The following report, see below, is a bit fuzzy but nevertheless I want to share it with you. The chief perpetrator of the heinous act, who was caught, may not have been fully responsible for his deed because of his (unstable) mental state (but this is up to the judges to rule) and not all details are clear or have been confirmed by the authorities, however, the youth who supported the police which led to the arrest of the suspects merits to be applauded. A good example of how it should be – no mob justice, but the rule of law! (webmaster FVDK).
Four nabbed in Akwa Ibom for beheading woman for ritual purpose
Published: March 8, 2020 By: Vanguard Nigeria – Harris Emanuel
Tragedy struck at the weekend at Oku Abak community in Abak Council Area of Akwa Ibom, as a woman simply identified as Eka Sammy was reportedly beheaded in her farm and the head dumped in front of her house.
Vanguard gathered that the woman fondly called Mma Iko Mbakara was ambushed in her farm while harvesting cassava by a young man, one Lucky Michael from Delta State, working hands in gloves with three others.
An eyewitness account averred that the suspect was caught by the irate youth of the community when he dumped the head of the woman in front of her house and immediately stripped himself naked before taking the youth to the farm where the lifeless body of the woman was found.
One Augustine Ekwere said, ‘’the youth of this village caught him and called on the police after their own assessment. The police then arrested his and his accomplices.
Continuing, Ekwere said the suspect confessed to the crime at Abak Police Station, saying that a prophetess contracted him for a fee of N15, 000 to bring human head for rituals.
According to him, although the suspect did not mention the name of the prophetess, he had already received the cash payment to carry out the dastard acts.
‘’At the Police station, the boy confessed to beheading the woman in the farm because he was paid a N150, 000 by a prophetess to do so. I fear that such crime is coming to my community, my stress and our house’’, he said.
Police Public Relations Officer, Fredrick Nnudam, Chief Superintendent of Police confirmed the incident and applauded the youth of the community for supporting the Police which led to the arrest of the suspect and his cohorts.
The PPRO who did not mention the number of suspects arrested hinted that the matter was being investigated at the Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpanabia, but source informed our reporter that about four suspects were nabbed by the police.
‘’I am in a picture. A woman was beheaded in the farm on Saturday while working there. Some youth joined the police to comb the bush and some suspects were arrested.
‘’I can’t give you the exact figures, but some persons were arrested especially the principal suspect’’, he said.
On whether the prophetess allegedly said to have masterminded the killing for ritual purpose has been arrested, he said, ‘’as at now information is still sketchy but investigation is ongoing, so, I can’t say if somebody like that is involved.’’
TRAGEDY struck last Saturday in Akwa Ibom state as suspected ritualists behead 82-year-old woman popularly known as Mma Iko Mbakara in Ibesit community in Oruk Anam local government area of the state.
It was gathered that the unsuspecting octogenarian was ambushed in her farm in Ibesit, Oruk Anam while she was harvesting cassava.
A reliable source in Abak local government area who spoke to Vanguard in confidence yesterday said the news of the sad incident filtered through the whole Abak town early Sunday morning.
“Actually the incident happened in Ibesit community in Oruk Anam local government area, but the principal suspect is from Oku Abak, in Abak local government area. I learned that the police have already arrested him and his accomplices. ”
I was told this morning (Sunday morning) that the principal suspect identified as Lucky Michael and his accomplices have been arrested by the police”, he simply added.
An eyewitness identified as Ekwere said Michael was caught by the youths of Oku Abak community who stripped him naked before asking him to take them to the farm where he committed the crime.
Ekwere added that the youths later called the police to arrest him and his accomplices, adding that it was at the Abak Police station that he (Michael) confessed that he was paid the sum of one hundred and fifty thousand naira ( N150,000.00) to bring a human head for ritual.
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, CSP, Frederick Nnudam confirmed the incident, noting that some suspects however have been arrested in connection with the crime.
The PPRO who did not mention the number of suspected arrested said, “The story is true. Some of the suspects have been arrested and the head of the woman was also recovered. “The principal suspect one Lucky Michael was in possession of the head of the 82-year-old woman. The matter is under investigation”
The following reproduced article is not about an entirely new incident of mob justice in Nigeria. It relates to the same jungle justice addressed in my February 27 posting and also yesterday’s Editorial. However, for completeness sake I want to include it here: readers who may have missed previous posts may find in the article reproduced below the necessary information to fully understand the editorial in the Nigerian newspaper The Nation (online) posted yesterday (webmaster FVDK).
Four burnt to death after ritual killing in Edo
Published: February 25, 2020 The Punch, Sola Shittu – Benin (city), Nigeria
Three middle-aged men and a woman were on Monday set ablaze by a mob at Otuo community in the Owan East Local Government Area of Edo State.
The four were alleged to have been involved in the murder of a Senior Secondary School 3 pupil of Azama College, Otuo.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the pupil was allegedly killed and her head severed from her body for ritual purposes.
A source in the community said the murder was carried out at night by her neighbour who sent her on an errand to get sachet water in the evening.
While in his room to deliver the sachet water, she was allegedly murdered and decapitated.
Our source said when the girl’s parents could not find her, they raised the alarm.
The alleged culprits were said to have been caught while attempting to dump the victim’s body in the early hours of the following day.
They were said to have identified two other persons, including the woman who performed the rituals for them.
“The two men were burnt this morning (Monday) along with the woman, while her house was razed. They were all dragged to the popular Women Centre where the community police station is located. The third man was traced to his farm and apprehended,” he said.
Later in the day, our source confirmed that the third man had also been burnt by the mob.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Chidi Nwabuzor, while confirming the incident, said two suspects were lynched.
“The command is aware that a young girl’s head was cut off and the youth of the community arrested two suspects, brought them to the front of the station and set them ablaze,” he said.
A recent Editorial in one of Nigeria’s leading newspapers drew my attention and I would like to share it with you. It is a cry from the heart and corresponds with previous messages which I put on this site. Referring to a recent incident in Edo State, it is about the nonsense of mob justice, it’s illegal nature, and even the damage it causes to the country’s justice system. Read it for yourself. May it contribute to less jungle justice, but – of course and more important – we have to battle the phenomenon of money rituals with all our force and eradicate it from society! (webmaster FVDK).
Published: March 6, 2020 By: The Nation (online) – Nigeria (editorial)
Suspected ritual killers turned victims of jungle justice is cold comfort. Both outrage jar with civilised 21st century conduct.
It really makes no difference which of the versions of the incident is accurate, whether four or two people were burned alive for allegedly beheading a teenage girl for ritual purposes. The picture of compounded barbarity is clear enough. The girl’s beastly murder attracted jungle justice, but neither of the two is good for society.
According to the Edo State police spokesman, Chidi Nwabuzor, “The command is aware that a young girl’s head was cut off and the youth of the community arrested two suspects, brought them to the front of the station and set them ablaze.” But media reports said a mob had set ablaze three men and a woman at Otuo community in the Owan East local government area of the state, on February 24, for their alleged involvement in the murder of a Senior Secondary School 3 pupil of Azama College, Otuo.
The girl’s neighbour was said to have sent her on an errand to get sachet water, and she was allegedly killed and beheaded when she returned with the sachet water. Two of her killers were said to have been caught while trying to dump her headless body somewhere the next day. They were said to have implicated two other collaborators, including a woman described as a native doctor.
By taking the law into their own hands, the mob demonstrated public anger over the increasing cases of ritual killing in the country. But their reaction was extreme. It is noteworthy that they had imposed their own punishment on the suspects, right in front of a police station, which suggested they had lost confidence in the police.
Their action was a recipe for anarchy. Mob justice not only reflects a negative public perception of the criminal justice system, it also undermines the institution charged with maintaining law and order. This is yet another instance that shows the low rating of the police by the public, and the need for the police to improve their image by performing professionally.
It is unfortunate that the suspected killers were burned alive, thus making it impossible for the police to investigate the allegation against them. The accusation that they killed the victim for ritual purposes could have been more clearly established through a proper trial.
Sadly, this incident further highlights the troubling issue of money-ritual killing prompted by a get-rich-quick mentality. The circumstances of the murder suggested it may well have had something to do with money rituals. Only the killers could have explained why they needed the girl’s head, but the beheading followed a familiar pattern of killing associated with money ritualists.
The money-ritual angle says something bad about our society. Frequent reports of suspected money-ritual killings in the country show a dark side of the society that needs to be urgently corrected. Murder is evil; it is worse when it is connected with a get-rich-quick motive. The love of money should never be taken to such extremes.
The question is: What drives such a desperate and unconscionable pursuit of riches? The inadequacies of the socio-economic environment must be a major factor, but these can’t justify a do-or-die approach to getting rich. Money rituals that involve murder signify not only material poverty but also spiritual poverty on the part of the perpetrators.
Improved socio-economic conditions can discourage such an approach to getting the good things of life. That is why the government, in pursuing the greatest good for the greatest number, must pay serious attention to the improvement of the socio-economic conditions. The goal should be to significantly reduce the number of the desperately poor as well as promote enlightenment that makes it unnecessary to seek wealth through money rituals
Mob justice or jungle justice is not only a widespread problem in Nigeria – see my February 27 posting – and other countries reported on this site. Als in e.g. in Zambia, mobs attack and kill people who are suspected of ritualistic killing. The local, regional and national authorities are often not trusted. This may have been caused by past experiences, but it still does not justify killing people who are ‘only’ suspected of being ritual killers and have not been tried by an official court. The prerogative of using violence lies only with the State, not with citizens (webmaster FVDK).
Police arrest 10 murder suspects linked to the hacking to death of three Power Tools workers in Luapula Province
Published: February 28, 2020 By: Mwebantu
POLICE in Chiengi have arrested ten suspects in connection with the gruesome murder of three Power Tools workers who were hacked to death by a mob on suspicion of being ritual killers.
Zambia Police spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo has told Mwebantu in the early hours of today, Friday, 28th February, 2020, Police in Chiengi of Luapula Province arrested ten (10) suspects in connection with the gruesome murder of three (3) Power Tools employees, who were murdered by a mob on 21st February, 2020, around 0300 hours at Kazembe Village in Chiengi District.
She said the suspects were apprehended in an operation conducted between 01 00 hours and 03 00 hours.
“They are all detained in police custody charged with murder. “She said.
Mob justice is a serious problem in many if not all of Nigeria’s states. Early January of this year an angry mob set robbers ablaze in Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State. In early October last year an angry mob in Benue State set three suspected armed robbers ablaze over their alleged involvement in the robbery and serial killings witnessed in Gbaste community. I could cite many more examples of jungle justice in Nigeria, but this will do, for the moment. Recently, two – or four, accounts differ, see below – young men were set ablaze for alleged involvement in the killing of an SS3 Secondary Schoolgirl of Azama College, Otuo, Edo State.
The use of violence is a prerogative of State authorities. Moreover, every accused is considered innocent as long as he or she has not been found guilty by an independent and impartial judge during a public, transparent trial. Mob justice is a sign of a weak state authority and should not be tolerated. Mob justice resulting in the death of the victim is a crime; those responsible should be prosecuted and punished by law (webmaster FVDK).
Angry Mob Sets Four On Fire Over Ritual Killing In Edo State
Reports reaching Naija News at this time reveals that there was an uproar at a village in Owan East Local Government Area of Edo state on Monday, following the murder of a young girl who was reportedly beheaded for ritual purpose.
According to a source in the Otuo community in a chat with newsmen, some four young men were set ablaze for alleged involvement in the killing of an SS3 Secondary Schoolgirl of Azama College, Otuo.
The source whose identity was not given due to security purpose reveals that the child’s head was cut off at night hour by the culprits while she was on an errand by her neighbour who sent her to get him sachet water.
Naija News understands that she was murdered at the point of delivering the sachet water.
It was said that the girl’s parents cried out after they could not find their daughter, but that the culprits were nabbed while making moves to dump the victim’s body before the rising of the sun of the next day.
Further information revealed that two out of the four culprits were identified, including the woman who is to perform the rituals for them.
The source said, “The two men were burnt this morning (Monday) along with the woman, while her house was razed. They were all dragged to the popular Women Centre where the community police station is located. The third man was traced to his farm and apprehended,”
However, after the arrest of the culprits, furious residents set the young men on fire.
Meanwhile, a confirmation from the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Chidi Nwabuzor, mentioned that only two of the suspects were burnt alive.
“The command is aware that a young girl’s head was cut off and the youth of the community arrested two suspects, brought them to the front of the station and set them ablaze,” he said.
4 burnt to death for kidnapping SS III student for rituals in Edo
Published: February 24, 2020 By: Vanguard – Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY— FOUR persons, including a lady, were, yesterday, set ablaze by a mob in Otuo, Owan East Local Government Area over allegation of kidnapping an SS III female student and killing her for ritual purpose.
It was gathered that the victim, a student of Azama College in Ikhuera quarters of the rustic town, was allegedly sent to buy sachet water by her neighbour Sunday night.
A source said while she was on her way from buying the water that her head was severed from her body apparently for ritual.
It was also gathered that when the young girl’s parents could not find her, they raised the alarm, but her whereabouts remained unknown.
The source said one of the culprits caught in the early hours of yesterday while attempting to dump the victim’s body confessed to the crime and those involved, including the woman, who allegedly performed the rituals for them.
“The two boys were burnt this morning (yesterday) along with the woman while her house was razed. They were all dragged to the popular ‘Women Centre’ where the community police station is located. The third boy was traced to his farm and apprehended,” he said.
Vanguard gathered that the third man apprehended in connection with the ritual killing was later burnt by a mob late yesterday.
One of the suspects, the gang leader, identified as Lukeman, was alleged to be a serial killer while two of the boys, who accompanied Lukeman, are of same parents and from Ikhueran quarter, Otuo.
He also said the woman, who performed the rituals was from Kogi State while Lukeman is said to be from Auchi in Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.
Spokesman for Edo Police Command, Mr Chidi Nwabuzor, while confirming the incident, said it was only two of those arrested that were burnt.
“The command is aware that a young girl’s head was cut off and the youths of the community arrested two suspects they took to the station where they were set ablaze,” he said.
The recent disturbances in Zambia have given rise to many articles in local, regional and international newspapers. To cite them all would be an impossible task, I will not even attempt it here. Below I reproduce a kind of summary given by Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo. Of course, I realize that he is a high placed Zambian official (politician) who might be interested in the political correctness of his statement, or having – understandable – political objectives. However, his Ministerial Statement before Parliament provides us with enough elements to be relatively well informed about the recent incidents which occurred in many places and regions of his Southern African country. Besides, it is interesting to note the ‘definition’ of ritual murders which he gives us: ‘(….) I wish to state that the term ritual killing means slaying a human being to appease deity. In short, victims of ritual killing are found with certain body parts missing from them for suspicious ritual use. (…)’
The article is reproduced here for various reasons. First, it shows the willingness and determination of the Zambian authorities to maintain the law. Secondly, it gives insight in the fear of local people and the reason why mob justice occurs. Furthermore, it establishes – once more – the fact that ritual murders have not been eradicated from Zambian society and, finally, it shows the nowadays complex nature of this phenomenon with the mixture of traditional beliefs, superstition and outright criminal behavior which characterize ritualistic killings, in Zambia as well as other countries.(webmaster FVDK).
‘370 households, 1198 people affected by gassing so far’ – Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo
Muti or ‘muthi’ murders are ritualistic murders committed to enhance one’s prestige, power, wealth or luck. It’s a quite common name for a heinous crime, all over Southern Africa – not only in South Africa. Perpetrators are rarely arrested and prosecuted. Also in the case of the late Maria Skhosana whose lifeless body was found mutilated – case presented below – police was reluctant to intervene. Why? The deceased’s partner, however, insisted, and a suspect was arrested and brought to court to be judged. Read the saga below. At least, the rule of law seems to be applied this time, which unfortunately cannot be taken for granted in South Africa…. (webmaster FVDK).
Extra court security for Centurion ‘muthi’ murder accused Published: February 6, 2020 By: Centurion Rekord
Whereas the dust has hardly settled down in Chingola (see my previous postings), another rumor led to rioting and mob justice. This time in Solwezi, in the northwest of the country. Whether true to not – the suspected crime – it is clear from what happened that the belief in the power of ritualistic murders remains widespread and undisputed. Also, mob justice and the incapacity of official authorities to maintain the law go hand-in-hand (webmaster FVDK).
Published: February 7, 2020 By: The Independent Observer – Mwape Mwesa
A mob in Solwezi has killed unidentified man on suspicion that he was allegedly a ritual killer.
This was after the deceased was in the company of three others was apprehended a security guard after they attempted to break into one of the offices at Kimakolwe School.
Northwestern Province Police Commissioner Hudson Namachila has confirmed the incident that happened between 7:30 and 8:00 hours yesterday.
Mr Namachila said the security guard alerted members of the public who descended on the deceased hitting him with stones, sticks and planks.
He said the victim had multiple head injuries and his body has since been deposited in Solwezi general hospital mortuary awaiting postmortem.
No arrest has been made so far.
In a similar development a rioting mob set ablaze Kazomba Police Post destroying property whose value is yet to be ascertained.
Mr Namachila said Inspector Kabambi, the officer in charge at the said police post reported the matter on behalf of the Zambia Police Service.
He said the incident happened at 09:00 hours yesterday and no arrest has been made yet.
In another incident, a rioting mob assaulted a police officer at Solwezi central police station identified as Albert Mulunga 43.
The Provincial Police Chief said Mulunga was hit with a stone unknown people who were rioting at Kimakolwe School.
Mr Namachila said the officer sustained a deep cut on the back side of the head.
I try to do my work – presenting on this site articles and news about alleged and ‘crystal-clear’ cases of ritualistic murders as well as accusations of witchcraft – as good and objective as possible, but yesterday I was flabbergasted reading that Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga had said that suspected ritual killers turn into cats when police visit their houses.
Of course, police people are in a way ordinary people, with all their weaknesses and subjectivity, but wouldn’t it be ‘normal’ and re-assuring if police do not believe in witches? Isn’t the belief in the power of witches and superstition something one would not expect in dealing with the police who – instead – should fight against these practices that lead to ritual killings, mob justice, the discrimination and unfair treatment of innocent children and adults, often women, and – thus – the violation of their basic human rights?
Moreover, the article reproduced below resulted in 18 comments (at the time of writing this post), two comments I want to share with you.
One reader commented, Quote: “Government should now realize that witchcraft do exit, moreover we have plenty witch-doctors in Zambia let them prove there competency by catching these guys.” Unquote. The second reacted, Quote: “Okay, now the Government has seen that people are wizards and witches in some parts of the Country called Zambia. The people who are doing these ritual killings are wizards and witches nothing else. Thanks!” Unquote
It seems to me that educators in Zambia still have a lot of work to do, fighting superstition and ignorance (webmaster FVDK).
Katanga Sheds Light on Chingola Ritual Killings Published: January 27, 2020 By: Zambia Reports – Chris Phiri
Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga yesterday told Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo that other interests cannot be ruled out in the alleged ritual killings in Chingola where residents have been rioting in anger.
Ms Katanga said the suspected ‘ritual killers’ are turning into cats when police visit any house they are called in.
She has, however, maintained that there are no ritual killings but criminals who are just troubling people.
“The police receive calls from the public, we rush to check what is on the ground. Like we have a case, one suspect entered the ceiling board and later just saw a cat coming out and later it disappeared. Most of the cases are of gassing the people in their homes. We can’t rule out other interest groups. They have a common cause fighting for the same. If there were ritual murders, they would have finished everyone, but they are just troubling people. Just the other day, we tried to fire at the cat, but it started reducing and disappeared,” Ms Katanga explained to Mr Kampyongo.
Mr Kampyongo later said the police are on top of things and very soon, the happenings in Chingola will come to an end.
Mr Kampyongo has been on the Copperbelt with Deputy Inspector General of Police Bonny Kapeso and Chingola Member of Parliament Chali Chilombo.
Chingola remains under heavy police presence to keep vigil.
Superstition, witchcraft, fear, mob justice, murder, ritual killing – what is the common denominator? Yes, ignorance. Lack of education. Which does not mean that well educated people are not involved in ritualistic murders. Bu that’s another story (webmaster FVDK).
Elderly Nyamira woman killed over witchcraft Published: January 26, 2020 By: Standard, Kenya – James Ongwae
Police in Nyamira are investigating the killing of an elderly woman in what has been viewed as a ritual killing.
County Commissioner Amos Mariba said he had ordered the immediate arrest and bringing to book of all the people believed to have been behind the killing of Agnes Kwamboka Nyagwachi,60, at Bundo in Bogichora, Nyamira South.
Mariba said the body of the woman was found in a eucalyptus farm, about 50 meters away from her house.
“The body was lying on the ground and beside it were things which have led us to believe that it was a killing related to witchcraft or some form of rituals and currently we are narrowing down on possible perpetrators of the cold blood murder,” Mariba said.
The County Commissioner said some of the things which were retrieved beside the body included two dead rats, two brooms, two stones, one white pair of shorts, a full dress, two empty sacks, a black track tracksuit alongside a red pen.
Mariba said the deceased’s husband Peter Nyagwachi reported to authorities that his wife was picked from her house Sunday morning at around 3 am by a group of people known to him on suspicion that she was a witch.
James Orutwa, a clan elder at Bundo Village said he heard people wailing from the scene where the body was recovered and went there only to find out that the woman had long died.
“From a close look, the body bore multiple injuries on the left side of the head and superficial wound on the left leg.
Mariba said police had swung into action and all that was possible was being done to ensure anyone who participated in the killing faces the law.
This is not the first incident of such a ritual killing.
Two years ago, another woman from Bonyamatuta village was also killed on suspicion that she was a witch.
Sixty year old woman killed in Nyamira over witchcraft Published: January 26, 20202 By: KDRTV, Kenya – Cynthia Mutinda
A 60 year old woman by the name of Agnes Wamboka Nyagwachi was found dead at Bundo Bogichora, Nyamira South over what id believed to be a killing ritual. Her body was found on the ground in a eucalyptus farm which is located about fifty meters from her house.
”The body was lying on the ground and beside it were things which have led us to believe that it was a killing related to witchcraft or some form of rituals and currently we are narrowing down on a possible perpetrators of the cold blood murder,”County commissioner Amos Mariba said.
Amos revealed that two dead rats,two brooms, two stones, one white pair of shorts, a full dress, two empty sacks, a black tracksuit and a red pen were some of the things retrieved besides Agnes’ body.
Investigations of the killing are currently being carried out by the police in Nyamira.
The court commission has ordered for the arrest of all the people that are believed to be behind the demise of Agnes Kwamboka Nyagwachi.
Peter Nyagwachi, the deceased husband told the authorities that a group of people known to him came to their home on Sunday morning around 3 am and picked his wife on a suspicion that Agnes was a witch.
James Orotwa, a clan elder at Bundo village said that he heard deafening screams coming from the eucalyptus farm and upon arrival at the scene found the woman long dead.
He revealed that the body bore multiple injuries on the left side of the head with a superficial wound on her left leg.
This is however was not the first time that such an incident has occurred. Two years ago, another woman in Bunyamatuta village was murdered on suspicion that she too practiced witchcraft.
Mariba promised that the police are working hard to ensure that the culprits who participated in the killing of Agnes face the law.