Liberia: Mob violence in Ganta: 16 charged with multiple crimes

The article below is related to my post dated March 26, 2019, on ‘Liberia: ‘Serial Ritualistic’ Killings Spark Mob Justice in Nimba County’ (webmaster FVDK).

Accused of being in possession of human skeleton, an angry mob beat two suspects to death, while a third is being treated at a medical facility in Ganta.

Published: April 10, 2019
By: Ishmael F. Menkor – Daily Observer 

In the recent mob violence in Ganta, Nimba County that resulted into the gruesome killing of two suspected “heartmen,” (ritual killers), the Liberia National Police (LNP) has charged 16 persons with multiple charges, and sent them to the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court in Sanniquellie for prosecution.

According to the LNP Nimba County Crime Services Department (CSD), the 16 people were charged with murder, criminal conspiracy, and criminal mischief due to their connection with the recent mob violence in the county.

A police source informed the Daily Observer that there were several persons arrested, but after thorough investigation and screening, 16 were held liable for being at the center of the violence saga, while some were placed on parole to report regularly to the police.

On March 20, 2019, a large group of residents, among them some women, reportedly intercepted and ransacked a taxi cab that was transporting seven suspected murderers in Ganta, pulled the suspects and mobbed two of them to death.

According to information, the seven men were arrested in Bleevalay, Sea Gbeyi Administrative District for being allegedly connected to a skeleton that was discovered in a creek near the town.

No one has yet identified the person whose skeleton was discovered, but the entire issue flared up during confusion between two groups of people that resulted to a fistfight.

In the quarrel, one of the men accused his friend of being a witchcraft, while the other one too accused his friend of being involved with the killing of an unknown man that was later buried in a nearby creek.

Following a tipoff to police assigned in Saclepea, central Nimba County, concerning the startling revelation, the officers dropped the fighting case and mounted investigation into the alleged killing, thereby arresting all those linked to the act.

Several persons were detained for interrogation and, because of the nature of the case, the Saclepea Police Detail decided to send the suspects to Sanniquellie for further investigation.

Based on that, the police hired a commercial cab to transport the suspects. However, while en route to Sanniquellie, the taxi reportedly developed mechanical fault, thus making an abrupt stop before entering Ganta.

At that point, some residents, among them commercial motorcyclists, who heard of the story, reportedly mobbed two of the suspects to death, while another one that was badly wounded in the attack, was transferred to a nearby health facility for treatment.

Since the mob incident, police effected several arrests and later released those who they discovered were not involved, while those they investigated and established were directly connected to the mob violence sent to court for prosecution.

Our investigation continues.

Source: In Ganta Mob Violence: 16 Charged With Multiple Crimes

Tanzania: Girl, 7, found dead as child killers spill more blood

Published: February 3, 2019
By: Godfrey Kahango @TheCitizenTz news@thecitizen.co.tz

Matembwe villagers in Njombe District prepare to lower the coffin carrying the body of Racheal Malekela in the grave during her burial yesterday. She was killed by unidentified people on Friday night. PHOTO | GODFREY KAHANGO 

Njombe. Another child, Rachael Malekela was found dead on Friday night at Matembwe Village in Njombe District as the spate of reported ‘ritual’ could killings and appearances continues to rock the area. More below.

Another example of ‘mob justice’ – another sign of a weak state and ‘rule of law’

Source: Girl, 7, found dead as child killers spill more blood

Related article:
4 killed over suspicion of ‘murdering’ 7 year old girl in Njombe

Published: February 2, 2019
By: Godfrey Kahango @TheCitizenTz gkahango@tz.nationmedia.com

Related article:
Njombe mother appeals for help to find missing son
Published: February 2, 2019
By: Godfrey Kahango @TheCitizenTz gkahango@tz.nationmedia.com

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Another related article:
Child killings in Njombe associated with witchcraft beliefs, says government
Published: January 30, 2019
By: Alex Malanga @ChiefMalanga amalanga@tz.nationmedia.com

Home affairs minister Mr Kangi Lugola 

Related:
UN condemns killing of children in Tanzania
Published: January 29, 2019
By: The Citizen Reporter @TheCitizenTz news@tz.nationmedia.com

UN Resident Coordinator in Tanzania Mr Alvaro Rodriguez
Freedom of fear is a human right. The rule of law an obligation of the state
(Webmaster FVDK)

Related:
Tanzania: How family lost three children in suspected ritual killings
Published: January 29, 2019
By: The Citizen Reporter @TheCitizenTZ news@tz.nationmedia.com

Njombe Region – Tanzania

Nigeria: We Killed Businessman, Roasted His Head For Money Ritual – Suspects

Published: January 5, 2019
By: Naijapledge

Osun State Police command has paraded two suspected serial killers, Dauda Amusat and Kabiru Dudupariola, following their arrest on December 28, 2018, in Ifon.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fimihan Adeoye, alleged that the duo murdered a 42-year-old rice seller, Sanusi Isiaka, on May 14, 2017, near Slava Construction Company along Iwo Road, Osogbo and chopped off his head for ritual purpose.

The suspects alleged that another businessman, Yekini Ayinde aka Abija, currently at large, gave them the contract to kill the deceased and paid them N200,000 for the assignment.

Isiaka had supplied bags of rice to Abija, who didn’t want to pay for the goods after selling them, hence his contract to the suspects to kill him.

Recounting how they killed the rice seller, Amusat said: “When we got to the bush, Abija told the driver to stop and he gave us a sign. We quickly overpowered Isiaka and tied him with a rope.

Kabiru wanted to kill him with his gun but we later decided to use a knife to cut his throat. After killing him, I remembered that I needed a human head for money ritual and I quickly removed his head.

I was roasting the head and preparing other items needed for the ritual when some policemen came. I managed to escape that day. I ran away from Ifon but they eventually apprehended me on December 28, 2018.”

Source: We Killed Businessman, Roasted His Head For Money Ritual – Suspects

South Africa: three elderly persons attacked on suspicion of ritual murder

Another case of rumors. Another case of superstition. Another case of mob justice. Between the lines one reads that ritualistic murders are not rare in this region of the republic of South Africa (Limpopo province): ‘With ritual murders rife in the Makonde and Khubvi villages, rumours started doing the rounds about people suspected of having taken part in the killing of the toddler.’ Gruesome reality, the fear is real. Hopefully the authorities react quickly and effectively. Ritual murders have no place in the 21st century.

Three elderly persons attacked on suspicion of ritual murder

Published: November 16, 2018
By: Elmon Tshikhudo

A confused and saddened Sondaha Sikhipha, who was attacked on suspicion of involvement in the alleged ritual murder of a three-year-old child.

Three elderly people from Khubvi were seriously beaten on suspicion of being ritual murderers.

The three, who are all cattle herders, met the wrath of the angry community after the disappearance of a three-year-old boy in the village. The toddler, Ndiwakhonadzeo Mukhwathi, who was visiting the village with a relative, was last seen by his family while playing with others at a nearby playground last week.

He has not been seen since and the community, the family and the police have been searching for him at the nearby mountains and rivers, but in vain.

With ritual murders rife in the Makonde and Khubvi villages, rumours started doing the rounds about people suspected of having taken part in the killing of the toddler. On Saturday, the community held a meeting at the local hall to discuss the matter.

Headman Sondaha Sikhipha of Vumbani village said he was also invited as a traditional leader. “While at the meeting, I was surprised when I was pointed out as the killer of the child. I did not know anything about the boy’s disappearance but was beaten and forced to confess. A tyre was put around my neck and I was threatened with death. Realising that I was not giving the information they wanted, they took me to the nearby local tea plantation where a tyre was once again put around my neck, petrol poured on me and they set alight some grass nearby. They tried to push me into the burning grass, but the police arrived on time and saved me,” he said.

Sikhipha further indicated he had suffered severe injuries after being attacked with unknown objects. He added that he was a peace-loving person who had never been involved in a fight. “I know nothing about the disappearance of this boy. I was nearly killed for something that I never did, all because of lies. They took me to a prophet and the prophet indicated that I was not involved, but they are forcing me into admitting to killing the boy. I am very hurt as I speak,” said Sikhipha, who is the father of two grown-up children.

Meanwhile, sporadic incidents of road barricading and stone throwing were reported in the village during the week.

Angry residents have allegedly vowed to expel all those they had identified as ritual killers.

Limpopo police spokesperson Col Moatshe Ngoepe confirmed that some protests were taking place in the area. He said the protests were taking place sporadically and cautioned communities from taking the law into their own hands.

He appealed to the affected communities to give the search operation a chance to unfold further and to refrain from engaging in any form of violence. He added that no one had been arrested so far in connection with the attack on the three elderly residents.

“Anyone with information that can assist to locate the missing toddler is urgently asked to contact Sgt Makhavhu on 076 440 4336 or 015 960 1076, the Crime Stop number 0860 010 111, crime line SMS 32211 or to contact the nearest police station,” said Ngoepe.

Source: Three elderly persons attacked on suspicion of ritual murder

South Africa – Provinces

Ganta, Liberia : Alvino Hotel, ransacked in 2015, resurrected

The first reproduced article below is not meant to express my belief in the involvement or guilt of any of the persons linked to the alleged ritual killing referred to in the article. With this article I want to focus both on the ‘never ending’ practice of ritual murders in Liberia and on the mob justice that took place in Ganta, Liberia, on September 30, 2015. The riots following another ritual murder in the area illustrate one of the main messages of the present site: the need for more respect for the laws of the country – by its citizens – and the strengthening of the rule of law – by the national authorities.

On September 30, 2015 a mob ransacked the Alvino Hotel in Ganta, owned by Prince Howard, burnt down his private residence and even destroyed the three-storey minimart, speculating that he was behind a ritual murder that allegedly had been committed in the city. The suspected ritualistic killing was the third murder in Nimba County within a relatively short period of time. As repeatedly said, the phenomenon of ritual killings has never completely disappeared in Liberia. The death of a motorcyclist by the hands of a ritual killer was followed by widespread riots. At one point, the government even decided to impose a curfew. For more information on the incident mentioned, the riots, as well as the three ritual murders, please read the following reproduced articles.
Warning: some photos and articles contain graphic details. 

Following arson attack in 2015, leading hotel in Ganta back in business

Partial view of the new Alvino Hotel in Ganta

Published: September 27, 2018
By: Ishmael F. Menkor
Daily Observer

After years of devastation, the Alvino Hotel in Ganta has now reopened to the public, with new design and with modern facilities.

Opening ceremony, which was held on Saturday, September 22, 2018, brought together some high profile bankers and business executives of Liberia, including president of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), John B. S. Davies and his predecessor, Mr. Francis A. Dennis; as well as the President of Liberia Business Association, among others.

In his opening remark, the proprietor of the Alvino Hotel, Prince Howard, explained his ordeal about how his hotel was destroyed and the resilience it took to have the hotel restored. He praised LBDI for assisting him the process of reconstructing the building.

“With resilience, I championed the cost of reconstructing the facility to restore hope to those who rely on the investment for employment,” he said. “With the invaluable assistance of the LBDI, I was able to work, not just to restore the existing structure and facility, but improve it to international standard.”

The Alvino Hotel suffered an arson attack by an angry mob on September 30, 2015, when they linked Howard to the death of a motorcyclist who was found brutally murdered in Ganta. The mob ransacked the hotel, burnt down his private residence and even destroyed the three-storey minimart, speculating that he was behind the killing for ritual purposes.

He condemned the act and considered the perpetrators as “limited in life”, saying, “blood does not make money, so we should stop deadly envy and invest in infrastructure.”

“Liberians, let us invest in ourselves and the LBDI, our Liberian bank, because it through the LBDI that I was able to build the first Alvino and now this new one,” he said.

LBDI president Davies said he was disappointed and frustrated when heard people say that Alvino was built with blood money, in spite of the fact that LBDI had loaned Mr. Howard US$100,000 for the first construction. He said all of this happened because the state failed to protect taxpayers against violence.

Mr. Davies explained that following the attack, they tried by all means to get the state to pay for the damaged properties, but their efforts failed.

He said the LBDI will not allow the investment of its entrepreneurs go into ashes. Therefore, after their efforts to get the government for the damage failed, the LBDI decided to loan Howard another US$300,000 to rebuild the hotel.

He said that LBDI will continue to support the hotel until every aspect or condition is improved.

Senator Oscar Cooper thanked the LBDI for the support given Prince Howard for the second time. “It is the private sector that will support this country,” he said, calling on the government to do more to help businesses.

He urged the management of new Alvino to insure the property and encouraged Liberians to be strong in business and stop relying on government.

Francis Dennis, former president of LBDI and of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, encouraged Howard to keep on, saying, “A setback is a set up for comeback.”

The new Alvino Hotel is one of the leading hotels in Ganta, with electronic doors, a modern conference room with wireless projector, modern bar and restaurant and two presidential suites.

Meanwhile, Howard has named the night club “9/30”, in memory of the event that devastated his properties.

Source: Alvina Hotel Resurrected

Below a number of related articles:

45 Charged in Ganta violence

Published: October 19, 2015
By: The New Democrat

The Liberia National Police (LNP) has charged 45 suspects in the Ganta violence in Nimba County with murder, property theft, riot and arson.

Police deputy spokesman, Lewis Norman told the New Democrat Wednesday, the LNP has concluded its investigation of perpetrators of the Ganta violence and 45 people were charged accordingly and are awaiting trial.

He disclosed that three persons, Bill Lawrence, Tony Sekie and Fanta Kamara were charged with murder in connection with the killing of the motorcyclist near the Methodist Compound in Ganta city. The killing sparked the violence.
Other suspects were charged with theft of property, rioting and arson.

Angry residents of Ganta City, including motorcyclists on September 30 went on the rampage to protest the mysterious death of Milton Weatgbeh, believed to be a motorcyclist and set business houses and the residence of a local businessman Prince Howard ablaze.

Mob justice in Ganta following a third ritual murder. An angry crowd suspected the owner of the vino Hotel, Prince Howard, being involved in the recent ritual killing.

The protesters also set up roadblocks and looted other businesses in the city to avenge the death of the motorcyclist whose body was found near the Ganta United Methodist High School sports pitch.

Prince Howard, owner of the Alvino Hotel in Ganta City was accused of masterminding the killing of motorcyclist Weatgbeh for ritualistic purposes, an allegation the businessman denied.

Norman explained that Howard was also investigated but because nothing established his involvement with the death of the motorcyclist, he was set free.

He noted the Police have nothing with Mr. Howard because the person who implicated him was killed in the Ganta turmoil, leaving the police with no evidence to hold Prince Howard culpable for murder.

Information Minister Lewis G. Brown at the MICAT regular press briefing Tuesday noted there was a growing public concerns about mob violence as the UNMIL drawdown gains momentum.
Mr. Brown said in 2015 alone, Montserrado, Sinoe, Grand Bassa, River Gee and Nimba counties have experienced mob violence. He said mob violence is mob injustice, which undermines the rule of law.

“The rule of law may not always deliver what we may want, but it keeps the society safe and peaceful,” he emphasized.

The Information Minister also disclosed that according to UNMIL reports, from January to September 2013 there were 46 mob related incidents and 32 in the same period in 2012.

Source: 45 charged in Ganta violence

And: 

Liberia: Weak Justice System Promotes Violence

Published: October 8, 2018
By:The New Dawn /  Liberian Law Makers Watch

Nimba County Senator Thomas Grupee, has cautioned here that weak and delayed justice system promotes mob violence, something, he said should not be the case of Liberia.

Sen. Grupee, who is the Senate Committee Chair on Internal Affairs,described as unfortunate, the recent bloody violence in Ganta, Nimba County, which led to loss of lives and properties. Speaking to members of the Legislative Press Pool Wednesday at the Capitol Building, he said gone are those days when people took the laws into their hands, while emphasizing the need for the justice system in Liberia to become pro­active to win public trust or else, people will always want pay back whenever they realized things are not handled speedily by the national government.

Senator Grupee noted that in barely one month, the people of Nimba experienced three suspected ritualistic killings in the county, but the government has delayed in responding to those incidents. The Lawmaker however clarified that he does not support the action of his kinsmen in killing and burning down private and public properties in an apparent reprisal attack.

According to him, the best option to maintaining peace and stability in Liberia is for government to serve victims of injustice by making the justice system speedily pro­active. Senator Grupee made these assertions after returning from a public account conference in Lome, Togo where he represented the country.

Chaos erupted in Ganta,Nimba County last week Wednesday when angry mob attacked the Ganta Police Station, including an office of the Drugs Enforcement Agency following the reported discovery of the dead body of a motorcyclist near The Ganta Methodist compound.

The deceased was discovered lying in a pool of blood around the 404 community in Ganta with deep cuts on his head. The angry mob, mostly youths, stormed the Ganta Police Station, damaged a Police vehicle, and looted the entire police station before breaking into a police withholding cell and releasing inmates there.

The mob subsequently set ablaze a local business center, Avino Hotel and theprivate residence of a local businessman, Prince Howard. Meanwhile, the Government of Liberia thru the Ministry of Justice in Monrovia has launched an investigation into the Ganta violence following several arrests by the Liberia National Police.

Source: Liberia: Weak Justice System Promotes Violence

And:

Curfew imposed in Ganta

Published: October 1, 2015
By: Franklin Doloquee, NImba, with additional reporting by Winston Parley in Monrovia
The New Dawn, Liberia

2015 – Ganta, Liberia – Violence after a series of ritual murders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Private properties were set ablaze in addition to a police station, as angry residents, mostly youths went on the rampage demanding justice for a 14-year old motorcyclists  whose body was discovered near the United Methodist Compound in Ganta, Nimba County.

The victim, reportedly hailed from Gipo Town, electoral district# 8, but was a resident of Ganta up to his death. The angry youths including motorcyclists of Ganta and adjacent areas destroyed several private properties, particularly businesses owned by a prominent resident, Prince Howard, accused of involvement into the deceased’s death.

The victim has been identified as Melton Wehgbay. His death followed the discovery of another dead motorcyclist few days ago in the same county. 15-year-old Josephus Yeawon, a resident of  Peace Community in Ganta, was reportedly invited by his 17-year-old colleague, Josiah Balmo, to go for a palm wine ride along the Ganta-Saclepea highway when he was similarly found dead.

Earlier, a seven-year-old girl, who had reportedly gone missing on August 7, 2015, was found dead with several body parts missing.

The angry residents also mobbed a resident of Congo community in Ganta to death. The deceased was identified as ‘Decent Boy’, 28.
He was attacked after the angry crowd spotted bloodstain on his motorbike, thus, suspecting him of involvement into the death of Melton Wehgbay. The rioters ransacked and  looted several public buildings, including the Drugs Enforcement Agency office, office of the Mayor of Ganta and the police station in Ganta before moving onto Mr. Prince Howard’s compound that contains a three storey building and setting it ablaze.
The whereabouts of Mr. Howard and his entire family are said to be unknown.  Normal activities in Ganta, including school and businesses were at a standstill on Wednesday due to  the violence with the authorizes declaring a curfew.

Meanwhile, riot police officers of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) from Monrovia and the Police Support Unit (PSU) from the Gbarnga Regional Hub have been dispatched to Ganta in response to the chaos that led to the destruction of private and public properties.
On Wednesday, 30 September the rioters in Ganta set free 22 detainees who were in police cell and then set the police station ablaze in Ganta, Deputy Police Spokesman Mr. Lewis Norman told reporters yesterday afternoon.

The authorities here in Monrovia say they have arrested six persons in connection to the vandalism in Ganta, but they told reporters that the situation was under control and urged the public to remain calm. Mr. Norman listed those arrested in after the violent riot as Jackie Lannon, Armstrong Zayzay, Oswa Gbangbay, Ericson Samuel, Francis Togbah and Abraham Jalloh.

The violence began when a dead body believed to be that of a motorcyclist was discovered around the Methodist Compound in Ganta; with rumor further being spread that another corpse believed to be a man identified as Milton Kpaklah had also been discovered in one Prince Howard’s house in Ganta.

Prior to the alleged discoveries of a corpose in Mr. Howard’s house and the one near the Methodist Compound, suspects David Lawrence and Asha Fofana had been held in police custody for the alleged disappearance of two persons in the area.
In the aftermath of claim by the rioters that a body was in Mr. Howard’s house, Police say rioters burnt both his car and house, and a local hotel called Alvion on Sanniquellie Road in Ganta. Investigators are yet to attach cost to the violence, but Mr. Norman says the situation has been brought under control.

Source: Curfew imposed in Ganta

And:

Motorcyclist found dead with missing body parts

Published: September 29, 2015
By: Franklin Doloquee, Nimba, Edited by Jonathan Browne
The New Dawn, Liberia

The remains of a 15-year-old motorcyclist, who reportedly went missing in Ganta, have been found with several body parts missing in electoral district #8, Nimba County.

The late Josephus Yeawon, was allegedly invited last week Tuesday, 22 September by a 17-year-old friend, Jacob Blamo, to go for a ‘palm wine ride’ on the Ganta-Saclepea highway when he met his demise under circumstances suspected to be ritualistic killing.

His body was found with several parts, including throat, eyes, tongue, ears and heart cut off. The NewDawn Nimba correspondent says the mysterious death of Josephus brings to two the number of motorcyclists discovered dead in the county in less than a year.

The incident has created serious panic among residents of Ganta, including citizens of district #8. The deceased’s body was found between Blohn Town and Whyla Town in the district.  A lady, who spoke to this paper following news of Josephus’ death, expressed fear for her own life.

Kou Paye, a marketer in Ganta, lamented that when suspected murderers are arrested in Nimba, the county’s lawmakers allegedly intervene to have them released, wondering how could such behavior stop.
She specifically pointed accusing fingers at Nimba County electoral district #5 Representative, Samuel Kogar, who allegedly wrote a letter recently to the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court in Sanniquellie, demanding the release of a murder suspect charged by the court.

The suspect, Stephen Monwon, is now a free man, going about his normal business in Bleeplay, Nimba County. Meanwhile, no arrest has been made in connection with the mysterious death of motorcyclist Josephus Yeawon. His friend, Jacob Blamo, who allegedly invited him for a ‘palm wine ride’ has not been called in for questioning.

Source: Motorcyclist found dead with missing body parts

More:

Top Nimba County businessman linked to the ritual murder of a motorcyclist 

Published: September 30, 2015
By: Global News Network, GNN Liberia

Property of businessman Prince Howard set ablaze by angry crowd

Following the brutal murder of a motorcyclist during the week in Ganta City, Nimba County by unknown persons, dozens of motorcyclists, and women groups have reportedly taken the entire City hostage in retaliation to the death of a motorcyclist.

According to our Nimba County Correspondent, during the clashes which are ongoing, additional two persons have been pronounced dead as angrily roiters stormed the entire city, making commercial activities to come to complete halt.

Some of those arrested in connection to the death of the motorcyclist, according to our Correspondent have linked the owner of the most famous Alvino Hotel, Prince Howard of been behind the death of the motorcyclist.

The detained suspects during police investigation said they were instructed by Mr. Howard to brutally kill their victims early Tuesday morning, September 29, 2015 in Ganta.

According to our Correspondent in Ganta, the Police detachment in the County has been arrested and detained Mr. Howard for his alleged linked to the murder of the motorcycle.

Our Correspondent further said angry motorcyclists have looted and burnt to down the residence of Mr. Howard, while police have barricaded the Alvino Hotel owned by the accused.

Some of the angry motorcyclists who spoke to our Correspondent alleged that the accused is always noted of performing ritual through the making of human sacrifices for wealth.

Youthful Prince Howard owned the most beautiful hotels in the County.

Detail will follow in our subsequent posting.

Source: Liberia: Top Nimba County Businessman Links To The Murder Of A Motorcyclist

And another article:

Curfew imposed in northern Liberia after ritual killings spark protests

Published: October 1, 2015
Reporting by Alphonso Toweh and James Harding Giahyue; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by James Dalgleish (Reuters)

Ganta, Nimba County: Angry residents went on the rampage demanding justice

MONROVIA (Reuters) – Authorities imposed a curfew in a town in northern Liberia after violent protests following a wave of suspected ritual killings, authorities said on Wednesday.

Residents of Ganta on the border with Guinea said protests began after the killing of a motorcyclist on Wednesday. That came just a day after the discovery of the body of a 13-year-old girl who had disappeared weeks earlier.

A local police commander said one person was killed and several were wounded in the protests, in which several properties were destroyed. Government officials in Monrovia did not confirm the death.

“We will not hesitate to bring to book anyone in connection with this violence,” Justice Minister Benedict Sannoh said in a national address. He said six people had been arrested for their part in the protests.

The girl’s death was the most recent in what is believed to be a years-long string of ritualistic killings in the area that have been blamed by local residents on politicians and businessmen seeking political power.

Though relatively rare, cases of ritual murders have been recorded in several African countries, with body parts sometimes used in ceremonies believed to confer supernatural powers. Children are particularly sought out as targets.

Residents said violence erupted after two people who were arrested for the girl’s murder said a local businessman had hired them to perform it.

A police spokesman said that rioters also broke into Ganta’s police station and released 22 prisoners. He said the businessman has been arrested in Banga in the centre of Liberia.

Source: Curfew imposed in northern Liberia after ritual killings spark protests

And another article:

RITUAL ABUSE IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: Psychological, Forensic, Social and Political Implications Kindle Edition by Randy Noblitt (Editor), Pamela Perskin (Editor)

Published: October 1. 2015
By: Child Abuse Blog

Allegations of ritual abuse are universal and mental health professionals, theologians, law enforcers, scholars, victim advocates, and others struggle to comprehend the enormity of the devastation left in the wake of these heinous acts. Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-first Century addresses the concerns that naturally evolve from any discussion of this phenomenon from the perspectives of professionals, advocates, and survivors from around the world. How valid are the survivors’ stories? Is there evidence? What are the consequences of these acts to the individual and society? Why have these allegations been ignored or discredited whenever they have surfaced? The authors of these chapters respond to these and other questions in an effort to illustrate the constellation of psychological, health, legal, criminal, societal, and spiritual ramifications of ritual abuse.

Amazon’s Look Inside allows readers to preview the first three chapters:

Chapter 1: Rituals: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Noblitt

Chapter 2: Redefining the Language of Ritual Abuse and the Politics that Dictate It
Noblitt & Perskin-Noblitt

Chapter 3: Exploring Commonalities Reported by Adult Survivors of Extreme Abuse: Preliminary Empirical Findings
Rutz, Becker, Overkamp, & Karriker
http://www.amazon.com/RITUAL-ABUSE-TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY-Psychological-ebook/dp/B01134QYLK/

Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-First Century: Psychological, Forensic, Social and Political Considerations

Allegations of ritual abuse are universal and mental health professionals, theologians, law enforcers, scholars, victim advocates, and others struggle to comprehend the enormity of the devastation left in the wake of these heinous acts.

Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-first Century addresses the concerns that naturally evolve from any discussion of this phenomenon from the perspectives of professionals, advocates, and survivors from around the world….

The authors of these chapters respond to these and other questions in an effort to illustrate the constellation of psychological, health, legal, criminal, societal, and spiritual ramifications of ritual abuse.

Chapters address current issues including ritually based crime, civil suits involving allegations of ritual abuse, that are universal.

The value of understanding ritual trauma for diagnostic and treatment applications is discussed.
http://rdrpublishers.com/products/ritual-abuse-in-the-twenty-first-century-psychological-forensic-social-and-political-considerations

Curfew imposed in northern Liberia after ritual killings spark protests
Source: Reuters – Thu, 1 Oct 2015

MONROVIA, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Authorities imposed a curfew in a town in northern Liberia after violent protests following a wave of suspected ritual killings, authorities said on Wednesday.

Residents of Ganta on the border with Guinea said protests began after the killing of a motorcyclist on Wednesday. That came just a day after the discovery of the body of a 13-year-old girl who had disappeared weeks earlier….

The girl’s death was the most recent in what is believed to be a years-long string of ritualistic killings in the area that have been blamed by local residents on politicians and businessmen seeking political power.

Though relatively rare, cases of ritual murders have been recorded in several African countries, with body parts sometimes used in ceremonies believed to confer supernatural powers. Children are particularly sought out as targets.

Residents said violence erupted after two people who were arrested for the girl’s murder said a local businessman had hired them to perform it….
http://www.trust.org/item/20150930215054-ekn5g/

Source: Ritual abuse in the twenty-first century

Another article:

Boy, 17, get life sentence
Published:
By: Franklin Doloquee, Nimba, Edited by Jonathan Browne
The New Dawn

17-year-old Jacob Vanboe, convicted of murder (left) and the corpse of the late Cephus Yeanwon (right)

Jacob Vanboe was sentenced for the murder of Cephes Yeanwon

The Eight Judicial Circuit Court in Sanniquellie, Nimba County has sentenced a 17-year-old boy to life imprisonment for killing his 16-year-old friend, Cephus Yeanwon.

Convict Jacob Vanboe, a resident of Ganta City, in Nimba was sentenced after he cajoled his 16-year-old friend Cephus Yeanwon, a motorcyclist, to go for a ride with him along the Ganta-Saclepea Highway in Nimba County in order to get some palm wine, a locally produced beverage to drink when he murdered the victim and extracted parts from his body.

The convict on September 22, 2015, conspired and murdered Cephus Yeanwon. Both Jacob Vanboe and the late Cephus Yeanwon were resident of the Royal Community in Ganta prior to his murder. The deceased corpse was discovered four days later between Blohn and Wallah towns along the Ganta-Saclepea Highway.

Reading the final verdict at the Eight Judicial Circuit Court, Resident Judge Emery Paye said, the decision was in keeping with an unanimous guilty verdict brought down by the grand jury besides evidence adduced by prosecutors during the trial.

However, the life sentence for a 17-year-old boy has sparked debate in Ganta with some residents arguing that Jacob Vanboe could not had been braved enough to act alone, and that there may be some conspirators hiding somewhere, who should equally be brought to justice.

Residents are calling on the Liberia National Police and other state security to investigate further and bring all those connected with the crime to book. Following the verdict, the 17-year-old convict wept and pleaded for mercy as he was being taken to prison.

Source: Boy, 17, gets life sentence

Ganta is the capital of Nimba County, Liberia

Nigeria: Lagos ‘madwoman’ caught with human parts, corpses: “I pose as prostitute to get victims”

‘Madwoman’ – who was not mad after all – Folake Folade (right) and accomplice Emmanuel Gbenga (left)

Published: August 29, 2018, 3:54 am
By: Esther Onyegbula

The ‘madwoman’ who was arrested on Monday with decomposing corpses and other human parts under Cele Nicer Bridge in Ijanikin, Ojo area of Lagos State, has said she, at times, posed as a sex worker to get victims for her human parts business, which she has been operating for nine years.

Preliminary investigation also revealed that the suspect, identified as Folake Folade, was not mad after all. Rather, she was discovered to be the ringleader of a syndicate that sells human parts.

The suspect, who was arrested alongside her accomplice, identified as Emmanuel Gbenga, disclosed that some of her victims were men who she lured from hotels where she posed as a commercial sex worker.

When Vanguard visited the scene yesterday, some youths in the area and security agents were seen combing the tunnel under the bridge for more clues.

One of the residents of the area, Mojisola Kehinde, who claimed to be at the scene when Folake sang like a canary, said: “She opened a can of worms when she was caught.
She said she had been here (Cele Nicer Bridge) for nine years and that her business was to sell human parts to ready buyers.

“She said her customers usually parked on the bridge at night with their vehicles bonnets opened, pretending that their vehicles had one fault or the other, unknown to people that they were waiting to get human parts.

“She said her boys would be beneath the vehicle pretending to be working on the car to douse any suspicion and, in the process, hand over a nylon bag which contained the needed human parts.”

Another resident, Lawrence Oke, also claimed that Folake revealed that “whenever she failed to find preys to meet up with the demands of clients, she would dress up and head straight to any hotel of her choice at night.

“Any man that picks her for the night becomes a prey as he would end up in her den, where his body parts were later harvested and sold off to waiting clients.”

Lawrence also alleged that Folake confessed that she had boys that worked for her.

According to him, “she said once her hands touched someone, the person would lose his senses and follow her sheepishly.

She said her husband came there at times to have sex with her at night.”

The tunnel’s entrance and some things found in it (top).

Bodies in the tunnel

Vanguard gathered that when she was being interrogated by the mob, she allegedly threw her phone into the bush.

While looking for the phone, the mob discovered a tunnel where some decomposing corpses were found.

The recovered bodies included those of a middle-aged man, a baby that was less than three months and a nine-year-old boy said to have been returning from holiday classes. Also recovered inside the tunnel were school uniforms, lunch boxes, schools bags and adult clothes.

Two Ghana-must-go bags of foreign currencies and wads of N1000 notes were also found.

A mechanic, Bamijoko Ayinde, who has a workshop in the area, told Vanguard: “Do you know she was always found with new N1000 note each time she went to buy anything? And she would not collect the balance. We all assumed she was mad.”

At 1p.m. yesterday, Deputy Commissioner of Police, in charge of Operations, Mohammed Alli, was sighted at the scene in the company of other policemen.

However, Lagos State Police Command condemned the mob action on one of the suspects, who was set ablaze.

Police to probe mob action

Spokesman for the command, Chief Superintendent Chike Oti, confirmed the incidents, including the lynching of the suspects’ accomplice.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, has directed the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ijanikin to cordon off the scene and ensure that the remains found in the tunnel are not tampered with, pending the arrival of police forensic experts.

According to Oti, “the Commissioner said it is regrettable that despite the various town hall meetings he held to sensitise communities in the state to the evil of jungle justice, some people at Olorunshogo community constituted themselves into a mob and took laws into their hands by killing one of the suspects, who might have been very useful in the ongoing investigation, had they handed him over to the Police.

“He warned that anybody found to have participated in the killing of the yet-to-be-identified man, will be arrested and charged for murder to serve as a deterrent to others with penchant for taking the law into their hands.”

Source:
Lagos ‘madwoman’ caught with human parts, corpses: I pose as prostitute to get victims 

Lagos State – Nigeria

Uganda: ‘We wanted wealth!’ Four witch doctors arrested over ritual murders tell Police

One of the suspects – upon interrogation – discloses the buried bodies and police exhumes the missing persons (PML Daily PHOTO)

Published: August 13, 2018
By: Maurice Muhwezi

KAYUNGA – Police in Naggalama has arrested four witchdoctors for alleged ritual killing.

A disappearance report of Mirembe Zuraika was filed at Naggalama Police Station on August 11 and Police mounted a search leading to the arrest of the witchdoctors.

The DPC Naggalama ASP Jessica Naawe confirmed that the relatives of Mirembe reported a case of the disappearance of their daughter and tipped off police that she had talked of having an appointment with a one Owen Sebuyungo, a 24-year-old witch doctor.

In his confession, Sebuyungo narrated that Mirembe visited his shrine for help since she had been possessed by evil spirits (empewo).

Sebuyungo then contacted his spiritual consultant a renowned witchdoctor Mohammed Wamala alias Bob who enticed him to murder Mirembe.

One of the suspects held over the vicious ritual murders is led to a cell at Naggalama Police Station (PML Daily PHOTO)

Wamala allegedly told Sebuyungo that he would amass lots of wealth if he could cut off the head of a female human being.

Following leads, police conducted further investigations leading to the arrest of a syndicate of witch doctors that are believed to have participated in the heinous act.

Upon thorough questioning, the four confessed to having welcomed Mirembe at the shrine and at dawn, beheaded her and buried the head in the shrine.

The suspects then led Police to the shrine where she had been buried.

Shockingly five bodies buried in a rather disturbing position were exhumed.

Wamala told Police he had ferried over eight females from his home in Ganda Nansana, murdered and buried them at this shrine located in Ntunda Kayunga.

Police has also recovered a number of items that include spears and pots filled with fresh blood suspected to be human blood.

Several bodies were exhumed by the Police at the shrine (PML Daily PHOTO)

Blood samples have been picked, taken to the Government Analytical Laboratory (GAL) while the recovered bodies that had decomposed beyond recognition have been taken to Mulago hospital for DNA test so that the relatives can identify them.

“The search is still going on. We suspect more bodies must still be buried under the remaining five shrines,” ASP Naawe said.

Police has since cordoned off the area as the search for more evidence continues in this strange murder case.
The four suspects identified as Junior Kibuuka, Fred Kiiza Semanda, Wamala Muhammed and Owen Sebuyungo are detained at Naggalama Police Station.

Source: We wanted wealth! Four witch doctors arrested over ritual murders tell Police
PML Daily, Uganda

Related articles:

Police, CMI recover five bodies from Kayunga shrine, healer arrested
By Fred Muzaale
Daily Monitor
August 11, 2018

Police in Naggalama, Mukono District and operatives from Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) have arrested a traditional healer and also recovered five bodies from his shrine in Kisoga village, Nazigo sub-county, Kayunga District.
The Naggalama police division police commander, Ms Jesca Naawe, identified the suspect as a 27-year-old a renowned youthful traditional healer.
Ms Naawe explained on Saturday that the five bodies, one believed to be of a woman, and the rest of male adults, were dug from three shallow graves which were found in the suspect’s shrine.

Source: Police, CMI recover five bodies from Kayunga shrine, healer arrested

And:

Police find child skull in fresh search on shrines
By Fred Muzaale & Joseph Kato
Daily Monitor
August 14, 2018

 Mr Owen Ssebuyungo (squatting) one of the suspe

Mr Owen Ssebuyungo (squatting) one of the suspects directs police during the search in Kayunga District yesterday. PHOTO BY FRED MUZAALE

Kayunga- Security operatives yesterday retrieved a skull of a child when they resumed a search at a witch-doctor’s shrine in Kisoga village, Nazigo Sub-county in Kayunga District where five human bodies were recovered last Saturday.

The main suspect, Mr Owen Ssebuyungo, 27, and three other witch doctors are being held in separate detention centres.

The five bodies, one being of a woman, were dug up by police assisted by residents at Ssebuyungo’s grass-thatched shrine.

The security team resumed the operation at around 2pm although it was interrupted by a downpour.

The residents and police from Kayunga and Naggalama police stations used hoes to dig up the entire compound, which had five shrines, as the suspects watched.

By press time, police had recovered a skull of a child at the shrines, but the excavation was still ongoing.

More bodies

“We have come back to dig up the entire area because locals told investigators that they think there are still more bodies which were buried in the shrines,” Mr George Obia, Kayunga District Police Commander said.

Police have since Saturday maintained presence at Ssebuyungo’s shrine, which has been declared a scene of crime.

A house belonging to Ssebuyungo’s mother, standing a few metres from the shrines, looked deserted as she reportedly fled after her son’s arrest about a week ago.

Ssebuyungo, according to locals, lived with his wife in Kabimbiri town in the neighbouring Mukono District and only came to his shrines to attend to clients. His father Charles Ssonko, now deceased, was also a witch doctor.

The Local Council One chairman, Mr Bernard Ssekizira, said the discovery of human bodies at the shrine has left the residents in shock.

“Although we had heard rumours that Ssebuyungo was involved in suspicious acts of kidnapping people, we never took it seriously until Saturday when human bodies were discovered at his shrine,” Mr Ssekizira said.
He said the incident has tainted the image of their village, adding that people will start shunning the area.

He urged authorities to investigate activities of all witch-doctors in the area to arrest whoever is engaged in criminal acts.

Following the incident, Kayunga Deputy Resident District Commissioner Yahaya Were said they had stopped all activities of witch doctors in the district until the registered association of traditional healers goes to the district to verify the honest healers from the unscrupulous ones.

Residents in Mukono also told investigators that Ssebuyungo and his accomplices had another shrine in Kiwungi village in Ssi Sub-county, Buikwe District which they abandoned a year ago.

Police did not say whether they would also search the abandoned shrine.
Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire said one of the suspects, Wamala, had revealed to police that he often took young girls from his Nansana shrine to Kayunga shrine for offering to the gods.

“We arrested Wamala and while in detention at Naggalama Police Station, he confessed that he ferried eight women to this shrine. At the shrine, we recovered four bodies, a human skull and pots containing blood-like liquids but we suspect there could be more bodies in this shrine,” Mr Owoyesigyire said.

Women murders

He said police had not yet discovered the whereabouts of the said women but highly suspect they were murdered in ritual sacrifice within the shrine premises.

Last week police recovered the body of Allen Nakiyingi, a teacher in Kira Municipality in Wakiso District, buried in her lover’s house in Matugga town, in the same district.

She had gone missing for three weeks. The house in which Nakiyingi’s body was retrieved belonged to her boyfriend’s mother who is also a witch-doctor based in Kayunga District.

Purpose

Confessed: Ssebuyungo told security that they sacrificed human beings to woo many clients to their shrine.
The bodies, which had decomposed beyond recognition, were retrieved from shallow graves and a Shs5,000 note was placed on each of them.
Spears and pots of blood, suspected to have been drawn from human beings, were recovered at the shrine and taken to the Government Analytical Laboratory for investigation.
The bodies were taken to Mulago Hospital for DNA testing.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

Source: Police find child skull in fresh search on shrines

And:

Locals destroy house, crops of Kayunga witch doctor’s mother
By Fred Muzaale
Daily Monitor
August 15, 2018

Residents of Kisoga village demolish Owen Ssebuyungo’s house on Tuesday. PHOTO BY STEPHEN OTAGE

Kayunga- Angry residents of Kisoga village, Nazigo Sub-county on Tuesday morning destroyed a house belonging to the mother of Owen Ssebuyungo, a witch doctor and key suspect in the murder of six people whose bodies were retrieved from his shrine on Monday.

The area LC2 chairperson, Mr Mohammed Kagimu, on Tuesday said the angry residents stormed Margaret Ssonko’s home at around 5am after the police, which had maintained presence in the area since Saturday, had left.

“Given the anger residents had, there was no way they could spare his parents’ home and crops,” Mr Kagimu said.

After destroying the home, they pounced on her garden and destroyed crops such as coffee and bananas. By 9am on Tuesday, residents were still seen cutting down the crops.

Fleeing for safety

Ms Ssonko reportedly fled the area a week ago after her son was arrested by Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence officers.

Ssebuyungo, together with three other suspects; Juniro Kibuuka, Fred Kiiza Semanda and Muhammed Wamala, are detained at Naggalama Division Police Station, according to Ms Jesca Naawe, the district police commander.

The Kayunga District Police Commander, Mr George Obia, criticised the residents for taking the law into their own hands.

He said on Monday evening, the police used a grader to excavate suspected crime points since tools such as hoes and mattock could not do the work in a short time possible.

He said apart from the child’s skull and bones that were recovered on Monday, no other bodies were found.“Our investigators have now gone to Nansana to search Mohammed Wamala’s shrine,” Mr Obia said.

Investigations

He, however, said investigations into the case have almost been concluded adding that the files would be taken to the resident state attorney today for perusal. “Most likely they will appear in court on Friday or latest on Monday,” he said.

Ms Naawe said the suspects will be transferred from Naggalama Police Station to Kayunga Police Station.

This incident has prompted the Resident District Commissioner Rose Birungi, who heads the district security committee to halt all activities of traditional healers in Kayunga district, located about 50 kilometres from Kampala.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

Source: Locals destroy house, crops of Kayunga witch doctor’s mother

 

BBC crew mistaken for ritual killers in Malawi – narrowly escapes death

BBC crew mistaken for ritual killers in northern Malawi, narrowly escapes death (Click link at bottom of this page to watch film)

Investigation by: Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Henry Mhango and Darius Bazargan
Published: August 13, 2018

“BBC journalists investigating a series of mysterious murders in Malawi have narrowly escaped death.
The team were working undercover to expose men who claim to suck the blood of children to make get-rich amulets when they were attacked by a crowd of furious villagers.” – BBC Africa Eye

Anas Aremeyaw Anas, a well-known Ghanaian undercover journalist, and a BBC team composed of Henry Mango and Darius Bazargan, were investigating a series of mysterious murders in northern Malawi. The victims had been beheaded, certain body parts had been removed.
Mr and Mrs Moyo, the parents of one of the victims, are interviewed in the film (shown below). Investigative journalist Anas disguised as a rich businessman looking for witch doctors who allegedly use body parts as charms for wealthy clients. When filming secretly a witch doctor called Kamanga in Karonga, in norther Malawi, the villagers mistook the BBC crew for ritual killers and nearly killed them in an act of mob justice. Fortunately, the crew was saved by community police and a local chief.

Warning: the film contains disturbing images.

Source: BBC crew mistaken for ritual killers 
(click link to watch film)

Ghanaian undercover investigative reporter, Anas Aremeyaw Anas nearly died with his colleagues during his latest undercover piece “Malawi’s Human Harvest.”

Related articles:

How Anas nearly died in fresh Malawi exposé
GhanaWeb
August 13, 2018

Anas and colleagues escape lynching in Malawi in latest undercover job
GhanaWeb
August 2018

Anas Nearly Lynched in Malawi Whilst Investigating Ritual Murders
Ghafla!
August 14, 2018

Nigeria: Letters to the editor: “How can ritual killings be curtailed?”

Published: July 18, 2018
By Bose Adelaja, Ebun Sessou & Abasifiok Johnson

Nigeria – Suspected ritualist – mob justice

“Ritual killings are becoming very common today. I think one of the ways to stop ritual killings is to empower our youths with vocational skills. With this, many of them would not be lured into ritual killing just to make quick money. Someone with a good source of living will find it difficult engaging in the act. Therefore, youth empowerment should be prioritised.”
Mr. Sola Mathew, Businessman

“It has to do with mindset and contentment. People should not give up. It is only when they give up that they see ritual killing as the last option. There are so many graduates out there doing menial jobs because of unemployment. People should keep trying and not give up. Let us develop and discover ourselves rather than engaging in ritual killings. People should believe in themselves and pursue their dreams.”
Mrs. Onabajo Tolu, Public Servant

“It is a menace that has become the order of the day due to neglect by government and security agencies.  I feel the government should seriously engage the youths in skills acquisition programmes to keep them away from being enticed with money because the victims are mostly ladies. The security agencies need to do more by investigating some individuals to know their source of income and curb this crime.”
Mr. Tony Ugwu, Youth leader

“Ritual killings can be curbed in our society if our leaders, especially those in government, can create more job opportunities and eradicate poverty, because the idle mind is the devil’s workshop. If selflessness is the order of the day, ritual killings will be curbed.  In addition, all spiritual leaders should preach against ritual killings.”
Mr. Martins Jide, Art teacher

“It can be curbed if we all will just have the fear of God. Sincerely, I don’t  know what else to say because I believe every means has been employed to curb ritual killings, all to no avail. I think the police should work harder in arresting some of the suspected ritual killers. They should not be executed nor granted bail but should be interrogated continuously till they open up and give the police all the information they need to fight the menace.”
Miss Oluwaseun Janet, Caterer

“I think ritual killings can be curbed by doing the following: First, there should be security in the country because most people perpetuate ritual killings due to inadequate security in most parts of the country. Second is the issue of employment. Government should provide employment for the citizens because the major reason for engaging in ritual killings is to make ends meet.”
Mr. Godwin Emmanuel, Student

Source: How can ritual killings be curtailed?
Vanguard, July 16, 2018, 5:28 PM

Map of Nigeria showing the 36 states

Botswana: Olopeng condemns mob justice

Published: Dec 19, 2017
By: BOPA

Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Mr Thapelo Olopeng (Botswana)

Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Mr Thapelo Olopeng has rebuked some residents of Tonota for recently taking the law into their hands and damaging property.

His remarks follow the recent incident where some residents went on the rampage by damaging property, accusing someone for ritual killing, following the death of his herdboy. Following the incidents, some residents were arrested pending investigations.

Mr Olopeng, who is also Member of Parliament for Tonota constituency, rebuked the culprits during a kgotla meeting on December 18.

He pleaded with the residents to reflect on who they are, where they come from and where they are going, saying such an introspection would help them rebuild their good reputation.

He advised the residents to allow law enforcement officers to do their job without interruption. He further emphasised that the residents should share information with relevant authorities in order to help resolve cases rather than taking the law into their hands.

“Allow law enforcement officials to handle cases. Let them find evidence that will prove someone’s guilt before attacking fellow residents and accusing them of ritual killings with no evidence to show,” he added.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, Kgosi Bokamoso Radipitse requested the residents to prepare for the President’s farewell tour by coming up with ideas on how they would bid the him farewell.

President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama is expected to be in Tonota on the February 2, 2018.

Source: Olopeng condemns mob justice
Botswana Daily News, Dec 19 Tue,2017