Nigeria: Ondo State – Suspect with fresh human head dies in police custody

On December 24 last I posted an article reporting the arrest of a 55-year old herbalist, Tunde Olayiwola, in Ondo State. A few days later he was dead. The suspected ritualist died in police custody. 

An Ondo State Police public relation officer confirmed the death of Tunde Olayiwola, but did not give details of what led to his death.

Is this another example of jungle justice? Further investigation will have to learn what caused Olayiwola’s death but if there’s foul play the rule of law demands that those who are responsible for his unnatural death must account for their deeds. It’s a gross violation of a suspect’s legal and human rights to be maltreated or even killed while in police custody.

But will we ever hear the truth about what happened to Tunde Olayiwola?
(webmaster FVDK). 

Suspect with fresh human head dies in police custody

Published: December 26, 2021
By: Babatope Okeowo, Akure – The New Telegraph 

A suspected ritualist, Tunde Olayiwola who was arrested by the Ondo State Police Command for unlawful possession of fresh human head has died in their custody, it was learnt yesterday.

Olayiwola, who was paraded alongside eight others suspects arrested for various criminal offences ranging from murder, kidnapping and cultism last week Thursday, died in the police clinic in Akure, the state capital.

Olayiwola, who claimed to be an herbalist of 53 years experience, said he bought the fresh human head from one of his customers for N60, 000 in order to use it for money making ritual.

He confessed that the head found in his possession was to be used to ensure he had a better life, saying he did not have any regrets for using a human head for ritual purposes.

He said if it was his son that was killed for money making ritual, he said that was his end and would do nothing about it.

He refused to give the name of his accomplices saying he wanted to be rich just as his counterparts.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Oyeyemi Oyediran, who paraded the suspect, said the Police received information that a self acclaimed cleric named Alfa Tunde Olayiwola, a suspected ritualist, was about to receive a consignment suspected to be a human head.

Oyediran said the Police immediately swung into action and the cleric was apprehended at Ajagbale Area of Oka, Ondo town.
He added that a fresh human head was found in his custody.

But on Sunday, a police source, who did not want his name in print, said the cleric, who was apprehended at Oka, Ondo West Local Government, slumped at Special Anti-cultist Section of the state police command, located along FUTA road in Akure.

The Police Public Relation Officer, Funmilayo Odunlami confirmed the death of the suspect, but did not give details of what led to his death.

Source: Suspect With Fresh Human Head Dies In Police Custody

Nigeria: 55-year-old man arrested with human head in Ondo State

Warning: the following post may upset the reader. 

The article below illustrates well how ‘money rituals’ are being organized and performed in Nigeria. A 55-year-old man who wanted to become rich, ordered ‘a fresh human head’ which was ‘delivered’ to him at his home as if he had ordered something at Amazon.com

Of course, one wonders if this man is not insane. But jumping to that conclusion is, first of all, not my job – I prefer to leave that judgement to a judge. However, the whole situation demonstrates the evil which results from the belief in superstition in combination with greed and moral decay. Hail to the Ondo police to have apprehended this man who will have to account for his deeds (read: misdeeds)! 
(webmaster FVDK).

55-year-old man arrested with human head in Ondo State

Published: December 23, 2021
By: Hakeem Gbadamosi – Nigerian Tribune

Men of the Ondo State Police Command have arrested a 55-year old man, Tunde Olayiwola, who was allegedly caught with a fresh human head meant for money ritual in Ondo, headquarters of Ondo West Local Government Area of the state.

Speaking during the parade, on Thursday, the State Commissioner of Police, Oyeyemi Oyediran, said the suspect was arrested by men of the state police command after an intelligence report that the suspect was about to receive a consignment.

He said the suspect was apprehended with the fresh head delivered to him and confessed that the head was meant to be used by him to ensure a better life.

He said: “On the 23rd of December, 2021, at about 9 am, the police received information that a self-acclaimed cleric named Alfa Tunde Olayiwola, a suspected ritualistic was about to receive a consignment suspected to be human head.

“The police immediately swung into action and the cleric was apprehended at Ajagbale area of Oka in Ondo town.

“A free head was found in his custody. He confessed that the head found in his possession was to be used to ensure he had a better life.”

Confessing to the crime, Olayiwola who said he hailed from Oshogbo said he ordered for the fresh head for money ritual at the sum of N60,000.

He said the consignment was delivered to him at home by a man he met at a social function on Thursday morning, saying he was about to commence the ritual when he was arrested.  

He said, “I purposely ordered for the human head to make my life better and it was delivered to me. This is my first time but I want to do it to become rich and live a better life. The head was delivered to me today.”

(….) 

Source: 55-year-old man arrested with human head in Ondo 

Nigeria: a frightening analysis of ritual killings in the southwest of the country (2014 – 2021)

During the past year, many of my posts on this site focused on Nigeria and the alarming scale of ritual murders and related crimes in this country, contributing to a nation-wide security problem though, one knows, Nigeria’s security problem has many faces. See my February 2, 2021 post Security challenges in Nigeria.

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

Also this year I drew attention to the scourge of ritual killings in Nigeria (on May 11) and published a plea ‘Let the carnage of ritual killings in Nigeria stop‘ (on March 7). 

On May 26, 2021 a Nigerian reporter, Ayodele Oluwafemi, of The Cable, a Nigerian news outlet, published a frightening analysis of mysterious disappearances and ritual murders during the past seven years. Already the list of missing and/or murdered persons is impressive.  

“Although reported cases of ritual killings show that the incident happens in all regions of the country — media reports suggest that the south-west accounts for a large percent of the killings.”

Subsequently the author analyses some of the media reports published in the past few years on ritual killings in the south-west region of the country.

Warning: the graphic description of the ritual murders may upset certain readers (FVDK).

NB: The links included in the following Cable article are the original links and consequently, I am not responsible for their proper functioning (FVDK). 

Overview: how south-west is becoming a hotbed of ritual killings in Nigeria

Published: May 26, 2021
By: Ayodele Oluwafemi – The Cable, Nigeria

In recent times, reported cases of ritual killings have surged in many parts of the country. Law enforcement agencies have arrested many suspects of ritual killings — with gory pictures of human skulls and dismembered bodies.

Aside from the arrest and parade of suspected ritualists by the police, the Nigerian social media space has become a place where users mobilise members of the public to help find missing friends, colleagues, and family members.

As a result of this trend of missing persons, Enough is Enough (EiE), a civil society organisation, created a website alongside social media platforms to document cases of missing persons.

“Nigerians are reported missing daily. But most often, there are no records of these missing people, it is our mandate to document these records and make it easy to find those who are lost and missing,” an excerpt on the website’s front page says.

In most cases, some of these persons declared missing are found but many remain missing — with the hope of getting found by their families and friends dimming every passing day.

The trend of missing persons and the police’ arrest of suspected ritual killers suggest that many of those declared missing may have been victims of ritual killers.

Although reported cases of ritual killings show that the incident happens in all regions of the country — media reports suggest that the south-west accounts for a large percent of the killings.

TheCable analysed some of the media reports published in the past few years on ritual killings in the south-west region of the country.

On March 24, 2014, the nation was thrown into a moment of confusion when a kidnappers’ den was discovered in Soka community, Ibadan, Oyo state.

The den was discovered by some commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as ”okada”, who were searching for two of their colleagues after they took two passengers to the community without returning.

After the den was busted, human skulls, dried human parts alongside malnourished victims which were reserved for ritual purposes, were discovered.

Personal items like bags, shoes, and identity cards which appeared to be victims’ belongings were also seen at the den.

Since the 2014 shocking discovery at Soka, there have been multiple revelations of suspected ritual killings, especially in the south-west of the country.

On May 6, 2015, the decomposing body of Precious Kessington Omorodion, a 23-year-old, was recovered in a  kidnappers’ den at Ota, Ogun state after 18 days of disappearance.

The police also rescued a 28-year-old woman found in the uncompleted building.

In 2016, the Ogun police discovered a ritualists’ den located within an abandoned filling station at Iyana-Ilogbo axis of Sango-Ota of Ogun state, following a tip-off from a member of the community.

The police arrested two suspected ritualists in connection with the activities carried out in the den.

On August 30, 2017, two people were killed by a mob in the Mushin area of Lagos state over alleged involvement in kidnappings and ritual killings. 

The incident was said to have happened at Challenge bus stop, Mushin, after a vulcaniser sighted a suspected mad man discussing with someone in a tunnel at the bus stop.

On October 7, 2017, the Ogun police arrested six members of a syndicate allegedly involved in killing people for ritual purposes at different locations across the state.

The police said two members of the syndicate were caught with a bag containing fresh and dried human parts.

On August 20, 2018, the Lagos police arrested Taiwo Akinola, a suspected cult member, for allegedly attempting to kill Alice Akinola, his mother, for money rituals.

It was reported that the assailant attacked his mother by hitting a plank on her head at their residence at Raji Ajanaku street, Alaja road, Ayobo axis of Lagos after he had sent his nephew to go and buy a white handkerchief and a pack of cigarette.

On November 27, 2018, two brothers identified as Saheed Obadimeji and Ayodeji Obadimeji were said to have beheaded a teenage boy at an uncompleted buildingin Sapati town, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.

It was reported that the suspects cut off the boy’s head for the purpose of selling it for N200,000.

The suspects have been remanded in prison.

On January 18, 2019, the Ekiti police busted a ritualists’ den in Odo, Ado Ekiti, and arrested two suspected ritualists, after a tip-off from members of the community on suspicion of ritual activities in the area.

On June 20, 2019, Dotun Ogunlade, a prophet popularly called ‘Arole Jesu’, was arrested in Igboora area of Oyo state for the alleged murder of Bosede Ogunlade, a 25-year-old housewife for ritual purposes. 

 The prophet was said to have lured Bosede, who hailed from Ilorin in Kwara state, with the promise of providing solution to her economic and marital problems. 

On October 5, 2019, the Ogun police arrested two men, Emmanuel Aro, aged 25, and Anu Olofinju, aged 25, with a human skull along Ijoun road, Eggua axis of the state.

The two suspects were said to have been sighted at a cemetery, digging the grave of the mother of one Amoo Bankole.

In June 2020, residents of Akinyele LGA in Oyo state were thrown into panic over the series of rape and murders that occurred in the area.

Within one month, three young ladies — Grace Oshiagwu, Barakat Bello, and Azeezat Somuyiwa — were murdered in their residences located in Akinyele LGA in a pattern that suggested ritual killing.

On the Akinyele killings, the police arrested one Sunday Shodipe, a 19-year-old suspect, who confessed that he received food and N500 for each of the six persons murdered in the area.

He said he was sent on the mission by a 50-year-old herbalist, whom he claimed was his master.

“Anytime I’m to go for the killing, baba (referring to the herbalist) will give me some charms and also teach me some incantation to be recited so that nobody will see me at the scene of the crime,” he said.

On August 14, 2020,  the Ondo police arrested one Festus Adebayo, a 65-year-old pastor alongside Gbemisola Olufusi for alleged involvement in ritual activities.

The duo was accused of using the menstrual pad of one Oluwasemilore Iluyomade, a 20-year-old girlfriend of Olufusi for ritual purposes.

On 29 October 2020, Rotimi Olukoju, a guard with a microfinance bank was reportedly killed by suspected ritualists and his head cut off at Okia area of Oka-Akoko, Ondo state.

The deceased met the suspected ritualists on his way to the farm.

On December 7, 2020, Osun police uncovered a ritualist den allegedly operated by two siblings identified as Monsuru Tajudeen and Lawal Tajudeen, located around Yemoja area in Iwo, Osun state.

The suspects were arrested after a phone belonging to a missing person was tracked to one of the suspects. Corpses were also discovered in the suspects’ house — a development that made angry youths in the area raze the building.

On January 17, 2021, an elderly man, who according to residents, usually acts like a mentally unstable person, was arrested by the police for alleged kidnapping and ritual activities in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state.

The police discovered some items belonging to his victims like cheque books, wigs, and ATM cards in an abandoned uncompleted building adjacent to the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital, where the suspect lived.

On April 12, 2021, a woman — identified as Iya Elekuru — was murdered in a building by suspected ritualists in Ile-Ife, Osun state. Her killers were said to have lured her into the building under the pretence they went to buy food from her.

When her corpse was discovered, the head and hands had been cut off.

RIGHT TO LIFE

Every Nigerian citizen is entitled to the right to life as enshrined in section 33 of the 1999 constitution (as amended).  The right to life can only be denied if such a person is sentenced by the court when found guilty of a criminal offence.

Those who engage in ritual killings risk heavy punishment when convicted by the court as states have legal provisions to punish ritual killers and kidnappers.

Despite the legal provisions against ritual killings and other related capital offences, ritual killings still persist.

Source: How south-west is becoming a hotbed of ritual killings in Nigeria

Nigeria: ‘The spate of kidnap for ritual killings in Kwara State is worrisome; ritual killers operate freely in different parts of the state’

Last month I published several posts on ‘money rituals’ in the southwest and southwest of Nigeria, where every man, woman and child knows what ‘money rituals’ stands for: ritualistic murders and related superstitious activities. In Ondo State a ritual killing network was uncovered; in Ogun and Oyo states police arrested several ritualists suspected of engaged in ‘money rituals’ and in Rivers State police paraded three suspects over the alleged ritual killing of a 9-year boy.

The following article reports on money rituals in Kwara State, also in the southwest of Africa’s most populated country. It is not the first time reporting on ‘money’ rituals’ in Kwara State. See my posts dated May 11, 2021 The scourge of ritual killings in Nigeria and December 20, 2020 Nigeria: Ritual killings everywhere (a 2014 article) and February 4, 2020 Nigeria: Ritual killings on the increase, aw well as November 20, October 30, and May 24, 2018.

Kwara State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq came under fire recently from the Kwara State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The party accused him of not demonstrating any commitment to deal with the situation, referring to the rise in kidnap for ransom and ritual killings. Party officials complained that criminal elements including kidnappers and ritual killers now operate freely in different parts of the state.

Kwara State is in this respect no exception, as my previous posts on Ondo, Ogun, Oyo and Rivers states amply demonstrate.

As we will see in the next few days, other states in Nigeria share the same horrid situation. Both state government and the federal government fail to address this national curse adequately (webmaster FVDK).

Kwara PDP tasks Gov Abdulrazaq on citizens security

Kware State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq

Published: November 25, 2021
By: Abdulrazaq Adebayo – Daily Post, Nigeria

The Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has tasked Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, to wake up to his responsibilities and rescue citizens from the current insecurity in the state.

Reacting to the murder of a kidnap victim, Adegboyega Onijala, the PDP alleged that despite reported cases of kidnappings and killings in different parts of the state, “the governor has not demonstrated any commitment to deal with the situation.”

The party in a statement in Ilorin on Thursday by the state Publicity Secretary, Tunde Ashaolu, condemned the murder of Adegboyega Onijala noting that ” the spate of kidnap for ransom and ritual killings in Kwara State in recent times is worrisome and quite unfortunate.”

The party lamented that criminal elements including kidnappers and ritual killers now operate freely in different parts of the state, destroying lives and throwing families into a state of sadness.

” What is more worrisome is that the state government, saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property, appears helpless in securing the lives of Kwarans who live in perpetual fear of attacks and kidnappings,” it added.

The party charged security operatives to investigate the sad incident and bring the perpetrators to book.

It commiserated with the family of the victim and the people of Isin Local Government Area in general.

Recall that the Police on Wednesday recovered the corpse of Adegboyega Onijala who was kidnapped at about 7pm by unknown gunmen last Saturday in Olla community of Isin Local Government Area of the state.

He reportedly died at the hands of the kidnappers in the forest as a result of the severe machete cut injuries inflicted on him during the attack.

DAILY POST gathered that the kidnappers had collected about N400,000 as ransom but eventually killed the victim.

Source: Kwara PDP tasks Gov Abdulrazaq on citizens security

Nigeria: a woman in Ondo State escapes from her abductors, other kidnapped ladies fall victim to a ritual killing network

Warning: the story below contains graphic details which may upset the reader.

A 24-year-old lady from Warri, Delta State, has escaped from a den of ritual killers after being lured with a fake lucrative job offer abroad. After spending nine months in the bush where her abductors impregnated her she managed to escape. Other women who also had been kidnapped were not so lucky. After being raped, some women died of hunger and diseases, some were ritually murdered by their abductors who also used their babies for ritualistic purposes.

The article makes no mention of any arrest. Abductions are rife in Nigeria, both for purposes of demanding a ransom and for ritualistic purposes. According to the article, citing the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, an estimated 750,000 to one million persons are trafficked annually in Nigeria. Some 75% of those trafficked are taken across the states, 23% within states while 2% are moved outside the country, mostly to places in Europe and in Asia. Un unknown number of them is killed for ritual purposes in Nigeria (‘money rituals’).
(webmaster FVDK). 

Nigerian Woman Lured With Fake Italian Job Ends Up In Ritualists’ Den In Ondo, Impregnated By Abductors

Published: November 30, 2021
By: Sahara Reporters, New York

Mercy was made to believe that the salary was good and that they could pay for the travel expenses when they reached Italy and had started earning.

A 24-year-old lady simply identified as Mercy, who is based in Warri, Delta State, has escaped from a den of ritual killers after being lured with a fake lucrative job offer in Italy.

SaharaReporters learnt that the victim, who lost her father as a baby and was abandoned by her mother at 11 months, was told by a friend that there was a woman in Lagos State ready to sponsor them to Italy to work as sales attendants in stores and stewards for rich clients.

Mercy was made to believe that the salary was good and that they could pay for the travel expenses when they reached Italy and had started earning.

Desperate for a new life away from Warri where she endured an abusive relationship that produced a son, the 24-year-old lady did not inform her guardian, Maureen, before leaving for Lagos State in October 2020 with her friend, who was also lured and tricked to believe the trip was real.

Their journey to Italy was to start immediately after they arrived in Lagos and met with the sponsor of their trip.

But things took a different turn when Mercy and her friend, who is now deceased, finally linked up with team members of the woman that was to take them to Europe in a house around Surulere, a Lagos suburb.

“Mercy and her friend were given laced juice to drink when they arrived at the place they were to meet with the person, who promised to take them to Italy. They became unconscious for hours and only realised that they were in danger when they found themselves in a forest.

“Mercy summoned the courage to ask the men who had guns to take them out of the place but they beat her so much that she fainted,” Eriyo told SaharaReporters on Tuesday.

The days that followed that period were hellish for Mercy and the other ladies, who found themselves in the forest and at the receiving end of the cruelty dished out by the gun-wielding men.

Apart from being subjected to several hours of rape daily, the victims of the abduction and ritual killing network were made to endure hunger for several days.

They were only given two slices of bread once in three days and made to drink from a dirty pond inside the forest.

Mercy and many of the victims fell sick at various times while in captivity with some of them dying in the process.

“Many of the young ladies lured by this syndicate died of hunger and diseases from the dirty water they drank while in the forest.

“Their body parts were sold to ritualists who constantly demanded such. A lady who got pregnant and delivered there died but the baby survived. The gang used the innocent child for rituals along with the mother’s body.

“The place was a forest of death where no victim ever came out alive. The area was fortified and watched by members of this syndicate who all had sophisticated guns with them,” Eriyo added.

After spending around nine months inside this den, Mercy, her late friend and two others summoned the courage to escape from the place despite the presence of the gun-wielding men in various sections of the forest.

One day, after those guarding the place, were excessively high on drugs and alcohol and had dozed off, a handful of the victims escaped from the place. 

They walked for three days inside the forest before getting to an expressway where a truck driver transporting food items to Lagos reluctantly carried them in his vehicle to the city.

The friend, who introduced the Italy trip to Mercy, did not make it out of the forest – she died while they were escaping from the place.

“Mercy is still in shock over everything she went through inside that forest. She returned to Warri last Thursday and gave birth by Caesarean section on Sunday.

“She was impregnated by her captors, who took turns to rape her and other ladies in the bush. Others like her who got pregnant in that forest and delivered there had their babies collected from them for ritual purposes.

“The trauma and pain are still fresh for her because many times she screams from her sleep, afraid that those people in the forest would come back to take her. The situation is affecting her mentally.

“She needs a lot of help to overcome the pain. I am trying my best to support her in ways I can but she needs great help.

“She is still in the hospital after giving birth by CS. Her health is of great concern to us because she has high blood pressure at the moment. She needs urgent assistance and intervention in various forms,” Eriyo said.

Trafficking in persons in Nigeria has been a major issue for years with the government failing to tackle the situation to a halt despite public outcry.

While in the past ladies were mostly taken to Italy, Spain and other European countries for prostitution, these days such persons after being lured by the syndicate in this illicit business, end up as sex slaves in Asian countries or killed for ritual purposes in Nigeria.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, an estimated 750,000 to one million persons are trafficked annually in Nigeria.

The organisation went on to say that over 75 per cent of those trafficked are taken across the states, 23 per cent within states while two per cent are moved outside the country.

Source: Nigerian Woman Lured With Fake Italian Job Ends Up In Ritualists’ Den In Ondo, Impregnated By Abductors

Nigeria: arrests of ritualists accused of ‘money rituals’ in Ogun and Oyo states

Introduction
The alleged money ritual described in the first article below is not a ritual murder in the traditional sense. However, this is not meant to say that ‘traditional’ ritual murders are not repulsive and not criminal. All ritual murders are cruel and criminal.

The ritualistic act planned or performed by the three West Africans involved in the first reported case here – a Nigerian, a Togolese and a Benin national – has in common with ‘traditional ritualistic killings’ that the perpetrators act in the firm belief that their nefarious act will bring them luck, more wealth or increased power. in short, superstition in combination with unscrupulous behavior. 

Unfortunately, this case is not an isolated case. On November 1, men of the Amotekun Corps in Ogun State arrested two ritualists who were in possession of a casket containing the dismembered corpse of a man, victim of a ritual killing. Operation Amotekun was created in January 2020 by the governors of six South Western states, namely: Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Lagos  in order to combat the widespread insecurity in the region. Operation Amotekun is a kind of paramilitary security network and was declared unconstitutional by the FG in Abuja. 

The two suspects who were arrested have confirmed that the corpse in the casket was for money rituals. The State Commander of Amotekun Corps in Ogun, David Akinremi, confirmed to the press that the two suspects have been handed over to the Police for further investigation.

The third case is about the arrest of two suspected ritualists in Oyo State. With their arrest, the police recovered a fresh human head and the dismembered body of the victim of a ritual murder, a young Lagos girl.

It illustrates that money rituals take place all over the South West of Nigeria, if not in more states. Sadly, if I were to report on alle cases of money ritual in Nigeria, I would fast run out of space and time.

This is a sad conclusion but unfortunately very true (webmaster FVDK).

Ogun police arrests Benin national, Togolese for killing daughter, beheading neighbour’s corpse for money ritual

The two suspected ritualists 

Published: November 15, 2021
By: Otuya Daniel – The Street Journal 

Men of the Ogun State Police Command have arrested two suspected ritualists, Monday Karezu, 32, a national of Benin Republic and Anagonou Kamelan, 44, a Togolese for unlawful possession of a fresh human head.

The suspects were arrested at the house of a herbalist while attempting a money ritual, Punch Nigeria reports.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, in a statement on Sunday, said the suspects were arrested on November 3, 2021, following information received by men of the Modus Operandi Section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department.

The PPRO added that the policemen got a hint that some men were going to a herbalist’s house with a human head to make a money ritual. He said, “Upon the information, the DSP Nurudeen Gafar-led team swiftly moved to the area where the herbalist’s house was situated and laid ambush there.

Two hours after being there, the two suspects arrived on a motorcycle with a bag containing the human head, and they were promptly arrested.

On interrogation, Karezu informed the police that he got the head from a place known as Ijale Papa.”

Further investigation revealed that Karezu is a resident of the Sabo area of Abeokuta, and that the human head with him was that of a woman who died three months ago during childbirth and was buried not too far from his house.

It was further discovered that the suspect had one time killed his nine months old daughter and used her head for the same purpose, but did not succeed.

He had also exhumed another corpse, removed the head and used it for money-making ritual, but failed.

The latest one that landed them in trouble was introduced to him by Anagonou Kamalen, a Togolese, who informed him that he knew a herbalist who could do an original money-making ritual for him with a human head, hence he exhumed the corpse of the woman buried not too far to his house, cut off the head and in the company of his accomplice, took it to the herbalist’s house, where they were apprehended before delivering it.

Oyeyemi said the state Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, had ordered a full investigation into the past activities of the suspects with a view to charging them to court at the end of investigation.

Source: Ogun police arrests Benin national, Togolese for killing daughter, beheading neighbour’s corpse for money ritual

And:

Ogun Amotekun arrests two ritualists with casket of dismembered corpse

Published: November 2, 2021
By: Otuya Daniel – The Street Journal 

Two suspected ritualists, Dare Banjo and Toheeb Talubi were arrested by men of the Amotekun Corps in Ogun State on Monday, November 1st, 2021 in the Ijebu-Igbo area of the state with a casket of a dismembered corpse, Daily Post is reporting.

The State Commander of Amotekun Corps in Ogun, CP David Akinremi (rtd) said in a statement on Tuesday that the suspects were apprehended following a tip-off that “some persons were sighted bringing in a casket in the middle of the night.”

As a result of the information, Akinremi said his officers quickly mobilized to the scene, where they arrested Dare Banjo, who claims to be a herbalist and one of his accomplices, Toheeb Talubi.

The statement reads, “At about 8pm yesterday, November 1st, 2021, Amotekun operatives in Ijebu Igbo received an information that some persons were sighted bringing in a casket into a house in Fara area of the town.

“The operatives quickly mobilized to the scene and on arrival, they discovered that the building is the residence of one Dare Banjo, who is a herbalist.

“A casket was seen at a corner of a room in the house and the stench from the casket triggered suspicion. The herbalist, Dare Banjo was then asked to open the casket.

“Behold, inside the casket was a dismembered corpse, without head, of a suspected male victim of ritual killing by the herbalist and his cohorts.

“Hence the said Dare Banjo and of his accomplice named Toheeb Talubi ‘m’ were immediately arrested.

“The two suspects who confirmed the corpse was for money rituals have been handed over to the Police for further investigation,” Akinremi concluded.

Source: Ogun Amotekun arrests two ritualists with casket of dismembered corpse

And

Two ritualists behead Lagos girl lured to Ibadan

Published: October 28, 2021
By: Otuya Daniel – The Street Journal 

Operatives of the Nigeria Police  Force Oyo State Command have arrested two suspected ritualists, Ismaila Wasiu and Mutairu Shittu and recovered a fresh human head from them,Vanguard is reporting.

The state Police Public Relation Officer, DSP Adewale Osifeso made this disclosure in a statement issued on Wednesday, October 27th, 2021 in Ibadan, the state capital.

Osifeso said that the police received credible intelligence from residents of Ayekale, Saki Area of Oyo State, at about 2:30 pm on Monday who alleged the suspected ritualists, Ismaila Wasiu, 29, and Mutairu Shittu, 35, were in possession of a fresh human head.

He said, “Oyo State Police Command attached to Saki Divisional Police Headquarters immediately swung into action which resulted in the arrest of the duo, the recovery of the fresh human head and the dismembered body of the victim, who has been identified to be one Mujidat.

“Preliminary investigation reveals that the victim was lured from Lagos through a phone call by one of the suspects, Ismaila Wasiu, before they killed her.”

Osifeso said that the investigation into the incident was ongoing and the dismembered body of the victim has been deposited in a morgue.

“The dismembered body has been deposited at the morgue, while intensive investigations regarding the incident continues,” he added.

He noted that the suspects will be charged to court after investigation.

The Commissioner of Police of Oyo state, CP Ngozi Onadeko urged citizens to draw lessons from the gruesome murder of the victim.

She also called on all law-abiding people resident in the state to give their unwavering cooperation towards the rendition of timely and actionable information capable of fueling the Command’s crusade against crime in the state.

Source: Two ritualists behead Lagos girl lured to Ibadan

During a nine-week pause in posting reports on ritual killings in Africa ritual murders continued unabated in many countries

Almost nine weeks have elapsed since my last post, on June 30. As was the case when I introduced a four-week pause in my reporting on ritualistic activities  and killings in Sub-Saharan Africa, this silence does not mean that there weren’t any ritual murders in this period. On the contrary, far from it!

The nine weeks’ pause resulted in a substantial backlog. Newspaper articles published during this period report new ritual murders all over the continent. A quick scan shows that in the past two months ritual murders have been committed in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe (in alphabetical order), in most countries more than one. In Nigeria, with 211 million people Africa’s most populated country, ritual murders – aka ‘money rituals’ – were reported in the following states: Delta, Ekiti, Imo, Niger, Osun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo and in the FCT Abuja.

Moreover, newspapers in Ghana reported extensively on the Kasoa case whereas in Zimbabwe the Tapiwa Makore trial was widely covered.

It is important to mention that the murder cases reported are likely to constitute the tip of the iceberg and that our quick scan only covers the anglophone African countries.

Of the countries mentioned above two countries stand out: Ghana and Nigeria. For this reason I will elaborate on the ritual murders in these two West African countries in my next postings (webmaster FVDK).

Africa Map

Nigeria: ritual killers disguised as lovers

One of the craziest stories I read yesterday (see yesterday’s posting) follows below. It contains a wise lesson but also a chilling story. Whereas at fist sight it reports on ‘ordinary’ criminal activities, the reader soon discovers that more is going on: ritualistic activities, ‘money business’, ‘money rituals’ – and that’s the reason why the article has been included here.

The incidents took place in various parts of the country, not related to a particular region, social class, or ethnic group. The first mentioned murder occurred recently in Lagos (June 2021), but other reported ‘money rituals’ happened in Benue State, Ogun State, Ondo State, Osun State, and – again – Lagos State (2012, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021). Some of these murder cases have been reported on extensively earlier on this site.

Warning: Some readers may find the following story disturbing (FVDK).

MORE AND MORE NIGERIANS ARE FALLING VICTIM TO HARBINGERS OF DEATH DISGUISING AS LOVERS, KUNLE AKINRINADE REPORTS FOLLOWING THE CASE OF A COMPANY’S CHIEF EXECUTIVE FOUND DEAD LAST SUNDAY IN A LAGOS SERVICE APARTMENT HE ALLEGEDLY LODGED IN WITH A SIDE CHIC.

Published: June 26, 2021
By: The Nation, Nigeria- Kunle Akinrinade

Incidents of individuals’ death in the process of romance with the opposite sex increased by one early in the week with the demise of billionaire businessman and chief executive officer of Super TV, Michael Usifo Ataga, allegedly after an outing with a side chic.

Ataga, a resident of highbrow Banana Island in Lagos, was said to have been reported missing on Sunday by concerned friends and family members as his whereabouts became unknown.

Everyone, including his wife and children who were resident in Abuja, was said to have become worried when the checks made at Ataga’s office in Victoria Island, Lagos showed that he was nowhere in sight while he could also not be found at his Banana Island residence.

It turned out later that his lifeless body was found in a three-bedroom service apartment in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos with multiple wounds inflicted on his body and several withdrawals made from his bank account supposedly by a mystery woman he had checked into the apartment with.

Investigation conducted by security agents would later reveal that Ataga’s death occurred about two weeks after he met the woman in question and they checked into the said apartment at Lekki Phase 1.

A combined team of the police and DSS operatives from Abuja were said to have unveiled the identity of the owner of the apartment in which Ataga was found dead and it was discovered that she had received payments from the side chic’s bank account into which Ataga himself had previously made a transfer.

Happily, the side chic in question has since been tracked down by security operatives and arrested alongside the owner of the Lekki Phase 1 apartment.

One death too many

Ataga’s case is one in the long list of Nigerians who in recent times have fallen victim to murderous fraudsters disguising as lovers. For instance, when Akin Alupaida invited his girlfriend from her base in Ibadan, Oyo State to his base in Apomu, Isokan Local Government Area, Osun State on June 8, the unnamed lady had no reason to suspect that she was about to be murdered by the man that had professed love to her.

However, the said lady was butchered into pieces by her supposed lover after a romp at an apartment belonging to the latter’s friend. The police said that Akin’s accomplice and owner of the apartment, Kabiru Oyeduntan, barged into the room and assisted his friend in strangling the 20-year-old lady to death and dismembering her for ritual purposes.

Parading Oyeduntan at the Osun Police Command headquarters on June 11, the Commissioner of Police, Wale Olokode, explained that the suspect was arrested based on a tip-off from members of the public. Olokode said the head, wrist, and other parts of the lady’s body were found by detectives inside a box in one of the suspect’s rooms.

In his confession, Oyeduntan said the lady in question was killed for the purpose of using her for money rituals by his identified as Akin (O’clumsy) Alupaida.

He said: “It was my friend that brought the lady to my place from Ibadan. But he already told me that he wanted to do a money ritual. He sought my assistance and promised to give me N50,000. I agreed.”

“While he was having sex with her, I came in and assisted him to hold her two legs, and he strangled her to death.

“Akin was the one who dismembered the lady’s body. He removed the heart, private parts and took them away.”

Eighteen months after she mysteriously disappeared amid preparations for her wedding in December 2019, the remains of Josephine Cynthia Onche, an operative of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), were found in a shallow grave in the Obi Local Government Area, Benue State, where her body was dumped after she was killed for rituals by the same man she had announced in a wedding invite as her husband to-be.

The arrest of Josephine’s would-be husband, Christopher, led to the exhumation of her body from a shallow grave in a local government close to Otukpo.

It was said that a commercial motorcyclist who knew about the incident reported to Josephine’s family.

Christopher had allegedly brought in a native doctor from Ogun State to carry out money rituals with Josephine’s body parts.

“The commercial motorcycle rider led security operatives to arrest Christopher, an Igbo man, and he led the police to Ogun State where they arrested a native doctor who allegedly performed a ritual with the woman’s body in Obi Local Government Area of Benue State before returning to Ogun State,” a source reportedly said.

Like Osun and Benue incidents, the murder of the first daughter of former Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Khadijat Olubiyo, made headlines in 2018.

Khadijat, a final year student of Adekunle Ajasin University in Akungba Akoko (AAUA) was allegedly strangled to death by her boyfriend, Seidu Adeyemi, who was said to have buried her remains in a shallow grave in his room in Okearo area of Akure, the state capital, covered it with the rug and slept on the grave for five days.

In 2019, one Abosede Adeyemi Iyanda was gruesomely murdered by her former boyfriend, Segun Olaniyi, who dismembered her and used her body parts for money-making rituals.

As the story goes, Olaniyi, 42, was Abosede’s ex-lover, who promised to help her with some money but instead hatched a plan to use her for money rituals.

Olaniyi called one Akanbi Babalola and Ayo Adeleye on the phone to come and do the slaughtering of the woman who was formerly his girlfriend but now married to another man when she visited him in his offshore office.

While in his office, Olaniyi told Adeleye to go and buy food for the woman, who they said felt very tired after walking a long distance to get there. Segun then put in the food a drug that would make her feel weak and sleepy.

Olaniyi later told her to go to the stream beside his office and wash her hair while she was completely naked. He asked Adeleye and Akanbi to lead her there.

But while Abosede was washing her hair, Adeleye pushed her head into the river, brought out a pocket knife and killed her. Both of them then pulled her body out from the river and dismembered it, separating the flesh from the bones as instructed by Olaniyi.

They later cut the flesh into pieces and sold them to some herbalists, alfas and a pastor who needed them for money rituals. Some of them also allegedly roasted the meat and ate it, washing it down with hot drinks.

Police said that Olaniyi was tracked and arrested, and his arrest led to the recovery of Abosede’s body parts from different Ogun villages where he buried or sold her mutilated remains.

Other suspects arrested in connection with Abosede’s murder include Adeifa Sogbeyinde (37), Rasaq Rasaq Arabs (27), Sunday Akinyemi (41), Adewole Olwafemi aka Pastor (38), Mustapha Ajibola aka Alfa (31), Mustapha Iliya (30), Shilola Amodu aka Alfa (38), Jamiu Abass (25), Smooth  Kazeem aka Alfa (37) and Adesola  Oduyemi (56).

Confessing, Olaniyi said: “She called me on the phone saying that she was coming to see me. I asked her the reason for her visit and she said she wanted financial assistance to boost her business.

“I called Akanbi, who is my helping hand, and told him to come around because someone would be visiting us. Already, we had work at hand, so Akanbi suggested that we use her for the work.

“We killed her beside my house. I took the head, two hands and part of the meat. I sold the head to Africa for N40,000. I sold one of the hands to an orthodox doctor named Murideen for N15,000 and the other hand to Tonight for N15,000. I sold the flesh to one Alfa named Sunday Akinyemi (N10,000), Rasaq (N5,000) and Mustafa (N5,000).

“It was Ajibola that introduced Mustapha Iliya to me. I used part of the flesh to do powdered medicine which if taken with a hot drink would draw customers.

“At times, we kill the husbands of some of our customers to turn them into widows so that they would join us in bringing victims to be slaughtered.”

His confession led the IRT detectives to Abeokuta and different Ogun villages like Ifo, Itori, Papalanto and Adigbe, where eleven suspects were arrested and eight of them confessed to the kidnapping, killing and selling of the body parts of the victim.

Among the items recovered by IRT operatives were decomposed human breasts, burnt human flesh mixed with  liquid substance in a bottle and calabash, one complete human foot, pieces of dry human skull, a Laura SUV with registration number KTU801FP, one Bajaj Boxer motorcycle with Registration number JGB019VC, one unregistered Toyota Corolla and one Toyota Matrix with Registration number AKD703FU.

Other recent cases

It will be recalled that in June 2020, a 39-year-old man, Chris Ndukwe, committed suicide in Lagos after killing his 25-year-old girlfriend, Olamide Alli.

Police said that Ndukwe and Alli were found dead at the former’s residence at Road 5, House 16A, Victory Point Estate, Ilasan, Lagos, after a tip-off to officers of Ilasan Police Station.

A statement issued by the then police spokesman, Bala Elkana, said: “The woman was found lying in a pool of blood, with deep cuts on her head, while the man’s mouth was foaming with whitish substance.

“It was alleged that the man stabbed the woman to death with a kitchen knife and thereafter drank some poisonous substances suspected to be insecticides.

“Two blood-stained kitchen knives, two empty bottles of the poisonous substances, three empty cans of Red Bull energy drink and a plier were recovered from the scene.”

Elkana added that family members of the deceased lovers revealed that they were not married but had a relationship for over seven years, adding that they had two boys, aged seven and three.

He said: “Their relationship is described as complicated, as the couples were on and off over the years. While the man lives at Victory Point Estate Ibadan, the woman lives at Ogba (Lagos).

“The woman was said to have visited the man alongside her 22-year-old sister a night before the incident, on his invitation.

He said that Alli’s sister was the first to have noticed that they were both dead and raised the alarm.

Elkana added: “In her (Alli’s sister) statement, she was woken up by a loud music from the room where the corpses were found, as herself and the kids slept in a different room.”

On July 21, 2012, a postgraduate student of Nasarawa State University, Cynthia Osokogu, then 25 years old, was lured from Abuja to Lagos by Okwumo Nwabufo, who she had met and befriended on Facebook.

Nwabufo had paid for the deceased’s flight ticket from Abuja and lodged her in Room C1 at Cosmilla Hotel, Lake View Estate, Festac Town, Lagos, where he later connived with one Olisaeloka Ezike, and murdered the young lady.

The duo drugged Cynthia by putting Rohypnol in her drink after which they tied her hands and legs and also gagged her mouth with a handkerchief and part of her hair weave on.

Cynthia’s killers thereafter stole her two Blackberry mobile phones, jewellery, sex toy vibrator, passport and a pair of shoes.

In December 2019, a 23-year old man, Adeeko Owolabi, reportedly connived with a 42-year-old self-acclaimed pastor of a white garment church, Segun Philip, to murder his girlfriend and final year Sociology student at the Lagos State University, Favour Daley-Oladele.

According to the spokesman of Ogun State Police Command, Owolabi, who was arrested in Ikoyi-Ile area of Osun State, confessed that he used his girlfriend to prepare a ritual meal for himself and his own mother who he claimed had been broke.

According to Oyeyemi, “the deceased was reported to have left home to an unknown destination since the 8th of December, 2019 and had not been seen since then; hence, she was reported missing by her parents at Mowe Police Station.

“Upon the report, the DPO Mowe Division, SP Marvis Jayeola, detailed his crack detectives to unravel the mystery behind the sudden disappearance of the 22-year-old woman.

Source: Killer lovers on the prowl – Concerns over activities of crime merchants disguising as lovers

The scourge of ritual killings in Nigeria

Two months ago I posted on this site a cry from Nigeria, ‘Let the carnage of ritual killings stop‘. Unrelenting, the editors of the Leadership, a leading Nigerian newspaper, again draw attention to the alarming rate of ritual murders and related crimes in the country. I have repeatedly done the same on this place.

This site is entirely devoted to the crime of ritual murders, based on superstition and belief in witchcraft, fed by an insatiable greed for power, wealth or a good health, and facilitated by a weak enforcement of the rule of law, impunity, and in the worst cases, the connivance of people in high places who are put in this position by the people they are supposed to protect. Ritual murders are a flagrant and intolerable violation of the human rights of the victims, whereas a sovereign state is obliged, often by its constitution, to protect its citizens.

It is sheer impossible to report and react here on all ritual murders and other money-ritual related crimes which are surfacing and are being reported and published in various newspapers. It goes without saying that an unknown number of ritual murders are never discovered.

In the past six months I have collected numerous articles on ritual murders in at least 15 Nigerian states: Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Rivers (which I have not yet been published on this site), although I have reported frequently on money-ritual related crimes in these states (from 2018 onwards). Moreover, I reported various cases of ritual murders and related crimes in other states: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Kebbi, Kogi, Nasawara, Niger, Taraba. Hence, altogether, 26 out of Nigeria’s 36 states. When consulting the general folder ‘Nigeria’ the reader will find other articles, of a more general nature, on the scourge of ritual killing in Nigeria, the Yahoo boys, mob justice, and other atrocities.

The seemingly recent rise of ritual killings in Nigeria has been mentioned here earlier. I only wish to refer to a 2014 article which I published in December last year. In it it was alleged that ritual killings were everywhere in Nigeria. Older reports of ritual murders as far back as 2001 can be found here.

It must be emphasized, however, that nowadays an increasing number of Nigerian raise their voices against these outdated and revolting practices which are ritualistic murders (see the folder ‘Nigeria voices’), among whom the editors of the Leadership newspaper, who are to be commended for the article below (webmaster FVDK).

The Scourge Of Ritual Killings In Nigeria

Published: May 10, 2021
By: Leadership, Nigeria – Monday Column

Iniobong Umoren was a young woman in her early 20’s who lived in Uyo the Akwa Ibom State capital. She shared, on Twitter, her need for a job, and one Twitter user named Uduak Akpan asked her for a private chat concerning her application. According to police reports, Mr Akpan asked Ms Umoren to meet her at a particular location in Uyo.

When the unsuspecting lady got there, the sinister man raped her, killed her, and buried her in a shallow grave. Unfortunately for the serial rapist and murderer, the lady gave her friend the phone number of the person who invited her for an interview. This number led to the apprehension of the culprit after the lady was declared missing for days.

There were reports that Ms Umoren’s gruesome murder was not just a case of rape and murder but that it also involved ritual killing. Mr Akpan’s entire family is  said to be involved in the barbaric business of ritual killings.

Two weeks ago, a report indicated that in Kwara State, a next-door neighbour allegedly murdered a groom-to-be for ritual purposes. According to the account in Vanguard, the deceased, who was said to be a devout Christian, did not know that his neighbour with whom he used to eat together was a serial killer and ritualist who has twice served jail terms. This wolf-in-sheep-clothing neighbour allegedly killed his victim, removed some sensitive body parts, poured acid on his remains for speedy decay to prevent it from fouling the area.

Last February in Port Harcourt, a suspected ritual killer was arrested while attempting to sacrifice a nine-year-old girl in the Ibaa community in  Emuoha Local Government Area of Rivers State. According to a report in Punch newspapers, the girl’s parents had raised the alarm over her sudden disappearance after she went to dispose of refuse in a nearby bush. It happened that the suspect had taken the minor to an abandoned compound, tied her with white cloths, applied white clay on her body with a coffin already stationed for the ritual purpose. He was in the process of performing the ritual when he ran out of luck.

In 2019, Port Harcourt made international headlines in ritual killings with the case of Gracious David-West, Nigeria’s most celebrated ritual killer in recent times. From July to September 2019, David-West killed at least 15 women, mainly in the Rivers State capital city. After his arrest, he confessed to at least 15 murders.

Official statistics indicate that there has been an increase in the number of missing persons all over the country in recent times. Some are found, while others are not. There is speculation that majority of those who disappear perpetually without a trace are often victims of ritual killings.

Incidents of ritual killings have assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria. There seems to be little or no effort by concerned government agencies to checkmate the trend. We expect that such cruel and barbaric act would no longer exist in our society given our level of exposure, enlightenment, and civilisation . Ironically, as our communities seem to be getting more religious given the proliferation of churches and mosques in all nooks and crannies of the country, it seems these heinous acts are increasing as the quest for filthy lucre pervades our society.

It is disheartening to point out that as developed societies invest in science and technology to keep abreast with a dynamic world, ours are still stuck in the mistaken belief that sacrificing human blood is the surest route to wealth, safety, and protection.

No doubt, ritual killings are performed to obtain human body parts for rituals, potions, and charms. Ritualists search for ‘human parts’ at the request of herbalists, who require these to make sacrifices or prepare various magical potions to give power and wealth to an individual. Some people engage in ritual killings to obtain charms that would make them invincible and protect them from business failure, illness, accidents, and spiritual attacks. Whether they succeed or not is open to debate. However, it is not easy to prove a link between such sacrifices and financial success or any type of success empirically.

Amongst a large group of Nigerians, including the well-educated and people from different faiths and social backgrounds, there is a strong belief in the supernatural and the effectiveness of rituals. This belief has a direct correlation to the prevalence of ritual killings. It is a well-known fact that some elite  in society indulge in ritual killings. Some people apprehended for ritual killings, and witch doctors who perform the sacrifices accused politicians, government officials and wealthy businessmen  as their  sponsors. They are said to use human beings for rituals to sustain their affluence and remain in positions of power.

Therefore, it is not surprising that there are usually  increased cases of mysterious disappearances and ritual killings during elections. Some desperate, fetish and superstitious politicians always consult herbalists and native doctors during elections to help them overcome their opponents. These spiritualists usually demand human heads and other body parts to perform hedonistic rituals.

Given the rate of increase of ritual killings, no one is immune from becoming a victim. But some people are at greater risk. People with mental illnesses and virgins are unique targets as the ritualists allegedly believe that their eccentrics and purity make for a more viable sacrifice. Also, people living with albinism have equally become victims of ritual killings, fuelled by the belief that their ‘body-parts’ could allegedly make one wealthy or prolong one’s life.

Sometimes, it is difficult to understand the mind of the ritual killer. How can someone take another person’s life in the quest for wealth, protection, and power? More worrisome is that sometimes it is not just an issue of a depraved mind but also a depraved group of minds.

Sometime in 2017, Lagos State, the country’s commercial hub, was gripped by Badoo ritual killings. According to news reports, over 50 people were killed by a Badoo Boys group, who moved about with an air of invincibility until the Nigerian Police routed them.

The Vanguard newspaper reported about the activities of the group thus: “Before the raid and subsequent arrest of over 200 suspected members of the cult group by the Police with the support of the Oodua Peoples’ Congress, OPC local vigilante and the Neighbourhood Watch Corps, Badoo Boys had been unleashing an orgy of killings, during which they crush the skulls of their victims. Their modus operandi included storming victims’ residences while they are asleep”.

People suspected that they usually hypnotize their victims, as none of them had ever been conscious of their presence. After that, they would smash the heads of their victims with a grinding stone and use a handkerchief to clean the blood and brain before leaving the scene.

During interrogation, one of the suspects confirmed that “they sold each handkerchief stained with blood for N500,000. He further revealed that they were mere errand boys for rich politicians within and outside Lagos state. But in their case, the blood and semen-stained handkerchief were used to prepare the spiritual defence for  some wealthy Nigerians.”

What are the root causes of ritual killings? How can society tackle this menace? What role should the government and relevant agencies play in ameliorating the negative impact of these dastardly acts?

Poverty and economic hardship in the land are reasons for ritual killings. However, these are not justifiable reasons to commit ritual murder.  Impunity encourages ritualists to commit murders because they believe they will not be apprehended or punished.

Another reason for ritual murders is the collapse in our moral values, ignorance and superstition, and lack of an adequate punishment system. We should also consider poverty and unemployment as a significant risk factor. If Nigerians have equal opportunities to earn income legitimately, there will be a reduction in horrific crimes such as banditry, human killings for ritual, and terrorism.

Besides, the inordinate quest and pursuit of quick wealth are said to be driving some people to resort to the use of human parts for rituals. And some usual suspects include fake clerics and herbalists who carry out the ritual practices for their clients.

Some analysts have recommended that government should investigate suspected pastors and imams and checkmate their activities because what they do under cover of being religious leaders sometimes leaves much to be desired.

o curb the increase in ritual killings, the government should thoroughly explore the intelligence-gathering approach and prosecute arrested culprits. Timely arrest and prosecution of arrested suspects would serve as a deterrent to anybody contemplating perpetrating ritual killing. Record of successful prosecution of ritualist  is not in the public domain. When there are not consequences for deviant behavior , it is incentivized.

For the public, commuters should always write down the identification markings of public conveyance vehicles they enter and make phone calls to loved ones to pass on the information. In the case of Iniobong Umoren mentioned earlier, the fact that she confided in her friend about the phone number of the person that invited her for an interview was instrumental in apprehending the culprit.

Most ritual murderers always wish to be unidentified.  They want to kill people but do not wish to be apprehended. Once information about them has been exposed to someone else, it becomes difficult for them to remain anonymous and perpetrate evil.

Commuters should also assess public transport vehicles before boarding in order not to board vehicles occupied by hoodlums. I advise ladies to carry whistles on them to raise the alarm if there is an attempt to abduct them.

In addition to these, people should avoid staying in isolated areas where criminals can quickly attack without being noticed, and everybody should be conscious of their immediate environment.

The spate of ritual  killings has become so problematic that our political leaders should declare a national emergency on the crises.  I call for stiffer jail sentences to deter potential perpetrators from engaging in ritual killings. Citizens should have trust and confidence to motivate them towards providing credible intelligence for security operators.

We should also make good use of whistleblowers. These are invisible law-abiding citizens whose primary function is to disseminate information that provides details towards the arrest of suspected ritual murderers. They should be anonymous, and the law-enforcement institution should not reveal them as their link persons.

The fight against ritual killings and other menaces in our society is for all. We should not rest until we create a culture where we always uphold the sanctity of life at all cost and the safety of everyone is guaranteed irrespective of social status, religion, or ethnic background. This task calls for authentic leadership. We must swim or sink together . Our only option is to swim to survive the social disaster we are becoming as a nation because of the collapse of morality, ethics, and law.

RELATED: Ritual Killing: Let The Carnage Stop

Source: The Scourge Of Ritual Killings In Nigeria

NB: This article was also published, under the same title, in ‘Premium Times’, signed by Dakuku Peterside. It is not clear which article is the original one. I apologize to the original author in case I haven’t attributed the article to the right author. (webmaster FVDK)
Source: The Scourge of Ritual Killings In Nigeria, By Dakuku Peterside

Security challenges in Nigeria

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

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

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

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

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

Violent Clashes Between Herders and Farmers: A Legal Panacea

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

Introduction

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

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

History of Ranching in Nigeria

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

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

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

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

Clashes and Kidnapping

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

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

State Governments and Security Challenges

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welfare of the People

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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