Organ trafficking on the rise in Nigeria

The article reproduced below contains some horrifying data. It is being estimated that currently about 1.3 million people are living in slavery in Nigeria. The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has raised an alarm over the increase in organ harvesting in Nigeria. ‘Organ harvesting’ – as it is being called euphemistically – goes hand-in-hand with murder which is often treated as ritualistic murder by police officers. The scaring example of the fate of the ten-month old baby who was rescued recently (see article below) illustrates that law enforcement people as well as ordinary citizens should be vigilant. Moreover, those who order the heinous crimes should be apprehended and put on trial. And – as has been said repeatedly on this site – superstition should be eradicated from society by broad information campaigns and nationwide and universal education (webmaster FVDK).

Organ traffficking on the rise in Nigeria – NAPTIP

Published: March 15, 2020
By: The Nation (Nigeria) –  Grace Obike, Abuja 

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has raised an alarm over the increase in organ harvesting in the country.

The Director General NAPTIP, Dame Julie Okah-Donli, explained that her agency will be concentrating more on the issue this year.

She said that in the last year, cases of Nigerians being trafficked to countries like Oman, Dubai, Lebanon etc have been on the increase. She said this in Abuja at the grand finale of the Not For Sale Campaign, a human trafficking enlightenment programme.

Okah-Donli added that the agency is considering creating a human trafficking registry that will carry the names and information of people convicted of human trafficking in the country.

Her words, “We don’t believe that the traffickers of persons or migration by Nigerians is reducing because people go to new countries now, so for me the issue of the figures dropping, I am not really sure about it.

I would say that there was a deal made between the EU and Libya to stop immigrants from crossing which is what has led to a reduced number of people taking the Libyan route but not necessarily because the figures are dropping.

“In the last one year, so many cases of people going to new countries, back in the days we did not know of migrations to Oman, Abu-Dhabi, Dubai, Lebanon etc, now there is so much illegal mass recruitment for so-called jobs to these countries and it is really huge but we are doing our best to ensure that we curb it. We are thinking of opening a traffickers’ registry to name and shame traffickers in the country.

“There is this the area that is not often looked into which NAPTIP is looking into addressing this year and it is the area of organ harvesting because people are just getting away with murder.

As long as I am concerned, I have this hunch that a lot of harvesting is going on but unfortunately some law enforcement agencies just rule it as ritual killings.

Last week, a ten-month old baby was rescued, they had taken out one of his eyeballs and they were about to take out the second eye when the two guys were caught.

“The police arrested him and we have been trying to get them to hand them over to us so that we can get to the root of the matter.

I want to know who wants those eye balls, what those eyeballs where meant for and where they were going to. We have to look into this very aggressively and we are going to be concentrating more on them.”

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, said that currently about 1.3 million people are living in slavery in Nigeria.

Her words, “Human trafficking is one of the world’s most horrible global problems and we must all work together to stop this horrible scourge. Nigeria is a country that has particular challenge on modern slavery and human trafficking.

Up to 74% of the population is vulnerable, which is particularly due to poverty, culture, family pressure, peer pressure etc. This has led people especially from Edo and Delta states being vulnerable.

“When Nigeria returned migrants from Libya, it was realised that in 2016, 65% of the migrants in Libya where from Nigeria. We also have to confront the fact that there are up to 1.3 million people living in slavery in Nigeria which is a problem domestically as well.

The campaign has been really successful, reaching out to young people, especially women, and trying to show them there is an alternative. 88% of young women and 93% of family members had a positive reaction to the campaign.

Now we find out that 83% of young women in Edo State nurse starting a business as a huge career option for them. 57% intends to start their business in the next three years while 52% have been involved in training that will help them start a business.”

Source: Organ traffficking on the rise in Nigeria – NAPTIP

Police arrest ritualist gang in Ogun State, Nigeria (television broadcast)

Ritualistic activities and murders have become so common in Nigeria that their occurrence is being announced on television, a strange combination of 20th century technology and medieval superstition and practices. Since protection of the privacy of suspects is unheard of in Nigeria, the nine suspects who were arrested in Ogun State were shown in full glory. The suspects allegedly admitted murdering a women for a ‘money ritual’, notably the leader of the gang, Segun Olaniyi, confessed his role in the crime.

Judge for yourself and watch the television broadcast, by clicking the link mentioned in the Source below (webmaster FVDK).

Police Arrest Ritualist Gang In Ogun State

Screenshot – to watch the broadcast, click the link below (‘Source’)

Published: March 9, 2020
By: Channels Television

Officers of the Inspector General of police intelligence response team in Ogun state have apprehended a gang of nine including herbalists and clerics who admitted to killing a woman for rituals.

Surprisingly, the leader of the gang, Segun Olaniyi who calls himself the ‘devil’, in confessing to the crime also pleads for mercy.

The police say the suspects will face the full wrath of law.

Source: Police Arrest Ritualist Gang In Ogun State

‘We’re promised N5m to deliver ladies’ breasts and hands’, suspects tell police in Niger State (Nigeria)

Published: March 9, 2020
By: The Nation – Justina Asishana, Minna      

THE suspected killers of three female students of College of Education, Minna have been arrested while trying to sell the victims’ body parts.

The suspects, Musa Smart, Ndakolo James and a voodoo priest, Bature Nathaniel, were arrested by police in Niger State at different locations.

The suspects, during their parade at the police headquarters, said they kidnapped and killed the ladies and proceeded to sell their parts to one Musa Smart, who allegedly promised to pay N5 million for the parts.

Two female students of College of Education, Minna, Oladepo Blessing, and Oluwasemilore Mary, were earlier in the year declared missing and although their names were not given, the girls may have been the victims, it was gathered.

One of the suspects, Musa Ndakolo said that they were promised N5 million to get the left breasts and hands of ladies.

He said the voodoo priest had not delivered on the N5m promised even though they had kept their part of the bargain.

“We have killed three girls and removed their breasts and buried their remains in the bush. We gave the parts to the Alfa and Sile who is also part of us but has run away.”

Ndakolo said that he was not involved in the killings, “I was not there when the victims were killed but I was the one keeping vigil at the entrance of the bush and the operation was successful. I did not participate in the killing.”

Another suspect, Musa Smart said that they picked up the students at around 9.30 pm when they were returning from school to their hostel after reading at night.

Police spokesman Wasiu Abiodun said the suspects confessed to killing and mutilating the bodies of their victims for ritual purposes, adding that the suspects also took the police to the place where one of the victims was buried and they found the body which was already decomposing.

Source: We’re promised N5m to deliver ladies’ breasts, hands, suspects tell police

Osun State Assembly okays death penalty for ritual killers and kidnappers (Nigeria)

Recently, on March 2, I posted an article – dated February 26 – on the subject mentioned in the heading: ritual killers and kidnappers who have been found guilty may face the death penalty in Osun State. I added critical comments which I won’t repeat here. Readers are referred my March 2 posting.

Now it has become official. On Tuesday, March 10 the Osun State House of Assembly has passed into law a bill that makes kidnapping, banditry and ritual killing a crime which is punishable by death. Will the capital punishment act as a deterrent? Or will in practice it serve s a means to revenge the heinous crime committed, not more and no less? Only the future will tell. We will follow up on the upcoming events in Osun State (webmaster FVDK).

Osun Assembly okays death penalty for kidnappers 

Speaker Timothy Owoeye

Published: March 11, 2020
By: The Nation – Toba Adedeji, Osogbo 

Osun State House of Assembly has passed into law, a bill prohibiting kidnapping, banditry and ritual killing.

The bill, which was passed into law on Tuesday, was read for the third time, having passed through debates to correct identified grey areas by the committee of the whole of the House of Assembly.

Speaker Timothy Owoeye said that with the passage of the bill, Section 364 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Law of Osun, which stipulated 10 years for kidnappers, stood repealed and replaced with the death penalty.

He said: “Where the life of the person kidnapped, restrained or seized is lost in the process, the kidnapper(s) is liable on conviction and will be sentenced to death.”

Owoeye said any person who kidnaps another person by any means or instilling fears or tricks or compels another to do anything against his will commits an offence.

Said he: “Where the life of the person kidnapped is lost in the process and the kidnapper is liable on conviction, he or she is to be sentenced to death.

“Not lost in the process, but he is released upon payment of a ransom or performance of a ransom act, the kidnapper is liable on conviction to repay the sum he/she received as ransom and to imprisonment for life and the ransom act shall be reversed.

“Any person who knowingly or willingly allows his premises, building or place belonging to or occupied by him or her and which he has control over to be used for purposes or keeping a kidnapped person, commits an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for 15 years and such building shall be forfeited to the government for public use.”

Owoeye said the passed bill will soon be transmitted to Governor Gboyega Oyetola for his assent as soon as administrative processes are completed.

(…….)

Source: Osun Assembly okays death penalty for kidnappers 

Related articles: 

Osun Assembly passes death penalty for kidnappers 

Published: March 11, 2020|
By: Legit – Rahaman Abiola            

  • Osun state assembly has passed the bill seeking to impose the death penalty for kidnappers, bandits and money ritualists
  • The move became necessary in order to tackle the insecurity concern in the southwest state
  • Explaining the mission of the bill, Osun speaker Timothy Owoeye said the kidnappers will be sentenced to death should the victims die

    The war against kidnapping received a massive boost as Osun assembly completed the passing of a bill which will henceforth tackle abduction and ritual killing in the southwest state.

    The assembly passed the bill on Tuesday, March 10, which will also hopefully tackle the cases of banditry in the state, The Nation reports.

    Speaking at the assembly complex after the bill scaled through the legislative hurdle, Osun speaker Timothy Owoeye said any kidnapper found henceforth will be made to face the wrath of the law and be sentenced to death.

Source: Insecurity: Osun Assembly passes death penalty for kidnappers 

And:

Osun assembly okays death penalty for kidnappers, ritualists

Published: March 11, 2020
By: Blueprint

The Osun state House of Assembly has passed into law a bill that makes kidnapping, banditry and ritual killing punishment by death sentance.

The bill, which was passed into law on Tuesday, was read for the third time, having passed through debates to correct identified grey areas by the committee of the whole of the House of Assembly.

Speaking after the passage, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye, said with the passage of the bill, Section 364 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 law of Osun, which stipulated 10 years for kidnappers, stood repealed and replaced with the death penalty.

“Where the life of the person kidnapped, restrained or seized is lost in the process, the kidnapper(s) is liable on conviction and will be sentenced to death.”

“Where the life of the person kidnapped is lost in the process and the kidnapper is liable on conviction, he or she is to be sentenced to death.

“Not lost in the process, but he is released upon payment of a ransom or performance of a ransom act, the kidnapper is liable on conviction to repay the sum he/she received as ransom and to imprisonment for life and the ransom act shall be reversed.

“Any person who knowingly or willingly allows his premises, building or place belonging to or occupied by him or her and which he has control over to be used for purposes or keeping a kidnapped person, commits an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for 15 years and such building shall be forfeited to the government for public use.”

Owoeye said any person who kidnaps another person by any means or instilling fears or tricks or compels another to do anything against his will commits an offence.

Owoeye said the passed bill will soon be transmitted to Governor Gboyega Oyetola for his assent as soon as administrative processes are completed.

Source: Osun assembly okays death penalty for kidnappers, ritualists

General Quiwonkpa, revenge and juju in Liberia

Much has already been written (and said) about the late Thomas G. Quiwonkpa, one of the main perpetrators of the bloody 1980 coup in Liberia – if not the most important – who savagely toppled the regime of President William Tolbert. Thomas Quiwonkpa was a Gio from Nimba County and at the time of the coup a corporal in the Liberian Army. The reason why he did not emerge as the leader of the coup was that his comrade Samuel Kanyon Doe, a Krahn from Grand Gedeh County, was a master-sergeant in the same army, hence one military grade higher than Quiwonkpa. Doe thus became leader of the PRC, the People’s Redemption Council. Quiwonkpa was promoted General and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

However, the two comrades later fell out and – to shorten a long story – in 1983 Quiwonkpa fled to the United States to escape an inevitable death by Doe loyalists. After fraudulent elections in 1985, Quiwonkpa returned with a group of armed men to install the real winner but the attempted coup against Samuel Doe failed. Quiwonkpa was captured by Doe’s forces, killed and partly cannibalized, his mutilated body publicly exhibited.

Using parts of Quiwonkpa’s body for ritualistic purposes and exposing his mutilated body publicly was meant to create juju and to enhance his killers’ power and prestige. Notably Samuel Doe and his Krahn soldiers who had captured the late General were to benefit from the thus created juju. (Source: Fred van der Kraaij, ‘Liberia: From the Love of Liberty to Paradise Lost’. African Studies Centre Leiden, 2015, p.52-56).

Liberia’s history is full of irony. When in 1990 President Samuel Doe was tortured to death by rebel commander Prince Johnson and his group he suffered the same fate. Doe’s mutilated body was publicly exposed in Monrovia (Source: Idem, p. 63) Warning – readers are warned that the picture of the late President Doe (below) might be found disturbing.

Thomas Quiwonkpa (left) and Samuel Doe (right) after the coup, April 1980.
Liberian soldiers point their rifles at the mutilated body of the late President Samuel Doe, September 1990.
Image by © Patrick Robert/Sygma/Corbis

On March 10, 2020 an article appeared in the Daily Observer, one of Liberia’s leading newspapers, entitled ‘Memorial to Late Gen. Thomas G. Quiwonkpa Under Construction in Ganta, and for shortness sake it will be reproduced below.

Memorial to Late Gen. Thomas G. Quiwonkpa Under Construction in Ganta

Monument to Quiwonkpa: “Today, he is gone, but nothing is left of him as a memorial for someone to lay wreath or pay homage on Decoration Day or even the Armed Forces Day,” said Ebenezer Williams.

Published: March 10, 2020
By: The Daily Observer, Ishmael F. Menkor 

It appears to be one of the most unlikely places but, the Sanana Funeral Home in Ganta, along the road leading to Sanniquellie, Nimba County, has sealed on its wall the memorial of the late General Thomas G. Quiwonkpa. Quiwonkpa was killed in an aborted coup staged by him in 1985, and there is no trace of his grave as reports at the time noted that he was butchered with his heart extracted and testes placed in wine and drunk by his killers.

General Quiwonkpa, like some others including then Head-of-State Samuel Doe of the People’s Redemption Council (PRC), who seized power in 1980 following the assassination of President William R. Tolbert on April 12, do not have graves and therefore their surviving families and relatives are not able to memorialize them on Decoration Day on the second Wednesday in March of every year.

The proprietor of the Sanana funeral home, Ebenezer Williams, told the Daily Observer that the late Quiwonkpa was one of Liberia’s heroes, but nothing has been enshrined in any part of Liberia as a memorial. The memorial, still under construction, is expected to be covered in marble.

The late Gen. Thomas G. Quiwonkpa

“I saw him at the Du-Side Hospital when I was small at the time. He used to visit the hospital for an eye treatment, and was always sharing with us every time we visited him,” he said.

“Today, he is gone, but nothing is left of him as a memorial for someone to lay wreath or pay homage on Decoration Day or even the Armed Forces Day,” he said.

“This marble design in his honor will certainly make his memory not to be lost and will create an avenue for people for come to pay their respect,” he added.

The late General Thomas G. Quiwonkpa was born July 24, 1955 and was a member of the People’s Redemption Council, a governing military junta that overthrew President William Richard Tolbert on April 12, 1980, by assassination.

The late General Quiwonkpa defected from the PRC in 1983 after he was removed as Commanding General of the Armed Forces of Liberia and given the position of Secretary-General.

He later went into exile and returned in 1985 as head of a dissident group called the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, which staged an aborted coup and was killed.

Since the brutal death of the late Quewonkpa, there has been no memorialization of him, neither in his county nor the country.  Similar fate befell President Samuel Doe, who was also captured on September 9, 1990 and killed by the rebel group, Independent National Patriotic Front (INPFL) of Prince Johnson who is now a Senator of Nimba County. Sen. Johnson’s testimonies during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hearings indicated that Doe’s body was buried, then exhumed following request for an assessment. By tradition, since he could not be buried twice, the late President’s body was cremated and the ashes scattered in the river in Caldwell, where the INPFL had its base.

Williams, proprietor of the Sanana Funeral Home, is not a native of Nimba; however, he believes the slain General Quiwonkpa was a good and honest man in the Armed Forces of Liberia who needs to be remembered.

“We want people to constantly pay homage to this place and lay a wreath, either on his birthday, Decoration Day, or even the Armed Forces Day,” he concluded.

The people of Grand Gedeh County are also contemplating on erecting a monument in memory of slain President Samuel Doe to memorialize him.  Scores of PRC members including Vice Head-of-State Thomas Wey-sehn and Deputy Vice Head-of-State, J. Nicholas Podier, also seem to have no identifiable graves to decorate.

Source: Memorial to Late Gen. Thomas G. Quiwonkpa Under Construction in Ganta

Recommended additional reading for those interested in Liberia’s politics and history:

Quote: “Quiwonkpa was captured and on November 15 was killed and mutilated by Krahn soldiers loyal to Doe . His killers then dismembered his body and reportedly ate parts of it. His body was publicly exhibited on the grounds of the Executive Mansion in Monrovia soon after his death.” Unquote
Source: Thomas Quiwonkpa – click here

Warning: a shocking account with graphic contents (webmaster FVDK):
General Quiwonkpa and Marconi: a connection of deadly proportions – click here

Warning: the follows contains graphic details (webmaster FVDK):
The Rise And Fall Of Samuel Doe Of Liberia (graphic Pics & Video ) – click here

28-yr-old man in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, kills pregnant woman for N50,000 for ritual purposes (2016 article)

While working through old files of ritualistic murder cases I came across this article (below) reporting that – way back in 2016 – a 28-year-old man revealed to the Akwa Ibom State Police Command on how he was hired by a village council leader in Itu Local Government Area to kill a pregnant woman for ritual purposes.

For completeness sake (will I ever realize a complete overview of ritual murders in Nigeria? – I seriously doubt it), I am sharing it here, also to demonstrate that yesterday’s posting wasn’t about an isolated case. Akwa Ibom State, currently the highest oil- and gas-producing state in Nigeria, is a small but densely populated state, with a land area of 7081 km² and a population of over 5 million (webmaster FVDK).

28-yr-old man kills pregnant woman for N50,000

Published: January 14, 2016
By: Vanguard Nigeria – Tom Moses and Chioma Onuegbu

UYO—A 28-year-old man, Edet Stephen Asuquo, yesterday, made revealing statements to the Akwa Ibom State Police Command on how he was hired by a village council leader in Itu Local Government Area to kill a pregnant woman for ritual purposes.

Vanguard gathered that the suspect was arrested by the police on January 11 through the combined efforts of his brother and sister (names withheld) who reported the matter to the police, and the body was found by the police on a plantain farm.

Parading the suspect yesterday at the Akwa Ibom State Police Headquarters, Ikot-Akpanabia, Uyo, state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Cordelia Nwawe, said the suspect who was the victim’s customer, lured her to the market to buy oysters, later took her home to buy more, then killed and hid her body, hoping to harvest the foetus for rituals.

Nwawe said the suspect’s sister, who witnessed the act, reported to her elder brother who later alerted the police.

Suspect’s story

The suspect, Asuquo, told newsmen: “What brought me to the police station is because of the job given to us by a village council chairman. “He paid five of us to kill a pregnant woman so her head and her unborn child would be used for charms. “He said after we have carried out the job, he will give us N50,000 each. He did not give us any advance payment. After we had done the job, my brother became angry. “He said that this is not the kind of job I should have gotten myself involved in. He called my other senior and reported the matter to him.”

Source: 28-yr-old man kills pregnant woman for N50,000

Four nabbed in Akwa Ibom State for beheading woman for ritual purpose (Nigeria)

The following report, see below, is a bit fuzzy but nevertheless I want to share it with you. The chief perpetrator of the heinous act, who was caught, may not have been fully responsible for his deed because of his (unstable) mental state (but this is up to the judges to rule) and not all details are clear or have been confirmed by the authorities, however, the youth who supported the police which led to the arrest of the suspects merits to be applauded. A good example of how it should be – no mob justice, but the rule of law! (webmaster FVDK).

Four nabbed in Akwa Ibom for beheading woman for ritual purpose

Published: March 8, 2020
By:  Vanguard Nigeria – Harris Emanuel

Tragedy struck at the weekend at Oku Abak community in Abak Council Area of Akwa Ibom, as a woman simply identified as Eka Sammy was reportedly beheaded in her farm and the head dumped in front of her house.

Vanguard gathered that the woman fondly called Mma Iko Mbakara was ambushed in her farm while harvesting cassava by a young man, one Lucky Michael from Delta State, working hands in gloves with three others.

An eyewitness account averred that the suspect was caught by the irate youth of the community when he dumped the head of the woman in front of her house and immediately stripped himself naked before taking the youth to the farm where the lifeless body of the woman was found.

One Augustine Ekwere said, ‘’the youth of this village caught him and called on the police after their own assessment. The police then arrested his and his accomplices.

Continuing, Ekwere said the suspect confessed to the crime at Abak Police Station, saying that a prophetess contracted him for a fee of N15, 000 to bring human head for rituals.

According to him, although the suspect did not mention the name of the prophetess, he had already received the cash payment to carry out the dastard acts.

‘’At the Police station, the boy confessed to beheading the woman in the farm because he was paid a N150, 000 by a prophetess to do so. I fear that such crime is coming to my community, my stress and our house’’, he said.

Police Public Relations Officer, Fredrick Nnudam, Chief Superintendent of Police confirmed the incident and applauded the youth of the community for supporting the Police which led to the arrest of the suspect and his cohorts.

The PPRO who did not mention the number of suspects arrested hinted that the matter was being investigated at the Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpanabia, but source informed our reporter that about four suspects were nabbed by the police.

‘’I am in a picture. A woman was beheaded in the farm on Saturday while working there. Some youth joined the police to comb the bush and some suspects were arrested.

‘’I can’t give you the exact figures, but some persons were arrested especially the principal suspect’’, he said. 

On whether the prophetess allegedly said to have masterminded the killing for ritual purpose has been arrested, he said, ‘’as at now information is still sketchy but investigation is ongoing, so, I can’t say if somebody like that is involved.’’

Source: Four nabbed in Akwa Ibom for beheading woman for ritual purpose

Related article:

Suspected ritualists behead 82-year-old woman in Akwa Ibom

Published: March 8, 2020
By: Vanguard Nigeria – Chioba Onuegbu – Uyo

TRAGEDY struck last Saturday in Akwa Ibom state as suspected ritualists behead 82-year-old woman popularly known as Mma Iko Mbakara in Ibesit community in Oruk Anam local government area of the state.

It was gathered that the unsuspecting octogenarian was ambushed in her farm in Ibesit, Oruk Anam while she was harvesting cassava.

A reliable source in Abak local government area who spoke to Vanguard in confidence yesterday said the news of the sad incident filtered through the whole Abak town early Sunday morning.

“Actually the incident happened in Ibesit community in Oruk Anam local government area, but the principal suspect is from Oku Abak, in Abak local government area. I learned that the police have already arrested him and his accomplices. ”

I was told this morning (Sunday morning) that the principal suspect identified as Lucky Michael and his accomplices have been arrested by the police”, he simply added.

An eyewitness identified as Ekwere said Michael was caught by the youths of Oku Abak community who stripped him naked before asking him to take them to the farm where he committed the crime.

Ekwere added that the youths later called the police to arrest him and his accomplices, adding that it was at the Abak Police station that he (Michael) confessed that he was paid the sum of one hundred and fifty thousand naira ( N150,000.00) to bring a human head for ritual.

Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, CSP, Frederick Nnudam confirmed the incident, noting that some suspects however have been arrested in connection with the crime.

The PPRO who did not mention the number of suspected arrested said, “The story is true. Some of the suspects have been arrested and the head of the woman was also recovered. “The principal suspect one Lucky Michael was in possession of the head of the 82-year-old woman. The matter is under investigation”

Source: Suspected ritualists behead 82-year-old woman in Akwa Ibom

Map of Nigeria showing Akwa Ibom State

Four burnt to death after ritual killing in Edo State, Nigeria

The following reproduced article is not about an entirely new incident of mob justice in Nigeria. It relates to the same jungle justice addressed in my February 27 posting and also yesterday’s Editorial. However, for completeness sake I want to include it here: readers who may have missed previous posts may find in the article reproduced below the necessary information to fully understand the editorial in the Nigerian newspaper The Nation (online) posted yesterday (webmaster FVDK).

Four burnt to death after ritual killing in Edo

Edo State Commissioner of Police DanMallam Muhammed, addressing journalists in Benin City, Edo State capital, on Monday, October 14, 2019

Published: February 25, 2020
The Punch, Sola Shittu – Benin (city), Nigeria

Three middle-aged men and a woman were on Monday set ablaze by a mob at Otuo community in the Owan East Local Government Area of Edo State.

The four were alleged to have been involved in the murder of a Senior Secondary School 3 pupil of Azama College, Otuo.

 PUNCH Metro gathered that the pupil was allegedly killed and her head severed from her body for ritual purposes.

A source in the community said the murder was carried out at night by her neighbour who sent her on an errand to get sachet water in the evening.

While in his room to deliver the sachet water, she was allegedly murdered and decapitated.

Our source said when the girl’s parents could not find her, they raised the alarm.

The alleged culprits were said to have been caught while attempting to dump the victim’s body in the early hours of the following day.

They were said to have identified two other persons, including the woman who performed the rituals for them.

“The two men were burnt this morning (Monday) along with the woman, while her house was razed. They were all dragged to the popular Women Centre where the community police station is located. The third man was traced to his farm and apprehended,” he said.

Later in the day, our source confirmed that the third man had also been burnt by the mob.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Chidi Nwabuzor, while confirming the incident, said two suspects were lynched.

“The command is aware that a young girl’s head was cut off and the youth of the community arrested two suspects, brought them to the front of the station and set them ablaze,” he said.

Source: Four burnt to death after ritual killing in Edo

Compounded barbarity (Editorial, Nigeria)

A recent Editorial in one of Nigeria’s leading newspapers drew my attention and I would like to share it with you. It is a cry from the heart and corresponds with previous messages which I put on this site. Referring to a recent incident in Edo State, it is about the nonsense of mob justice, it’s illegal nature, and even the damage it causes to the country’s justice system. Read it for yourself. May it contribute to less jungle justice, but – of course and more important – we have to battle the phenomenon of money rituals with all our force and eradicate it from society! (webmaster FVDK). 

Compounded barbarity

Picture from file, not related to described incident

Published: March  6, 2020
By: The Nation (online) – Nigeria (editorial)

Editorial

  • Suspected ritual killers turned victims of jungle justice is cold comfort.  Both outrage jar with civilised 21st century conduct.

It really makes no difference which of the versions of the incident is accurate, whether four or two people were burned alive for allegedly beheading a teenage girl for ritual purposes. The picture of compounded barbarity is clear enough. The girl’s beastly murder attracted jungle justice, but neither of the two is good for society.

According to the Edo State police spokesman, Chidi Nwabuzor, “The command is aware that a young girl’s head was cut off and the youth of the community arrested two suspects, brought them to the front of the station and set them ablaze.”  But media reports said a mob had set ablaze three men and a woman at Otuo community in the Owan East local government area of the state, on February 24, for their alleged involvement in the murder of a Senior Secondary School 3 pupil of Azama College, Otuo.

The girl’s neighbour was said to have sent her on an errand to get sachet water, and she was allegedly killed and beheaded when she returned with the sachet water. Two of her killers were said to have been caught while trying to dump her headless body somewhere the next day. They were said to have implicated two other collaborators, including a woman described as a native doctor.

By taking the law into their own hands, the mob demonstrated public anger over the increasing cases of ritual killing in the country. But their reaction was extreme. It is noteworthy that they had imposed their own punishment on the suspects, right in front of a police station, which suggested they had lost confidence in the police.

Their action was a recipe for anarchy.   Mob justice not only reflects a negative public perception of the criminal justice system, it also undermines the institution charged with maintaining law and order.  This is yet another instance that shows the low rating of the police by the public, and the need for the police to improve their image by performing professionally.

It is unfortunate that the suspected killers were burned alive, thus making it impossible for the police to investigate the allegation against them. The accusation that they killed the victim for ritual purposes could have been more clearly established through a proper trial.

Sadly, this incident further highlights the troubling issue of money-ritual killing prompted by a get-rich-quick mentality.  The circumstances of the murder suggested it may well have had something to do with money rituals. Only the killers could have explained why they needed the girl’s head, but the beheading followed a familiar pattern of killing associated with money ritualists.

The money-ritual angle says something bad about our society.  Frequent reports of suspected money-ritual killings in the country show a dark side of the society that needs to be urgently corrected. Murder is evil; it is worse when it is connected with a get-rich-quick motive.  The love of money should never be taken to such extremes.

The question is: What drives such a desperate and unconscionable pursuit of riches?  The inadequacies of the socio-economic environment must be a major factor, but these can’t justify a do-or-die approach to getting rich. Money rituals that involve murder signify not only material poverty but also spiritual poverty on the part of the perpetrators.

Improved socio-economic conditions can discourage such an approach to getting the good things of life. That is why the government, in pursuing the greatest good for the greatest number, must pay serious attention to the improvement of the socio-economic conditions. The goal should be to significantly reduce the number of the desperately poor as well as promote enlightenment that makes it unnecessary to seek wealth through money rituals

DRC: witchcraft horror sees teen attacked and accused of sorcery by own family

Children who are accused of witchcraft. Children who are abused. Children who are discriminated, punished, beaten, tortured, mutilated, killed. The following story is again one which makes you shiver, like yesterday’s article. I read the article reproduced below with growing disbelief and disgust.

As with ritualistic crimes, superstition lies at the base of this evil. It saddens to read that these children are not protected by their parents, their families, their communities, not even by the State. The protection of the weak and the poor is an obligation of the State. In the DRC the central and regional authorities fail miserably (webmaster FVDK).

Witchcraft horror sees teen attacked and accused of sorcery by own family

Gabrielle’s life was turned upside down when she found herself at the centre of a chilling witchcraft craze sweeping the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Gabrielle shows scares on her head after she was beaten and accused of being a witch (Image: simon murphy)

Published: February 23, 2020
By: Daily Record UK – Stephen Stewart

Gabrielle is like any other bright teenager. She loves learning new things, chatting with pals and watching TV.

But her life has been turned upside down after she was accused of being a child witch – by her own family.

She is one of thousands of young children and teenagers at the centre of a new, chilling witchcraft craze sweeping the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This epidemic – reminiscent of the infamous 16th century European witch hunts – has seen girls as young as four burned to death.

The Sunday Mail recently travelled to the Central African nation with Scottish charity SCIAF to see their work helping female victims of sexual violence.

As revealed in our sister paper The Daily Record, armed factions illegally mine a mineral called Coltan – used in phones and electronic devices – to finance their atrocities, including gang rape and sexual slavery.

These mind-numbing levels of violence have plunged much of the country into the Dark Ages with economic and educational catastrophe triggering a related rise in beliefs in superstition and witchcraft.

Gabrielle is just one of a skyrocketing number of kids facing accusations of sorcery. 

The 15-year-old said: “I felt like a princess when I was at school. I was first in my class and I was very proud of that.

“Then things went bad. I remember sleeping and my uncle came home and he started beating me around the head with a piece of wood.

“He beat me and beat me and beat me and then he took me to the hospital because he felt bad about what he had done. 

“He felt pity and they told him at the hospital not to beat me because I might die. I do not want to stay at home any more because they plan to kill me or leave me to the bandits.

“People go into churches and say I am a witch. They say that it is because of me that they have death and misery in their family. I don’t know why they say these evil things and abuse me.”

SCIAF is helping to fund various projects in the Bukavu archdiocese to help women victims of sexual violence.

These projects often deal with other vulnerable people such as Gabrielle and other children accused of witchcraft.

Belief in witchcraft is widespread in Africa, according to the UN, but until recently, violent allegations were not usually aimed at children.

There are now alarming numbers of killings of children accused of being “sorcerers” and a growing phenomenon of witchcraft 
accusations against children and adolescents. 

The main power attributed to child witches is the ability to inflict harm from the invisible world to the visible.

This could consist of transmitting an illness to a relative who must be “sacrificed” with fellow witches.

Children are accused of causing diarrhoea, malaria, tuberculosis and HIV and AIDS, and the fatal consequences that may follow.

They are also often suspected of bringing about general misfortune, poverty, unemployment, failure and bereavement.

Gabrielle’s dad Vincens – who is blind and battles ill health – was even one of her accusers.

Victims are now trying to rebuild their lives through SCIAF and local partners at the Centre Olame Bukavu which seeks to defend the human rights of women and girls.

Sciaf launches the WEE BOX Big Change appeal this week, which will help vulnerable women and girls.

Gabrielle now often feeds her father, 55, and helps him get around. He said: “I know now these were very bad things. When she was forced out of the home, she had to sleep outside.

“I was living in ignorance and believing in ignorant things. As a Christian, I can only ask for forgiveness. My whole family have went to Gabrielle and said, ‘Please forgive us for these bad things we did and the awful superstitions we believed in’.

“I was sad when she went away and lived outside. As a father, there are things you do through ignorance but you then regret your weakness and ignorance. I felt pity and regret and wanted to find her.

“Through this centre, I have seen how I went wrong. Now, if neighbours or someone else say things about my daughter, I don’t accept it as I can’t allow these things.”

Lisette, 14, is another victim of the witchcraft craze. She said: “I don’t like staying with my family. I suffer a lot when I stay there. I don’t feel well at home because they hit me and say bad things about me.

“If I try to do the dishes, they hit me and say, ‘Don’t touch those things because you will kill us’. They make me isolated and force me to stay outside. I want to be a nun to stop these things and make people live better lives.”

Captain Innocent Rutema Baguna is a police officer who has seen the horrors of the epidemic.

Dad-of-10 Innocent, 54, who became a police officer in 1998, said: “I have witnessed horrible things. One of the worst was when I saw a girl who was four and was accused of being a witch.

“She was burned alive as people had accused her and then put her in a house and then set it on fire. I can never forget that. I do my best to protect the children.

“It can be a dangerous job as you have to go to places to interview people where the rebels are very active.

“My work is a matter of sacrifice but I am an orphan, my mother died when I was only six.

“So, now that I am a father, it is very important that I do my best to protect and help the children. Our future depends on it.”

SCIAF’s chief executive Alistair Dutton has just returned from DR Congo.

He said: “The lives of thousands of poor, vulnerable women and girls are being destroyed by sexual violence and exploitation.

“They need our help. SCIAF and our partners are on the ground providing medical care, counselling, legal aid and support so they can recover and rebuild their lives.

“But the need is great. I’d ask everyone to please give what they can so we can do more to help women and girls in need.”

As the Sunday Mail team left, Gabrielle shyly handed us a drawing she had been working on.

Her poignant message reads: “May peace reign around the world but especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

Source: Witchcraft horror sees teen attacked and accused of sorcery by own family