted to take cows, land and some money that my husband had left, and I refused,” she said, adding that her husband’s relatives became hostile to her and toward her children. “They later accused me of practicing witchcraft so that I could be chased away and leave them everything. One of my neighbors told me they held a meeting to discuss how they could chase me away so that they would be able to take my properties.”

Thousands of women and their children in northern Ghana have been left homeless after being accused of witchcraft, according to a 2018 report by the U.S. State Department. The report indicates that there are more than six witch camps spread throughout the northern region, holding 2,000-2,500 adult women and 1,000-1,200 children.

There is a widespread belief in witchcraft in the West African nation, according to 2009 Gallupsurveys, despite 96% of the population declaring themselves to be active worshippers in one of several world religions. The belief in the phenomenon has devastating consequences. Elderly women believed to be witches are often persecuted, ousted from their homes or even murdered. Their children are also cursed and not allowed to go back home after they have grown.

Though both men and women can be accused of witchcraft, the vast majority are women. Men are considered to have a strong socio-political base and are therefore better able to successfully contest the accusations leveled against them, knowledgeable observers say.

The witch camps are unique to northern Ghana. However, the West African nation shares with other African countries an endemic belief in witchcraft, with drought, death, poor harvest, illness and other natural disasters blamed on black magic.

Screenshot of the GSR video of sisters and women at the Gushegu camp in northern Ghana (credit: Doreen Ajiambo). Click on the picture in the original article (see source below) to watch the video.

The situation has prompted religious sisters in this part of the country to provide residential shelter for the women and children shunned by relatives. Anosike depends on supporters to build homes at the camp and she pleads for food, clothing, bedding and other necessities from neighbors and passers-by.

“I actually go out every morning to beg for food for these women to ensure they have something to eat,” said Anosike. “The bishop also helps us very much, especially with food and money to run the camp. These women also survive by collecting firewood, selling little bags of peanuts or working in nearby farms.”

A superstition that sticks

Witchcraft is a stubborn phenomenon in African cultures, experts say. Witches and wizards are thought to possess intrinsic and supernatural powers that are used to create evil. Many seek out the services of witchdoctors and wizards to find solutions for their relationships, troubles and even for good health. However, the practice has for years also had its negative side. In worst-case scenarios, such beliefs lead to murder and destruction of the accused witches, they said.

“The belief in witchcraft is deeply entrenched in Africa culture and dictates people’s lives,” said Charles Nzioka, a professor of sociology at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. “Witchcraft is in people’s minds. If someone loses a job, Westerners assume that it’s due to economic conditions or poor performance. An African is likely to say that someone used witchcraft to make or confuse an employer to hate and sack the person concerned.”

Nzioka said that the belief in witchcraft in Africa is intended to keep order in society; any deviation in behavior may lead to an allegation. As in Ghana, women who do not want to conform to society’s expectations may fall victim to the accusations of witchcraft, he said.

“For instance, when a woman accumulates wealth and becomes independent, she deviates from local norms that recognize only men to own wealth, and as such she becomes a target,” said Nzioka. “Sometimes women are targeted by relatives of the husbands in order to inherit their son’s wealth.”

Nato Blenjuo, who has lived at Gushegu camp for the last two decades, explained how she escaped death by a whisker after villagers claimed she had used witchcraft to kill her ailing husband. A post-mortem was reportedly held, establishing that her husband died of malaria, she said. Malaria has continued to be the leading cause of death in the country, according to 2018 data of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“They really wanted to kill me,” said the 66-year-old widow who lives in one of the huts made of mud, sticks, grass, cow dung and cow’s urine. “My stepson led other irate villagers with machetes to attack me at night. They set my house on fire, but I was lucky to escape with my three children into a nearby bush and I made my way to this camp.”

Srs. Ruphina Anosike, left, and Monica Yahaya, second from right, help sort out the grains that had been swept from the market by women accused of witchcraft in Ghana. These women survive by collecting firewood, selling little bags of peanuts or working in nearby farms. (Doreen Ajiambo)

Sr. Monica Yahaya said that women are seen as the most vulnerable members of the population and are therefore often labeled as witches because of their inability to contest the accusations. This explains why there are no men at the camps and women are predominantly the victims, she said.

“The problem here is that relatives cannot allow widows to inherit their husband’s possessions,” said Yahaya, who works with Anosike at Gushegu camp. “They will definitely look for a reason to accuse them and then send them away from their homes in order to take properties left by their dead husbands. Without a husband, these women really have no way to defend themselves after such an accusation.”

Osei Ekow, an elder, denies that greed is the impetus behind calling someone a witch. He says the villagers rely on the traditional slain chicken ritual to determine whether a woman is a witch.

“That’s our culture, and we must respect it,” said Ekow, 75, who says he has witnessed tens of thousands of widows being sent away from their homes. “There’s no way that ritual can be wrong. These women taking refuge at the camps are all witches because it was culturally confirmed.”

The government has on several occasions tried in vain to close down the camps in a bid to discourage attacks on women. Officials contend the very existence of witch camps encourages people to levy allegations of witchcraft knowing that the women they accuse will find refuge at the camps.

“People should stop accusing and harassing innocent women of witchcraft,” said Issah Mahmudu, a government official who oversees the Legal Aid Department in northern Ghana. “We want to encourage suspected witches and wizards who have been harassed to report to the police so that investigations begin. The law protects every citizen.”

Mahmudu said the incidents of witchcraft accusations have recently declined but encouraged local chiefs to dispel outdated cultural practices that are injurious to others.

“These women are vulnerable, that’s the reason they are attacked,” he said. “The chiefs should arrest any person committing offenses that are recognized under the law. The laws of this country condemn dehumanizing the fundamental human rights of all citizens.”

Anosike and other sisters are trying to shape the way people think about witchcraft. They conduct weekly seminars in various villages to campaign against ongoing violence on women, educate the public about the myths that surround witchcraft, rehabilitate and reintegrate women into their homes, and call for an end to the persecution of alleged witches and to superstition.

“Cases of women being chased away from their homes have of late been reduced as a result of the ongoing campaign, but more needs to be done,” she said. “We are going to continue educating people in the villages to ensure women live freely without fear of their rights being abused due to the belief in witchcraft.”

However, victims of the attacks call for more to be done.

“I have never been a witch, I don’t know how witchcraft works,” said Salamatu. “Men should treat us with dignity because we are all human beings created in the image of God.”

A child stands outside her mother’s hut house at Gushegu camp. Her mother was accused of killing her husband. (Doreen Ajiambo)

Source: Women accused of witchcraft in Ghana find refuge in outpost run by sisters

Districts in Northern Ghana (in the northeast: Gushiegu District)