The danger of accusing an innocent person

The following article warrants three comments. First, accusing someone of ritualistic activities – worse, ritualistic murder – without sufficient grounds is a dangerous behavior. Not only it damages the reputation of the alleged killer but it may also easily lead to ‘jungle justice’: a mob taking the rule of law into their own hands, which is an inherent contradiction. In a country, where the rule of law exists, there is no place for mob justice.

Secondly, no accused person is guilty unless found guilty by an impartial judge in a public and transparent trial where the suspect has full access to his rights including the right of a proper defense and the assumption of being not guilty.

However, and I come to my last point, the allegations and rumor which have damaged the good reputation of Kgosietsile Tona Mooketsi, a businessman and politician, in Botswana (below) would not have existed without a base, and – before I am misunderstood – I will make myself clear what I mean by saying this.

Without a widespread belief in the existence of ‘Muti’ killings, as ritualistic murders are being called in Southern Africa, the ordinary people wouldn’t accuse someone indiscriminately from involvement in Muti murders. The uneasy reality is that people do know that Muti murders actually occur. And that’s why, this is the third reason why I publish the article below: to demonstrate that Muti murders do occupy the people’s mind and the fear of being the victim constitutes a real danger, also in Botswana as I’ve reported earlier. See some of my previous posts, e.g. ‘Botswana: Cabinet minister Olopeng condemns mob justice‘ (post of July 24, 2018 but referring to a 2017 article), ‘Botswana: Ritual killers get jail sentences‘ (March 3, 2019, on a Muti murder case dating back as far as 2006), ‘The business, science behind ritual killings‘ (June 22, 2020) and ‘Southern Africa: shocking details of ‘muti’ murders‘ (May 21, 2021).   
(webmaster FVDK).

Botswana: Suspected Raboko Clears His Name

Published: December 22, 2021
By: Portia Mlilo – The Voice, Botswana 

Former UDC Councellor denies child kidnapping rumors 

The former Umbrella for Democratic Change Councillor for Mosanta ward in Mochudi Kgosietsile Tona Mooketsi is a worried man who fears for his life.

Flustered and troubled, Mooketsi walked into Voice offices on Wednesday to tell his story in an effort to clear his name after allegations that he was a ritualist started circulating in the village.

The rumour is that the 48-year-old politician who also owns a butchery is suspected to have hired hitmen to kill a child for business muti. He has since reported to Mochudi police station commander seeking protection from possible backlash from the unfounded rumours.

Speaking to The Voice Mooketsi said it started as a rumour which spread like wildfire and eventually turned into an urban legend. He said at first he ignored it until last weekend when he heard allegations that he had hired two hitmen to kill a child and the victim escaped. He said this has damaged his reputation and put his family at risk of gullible villagers who might swallow the lie hook line and sinker and seek to revenge should any child go missing.

“My fear is that, should a child go missing I would be the first suspect. I do not want to take this lightly. Just recently a businessman was accused of ritual murder in Lentsweletau, the community was angry and some burnt his property. I do not want the same to happen to me hence I reported to the police for protection. I suspect this is politically motivated by Botswana Democratic Party activists. They are cowards! In 2019 they spread a rumour that I am a cattle rustler” said Mooketsi who lost parliamentary elections to a BDP candidate in 2019.

When reached for a comment, Mochudi Station Commander Superintendent Mokuba confirmed the report. He said they however did not open a case because the police do not investigate hearsays. Mokuba said should Mooketsi name a specific person who uttered those allegations, then he would have a case of defamation of character to launch.

Source: Suspected Raboko Clears His Name

Nigeria – Abia State University professor condemns ritual killings

Professor Ezionye Eboh of the Abia State University, Uturu, almost mentioned it casually, but he did mention it. He included ritual killings in the societal ills that urgently need to be attacked in order to restore societal values and public trust in the rule of law.

Professor Ezionye Eboh is a Professor of management at the Abia State University, Uturu, and was the immediate past Rector of Abia State Polytechnic Aba.

Increasingly, Nigerians speak out against the unabated scourge of ritual murders and related ritualistic activities in the country. Nigerians in virtually all states experience a daily threat emanating from the insecurity which results from the widespread belief in the power of ‘money rituals’. There is no place for such practices in the third millennium. After all, it’s 2021 (webmaster FVDK). 

Abia State University professor seeks social reorientation to tackle societal ills including ritual killings

Published: December 21, 2021
By: Gordi Udeajah, Umuahia – The Guardian

Restoration of societal values through social reorientation will help tackle societal ills confronting the country, a Professor of Management at the Abia State University, Uturu, Ezionye Eboh has said. 

Prof Ezionye who spoke while delivering the 61st inaugural lecture of the university, which had ‘Management: Everything, Everywhere’ as a theme, said that citizens would reap the gains and benefits of a well-managed country.

To him: “A developing country like Nigeria needs to judiciously manage its available resources, avoid all forms of embezzlement and misappropriation of funds and ensure an enabling environment for business operations”.

He lamented that over the years, greed, bribery, kick-backs among other vices, became the accepted way of the life of many citizens, which denied the country huge opportunities for healthy living and emerging as a major player in the global economy.

He insisted that negative societal values have given rise to all manner of crimes in society, ranging from armed robbery, drug trafficking, 419 activities, ritual killings, kidnapping and unbridled official corruption.

Worried that the greatest casualties are the youths, the don urged stakeholders to devise deliberate and concerted effort at re-ordering social values, saying not to do anything about the eroding social values today is to produce the worst corporate players soon.

While recommending a deliberate concerted effort at re-ordering social values, strengthening institutions and regulatory frameworks, he urged those entrusted with state responsibilities to do their work without fear, favour and partisanship.

Prof Eboh, who was the immediate past Rector of Abia State Polytechnic Aba, stated that to effect better management of the country, there is the need to initiate ‘Introduction to Management’ as a compulsory “General Studies Course (GST) “in all universities in the country to help prepare students for leadership in public and private sectors.

Source: Expert seeks social reorientation to tackle societal ills

The ugly relation between cultism and ritual killings in Nigeria

In the following report the author describes ugly incidents caused by cults in Nigeria. Many of these activities, sometimes outright crimes, haven’t anything to do with this site’s focus.

Many cultists are not criminals. But it’s not always innocent and pleasure. As explained in the article below, there also exists a relation between these cults and ritual killings.

The Field Commander of Amotekun in Osun State, Amitolu Shittu, recently stated that – in his view –  cultism is a lawless organization that should not be allowed: ‘(…) We must tackle them with force. Cultists are more or less the supporter of ritual killing and it must not be allowed in our society.”

He further accused cultists of being engaged in robbery, kidnapping, and ritual killing. He  warned that “he who kills with swords shall also be killed with the swords.”
(webmaster FVDK)

Cultism: Concerns as politicians, students, others glamorize groups’ activities

Published: December 18, 2021
By: Sikiru Obayarese  – Daily Post, Nigeria

A few weeks before he was attacked by suspected cultists for refusing to join their gang, Oke Ademiju, a final year student of Political Science at Osun State University, UNIOSUN, was set to write his final papers as a Political Science student.

Ademiju, according to eyewitnesses, was attacked with cutlasses, stones and thereafter set ablaze by his assailants before residents came to his rescue.

His school’s official account said, “Oke Ademiju Victor kept shouting that he was not going to join any cult but his assailants continued to pummel him with cutlasses, hard stones and even attempted to set him ablaze, partially succeeding until he was rescued.”

While his mates have graduated from the University, Ademiju could not write his final papers as he was bedridden due to the cult attack.

However, many said the aspiring political scientist is lucky to be alive since many like him have died or have been maimed for life for daring to reject the daredevil cultists’ proposal.

Only recently, a child of 12 years, Sylvester Oromoni, was attacked in his hostel for allegedly refusing to join a cult gang in a secondary school.

Many lives have been lost in clashes between rival cult groups over supremacy battle. Cult groups often count the number of deaths recorded by a gang as a sign of superiority, discarding life of all its values.

Now, some parents hesitate to send their children to boarding schools or even higher institutions for fear that their wards may be forcefully initiated into cult groups.

Keen watchers of the education system have also listed bullying, drug dealing, prostitution as some of the crimes to checkmate in Nigerian schools.

A recent investigation published by the BBC Africa Eye accused cult groups of masterminding illegal activities.

The report showed that many brutal killings and armed robberies in Nigeria were traced to dreaded groups such as The Neo-Black Movement of Africa (also called Black Axe); Eiye Confraternity; The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrate Confraternity); Vikings Confraternity; Brothers Across Nigeria (BAN) or National Association of Sealords also known as Buccaneers Confraternity and others.

This is the extent the threat of cultism has risen in recent times across the country.

Analysts say cultism has been unfortunately promoted as charity and humanitarian organisations, making it appealing to young people who are hoping to get connections or meet their benefactors.

Allegedly, prominent persons including politicians and celebrities in Nigeria, have been linked to violent cult clashes that have resulted in hundreds of unsolved murders in Nigeria. Till date, none has been indicted or arrested.

Artisans are not left out of the trend. In fact, they appear to be the only ones who are perpetrating most of the violence.

Even street urchins have taken over cult groups originally thought to be the preserve of university undergraduates.

In 2020, a 32-year-old Kabiru Ahmed, a tailor, who was described as cool-headed and compassionate, was arrested by the Anti-Cultism Unit of the Lagos State Police Command and confessed to killing four members of a rival cult group.

Ahmed was the hitman of the infamous Black axe (Aiye) confraternity. The cultist said the killing of his ‘Babalawo’ led to a killing spree for both the Black axe and its rival, Eiye confraternity.

While one wonders the role of security agencies amid all the violence, the Police have tried to exonerate themselves by arresting and parading suspected cultists for killing, robbing, raping and for engaging in other illegal activities.

But analysts say this still does not solve the problem from the root.

Checks by DAILY POST revealed that majorly, all the cult groups have social media handles where their activities are promoted.

A security expert, Nnamdi Anekwe Chife, who spoke to DAILY POST exclusively said the effect of glamorising cultism among young people by either celebrities or politicians has far-reaching effects.

Chife said it was utterly dangerous for Nigerian society to condone the flattering of the criminal side of cultism.

He said, “There are two sides of the debate. On one side, people are saying cults are charity organisations while on the other side, it is a criminal organisation, in the sense that they carry out criminal activities. If someone is glamorising the criminal aspect of cultism, definitely it’s going to impact the young ones.

The security expert also claimed that “on the security side, there are allegations that elements in the security outfits are also involved in cult activities but there is no proof to nail them.

“Political classes who partner with them to glamorise cultism could also be nailed too,” he said.

However, the Field Commander of Amotekun in Osun State, Comrade Amitolu Shittu said only a bad society and the nation without a good leader will fold their arms and allow cultism to rise.

According to him, “cultism is a lawless organization that should not be allow and we must tackle them with force. Cultists are more or less the supporter of ritual killing (italics mine – FVDK) and it must not be allowed in our society. The organization are lawless that we cannot be proud of because it is ungodly and God frowns at it as “he who kills with swords shall also be killed with the swords.”

Amitolu said that cultism and other social vices are one and the same. “We are doing our best day and night and we have apprehended some of them and sent them to jail. They are the ones that engage in robbery, kidnapping, and ritual killing (italics mine – FVDK), so they are not supposed to be welcomed in our society.

He said Amotekun has succeeded in reducing, “their illicit character and the killing of innocent people to barest minimum and we are not taking it kindly with them. Democracy should not be allowed to kill democracy, so democracy that we are practicing is that which encourages the rule of law and nobody has the right to kill a fellow human being, and whoever that does so, the law should be taken to their doorsteps,” he concluded.

Screenshot from the YouTube video ‘Black axe: Charitable or criminality, two sides of a coin and its danger’. To watch the video please click here.

Source: Cultism: Concerns as politicians, students, others glamorize groups’ activities

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: Enugu state man arrested in Anambra for allegedly kidnapping teenagers for ritualistic purposes

One has to be extremely cautious when reading news like the following arrest of a man from Enugu State, residing in neighboring Anambra State, who is suspected of luring teenagers to hotels where they will be assaulted, raped, murdered while body parts are being used for ‘money rituals’. 

Notwithstanding the foregoing I do not want to withhold the readers this story – not for sensational purposes but to demonstrate how the phenomenon of money rituals continues to emerge in virtually every state of Nigeria, with a population of about 200 miilion Africa’s most populated country.
NB Also see my post of tomorrow, December 19, 2021 (webmaster FVDK).

How Police arrested suspected rape, ritual kingpin that terrorizes teenage girls in Eastern states

Published: December 17, 2021
By: Vincent Ujummadu, Awka; Ike Nsukka & Esther Onyegbulah – The Vanguard, Nigeria

A middle-aged man (name withheld) suspected to be the ring-leader of a deadly gang that specializes in raping and using teenagers for rituals has been arrested by the police in Zone 13, Anambra State. 

The suspect said to reside in Obosi, Anambra State but hails from Ovoko, Nsukka in Enugu State was allegedly involved in luring unsuspecting teenagers in higher institutions of learning in the Eastern states of the country to hotels where they will be raped, after which their blood will be collected for ritual. Police sources said the suspect whose means of livelihood are unknown claims to be building hotels and hostels and always invited his victims to hotels with promises of showering them with gifts. 

How his exploits blew open

The suspect said to reside in Obosi, Anambra State but hails from Ovoko, Nsukka in Enugu State was allegedly involved in luring unsuspecting teenagers in higher institutions of learning in the Eastern states of the country to hotels where they will be raped, after which their blood will be collected for ritual. Police sources said the suspect whose means of livelihood are unknown claims to be building hotels and hostels and always invited his victims to hotels with promises of showering them with gifts. 

Father of the victim, who is a senior lecturer at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, who pleaded for the family’s name not to be mentioned, stated that in the SOS message (print out shown to our reporter), her daughter was pleading passionately with her roommate to engage a commercial motorcyclist urgently and race to the hotel to save her life. 

According to the father of the victim, as she was busy sending the message crying for help, the impatient suspect was already calling on her to come out of the bathroom. “When she failed to respond, the suspect who was blaring the radio set in high decibels with a view to covering up his deeds banged furiously on the bathroom door and started destroying it.

Roommates to the rescue

“Luckily, her friends in the campus, who found it very difficult to get a commercial motorcyclist at the hour of the night succeeded at last and rushed to the hotel, with her doctor, who was also alerted.  They broke into room 101 and rescued the girl. Both the students and other lodgers in the hotel, including players of the famous Enugu Rangers International, nearly lynched the suspect to death but for the intervention of security guards from the hotel, who assured of handing him over to the police.  

“However, the story took a different dimension after the police at Nsukka Division arrived the scene, only to be told that the suspect escaped from the grip of the hotel’s security guards. They only succeeded in recovering the suspect’s abandoned vehicle, bloodstained bedsheet in the room where the victim was raped, and CCTV footages in the hotel. 

When investigations continued, we started suspecting fowl play when overtures were being made to us for the matter to be settled amicably, while police investigators kept treating the matter as a mere rape case, without addressing the glaring issue of attempted murder for ritual.

Based on this, we quickly transferred the case to Zone 13, Ukpor, Anambra State, where fresh investigations commenced. 

Intelligence report that paid off.

“The police at the zone, together with some military men involved in operation in the east, swiftly embarked on intelligence and scientific investigation and succeeded in arresting the suspect, while he had concluded plans to flee to Ivory Coast,” he stated.

It was learned that while they were tracking the suspect, they nearly succeeded twice at arresting him, while he was also luring another teenage student to a hotel in Nsukka to perform the same act.  He narrowly escaped during the encounter. However, police sources said they are still trying unravel the faith of the girls he went out with during that period. 

It was gathered that police search for him paid off few weeks later, after vigilante men at Obosi, Anambra State who were alerted over his atrocities, succeeded in arresting him while he was almost trying to escape to Ivory Coast.  The suspect, according to sources, made serious overtures of huge financial rewards to the vigilante group at Obosi to set him free, but the group resisted the temptation and handed him over to the police. 

His operational weapons

Vanguard Metro learned that after his arrest, signs of charms, anti-gun and matchete charms were seen all over his body.  However, police sources said initially after his arrest, he accused the victim and her roommate of being lesbians but, later, he started narrating his exploits with his gang. It was disclosed that the suspect is a secondary school drop-out and has no known means of livelihood.  He reportedly lodges in expensive hotels and drives two cars. He allegedly uses different names like Emeka, Emmy, Oderah Loius, during his criminal exploits and had spent some time in Ghana, where he was said to have escaped after he was exposed. 

He also goes about to hotels with radio speakers to control noise, an odour perfume to control smell from his victim’s dead bodies; ropes, belts for restraining the victims and tying them up. These items were recovered together with the CCTV footages in the hotel. In some of his chats, collected through intelligence report, he was also advertising on his whatsaap status that young girls should contact him to collect their school fees and that he was organising a big burial at Nsukka, that they should come and pick their school fees.

Police sources further said that he goes about with sack of money, living in hotels, driving SUV’s and wearing expensive Rolex watches and gold bangles, which he uses to entice his victims. He also lives in three addresses in Obosi and Nsukka.

My daughter has been traumatized

Father of the victim, who said his daughter has been traumatised after the incident, told Metro: “All we are saying is that police must arrest members of the gang hiding outside and busy pressing buttons for their master to be freed. We have all the evidence to show that it is not just a case of rape, but an attempted ritual murder. All his collaborators helping him to subvert justice must be brought to book.

“We learned that the hotel management sacked the manager and some staff that witnessed the incident, to cover up for the suspect, despite helping him to escape when he was held by the mob to be handed to the police. They also gave the suspect master key to the room he gave to his gang members, which they used to move out most of the suspect’s belongings.”

Reactions

When contacted, the General Manager of Jerry Marriott Hotel and Suites in Nsukka Local government area of Enugu State, where the incident allegedly took place, Patrick Agu said he was not yet employed by the hotel management when one Louis Onyeke allegedly raped and attempted to murder the UNN student in the hotel facility. However, Agu said his enquires revealed that the incident happened in the hotel and that police were already investigating the case. 

He also exonerated the hotel management from the escape of the suspect, who has now been arrested by police. “When that incident happened, I was not yet an employee of Jerry Marriott Hotel. However, upon my enquires, I learnt that the incident really took place. Already, the police are handling the matter and the suspects are all reporting to Zone 13, Ukpor-Dunukofia, Anambra State, to answer for their crime. That is all I can say about the incident,” he explained.

While reacting to the development, the spokesperson of Enugu State Police Command, Daniel Ndukwe, said he needed time to verify the incident.  “Is it something that happened three months ago? You have to hold on while I verify the incident, because it is not recent,” he said.

In his comment, when contacted, the Assistant Inspector- General of Police in-charge of Zone 13, Ukpor-Dunukofia, Muri Musa, told Metro: ”The case of rape against the suspect from Ovoko, Nsukka in Enugu State, who attempted to rape a doctor’s daughter’s is before Zone 13. We are working on it. When we conclude our investigation, if there is any prima facie case against the suspect, he will be arraigned in the court of law. The suspect has been arrested and he is in our custody.”

Source: How Police arrested suspected rape, ritual kingpin that terrorizes teenage girls in Eastern states

UN human rights expert urges Liberia to probe suspected ritual killings

Liberia has been in the grip of a series of mysterious deaths, unexplained disappearances and confirmed cases of ritual murders since at least early 2021 but in fact much earlier. It started with the unexplained death of a number of tax officials, three senior employees of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and the Director General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), who were found dead within one month, in 2020.

Liberians on the scene where two LRA employees were discovered dead on 2 October, in downtown Monrovia.  © RFI/Darlington Porkpa
Source: Liberia requests US intervention after string of mysterious auditor deaths

The recorded cases of unexplained deaths and proven ritualistic murders stand at 10, for the year 2021 alone. I have extensively paid attention to these cases and the resulting social and political unrest in Liberia in more than 10 recent posts. See my posts dated September 30, October 1, October 4, October 5, October 7, October 9, October 22, October 23, November 9, November 10 and November 11.

Still, despite repeated appeals from prominent civil society and church leaders, politicians and journalists in Liberia, the reaction of the Liberian Government is one of silence and disappointing. This leads unnecessarily to fresh rumors of involvement of high ranking government officials, unfortunately not uncommon in Liberia.

Recently a UN human rights expert urged the Liberian Government to act and investigate the mysterious deaths and disappearances and arrest the culprits of the heinous crimes which are ritualistic murders for occult purposes (‘juju’).  

The ball is now in President Weah’s court. In 2017, the former soccer champion-turned-politician was elected by a majority of the unprivileged youth of Liberia after an election campaign promising them ‘change’. Liberia faces new presidential elections in 2023 and with mounting criticism and an opposition determined to unseat him, Weah is uncertain to gain a second mandate (webmaster FVDK).

UN human rights expert urges Liberia to probe suspected ritual killings

Liberian president George Weah faces mounting criticism and an opposition determined to unseat him in the forthcoming presidential elections slated for late 2023.

Published: December 10, 2021
By: Punch, Nigeria

A UN human rights expert on Friday urged Liberia to investigate claims that a spate of murders this year had a ritual motive, despite authorities having already denied those claims.

Rumours of ritual murders spread on social media in the West African nation this year, with reports of corpses found with body parts removed — possibly for occult purposes.

Liberian police have denied the bulk of the reports, however, and arrested a member of the political opposition accused of fanning the rumours.

On Friday, Morris Tidball-Binz, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, nonetheless urged Liberia’s government to investigate the killings.

The independent expert said in a statement that at least 10 people in Liberia had been murdered in unclear circumstances in 2021 year, “some of which have reportedly been linked to ritualistic practices”.

“Investigations should fully explore all possible motivations for these killings,” he was quoted as saying.

Ritual murders are not unheard of in Liberia, and were common during the country’s back-to-back civil wars from 1989 to 2003.

Body parts severed from the victim’s corpse are thought to be used in rituals designed to benefit the murderer.

However in September, Liberian Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue announced that most of the recent alleged incidents are baseless.

The same month, police arrested a member of the opposition party Alternative National Congress for posting misinformation about ritual slayings online.

Source: Liberia urged to probe suspected ritual killings

Liberia was created in 1847  by African-American colonists with the aid of the American Colonization Society, a white-dominated private organization, and political, military and financial support of the United States government.

Nigeria, Lagos State: Police arrest man with fresh human parts in Ikorodu

Today is not the frist time I post a report on a ‘money ritual’ in Lagos State. Since the start of this site on ritual murders, superstition and the rule of law in Africa I have posted every year one or more articles on money rituals and related ritualistic activities in Lagos State, Nigeria’s most populated region. I may refer the interests reader(s) to my posts of August 31, 2018, Nigeria: Lagos ‘madwoman’ caught with human parts, corpses: “I pose as prostitute to get victims”; November 4, 2019, Nigeria: ritual killing stirs fresh fears in Ikorodu (Lagos State); January 9, 2020 on the ritual murder of a Lagos State University student, Favour Daley-Oladele, in December 2019; and September 21, 2021, Lagos State – Nigeria: Police arrest man for allegedly killing poly student for ritual.

The following report is not on a ritualistic murder though it does have ritualistic activities as its core theme. In Ikorodu a man was caught who had fresh human parts in his possession. Ikorodu s a large city in Lagos State with a population of approximately one million; it is the largest local government in Lagos State. Reportedly, the arrested individual, a 41-year old man, named Sikiru Kolawole, was apprehended near the Ojokoro cemetery in Ikorodu.

From police reports it is learned that the suspect might have been involved personally in the acquisition of (read: digging up) the human parts. It is not clear whether the suspect was motivated by financial gains, selling the human parts to interested parties or acting on behalf of someone else, or by a personal motive. Whatever the case, it is obvious that superstition as involved: the belief in the power of human parts. Therefor, this warrants the inclusion of the following article on this site (webmaster FVDK).

Police arrest man with fresh human parts in Ikorodu

Published: December 10, 2021
By: Vanguard News, Nigeria

The Sagamu Road Police Division said it has arrested a 41-year-old man, Sikiru Kolawole, for allegedly being in possession of fresh human parts.

The Spokesman of the Lagos Police Command, Mr Adekunle Ajisebutu, who confirmed the incident, said that the suspect was reportedly found with fresh human hands, intestines and skull from Ojokoro cemetery in Ikorodu.

“The Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered the case to be transferred to the State Criminal Investigative Department (SCID) at Panti, Yaba, for diligent investigation and prosecution.

Earlier, the Ikorodu Local Government Chairman, Hon. Wasiu Adesina, who led members of his cabinet to the scene of the crime, said the council promised to do everything necessary to curtail the dastard act and its reoccurrence.

The council boss immediately directed the environment department to clear every part of the cemetery to avoid any black spot inside and outside, adding that the apprehended suspect would be dealt with according to the law to serve as a deterrent to others.

“While we take care of the living, the council has mandated itself to cater for our dead ones and that is why we have rehabilitated the Ikorodu cemetery to international standard.

“I will ensure proper security measures are put in place and deal ruthlessly with anybody engaging in such illegitimate act at the cemetery.

“We have done lots of rehabilitation, illuminating the cemetery with solar power, provided water system and perimeter fencing,” he said.

Mr Nurudeen Lawal, one of the local guards at the cemetery, said that they engaged with the suspect in combat before he was apprehended around 1:30 am with a sack full of human parts while trying to escape.

“We carry out surveillance round the cemetery at least three to four times in a shift to observe the surroundings.

“Suddenly, we started hearing some funny sound, on getting there we saw the suspect with a sack loaded so we challenged him on how he got in and his mission at the cemetery.

“During the interrogation, we challenged him to open his sack, he resisted and it resulted in a combat and trying to use the weapon with him to scare us away to enable him flee.

“Subsequently, we grabbed and took him to the police station with the human parts for further interrogation,” Lawal said.

Source: Police arrest man with fresh human parts in Ikorodu

Nigeria, Adamawa State – Rev. Dr Kehinde Babarinde: ‘The church must speak out against the ritual killing of women’

Women and girls who end up ‘Missing and Murdered’ were the focus of two international webinars organized in the context of 16 days of activism to end gender-based violence. The Lutheran World Federation (LWF),in partnership with the World Council of Churches (WCC), ACT Alliance and the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) tried to find an answer to the question what the churches can do to prevent the rising crime of femicide.

Among those speaking about the problem in Nigeria were Rev. Emmanuel Gabriel, Nigeria’s national coordinator of the LWF’s Symbols of Hope project, and Rev. Dr Kehinde Babarinde, of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN) and adjunct lecturer at West Africa Theological Seminary.

Rev Babarinde asked attention for the issue of ritual killings of women whose body parts are believed to possess mystical powers and hence they are sacrificed by unscrupulous murderers for the well-being of unknown businessmen, politicians, and others. He appealed to the church to speak out against this and other abuses. 

Ritualistic murders are rife in Nigeria and Adamawa State is no exception. See my posts ‘Nigeria: Ritual killings – over 20 children missing in Adamawa State‘, a 2018 article, and ‘Ritual killers on rampage in Adamawa State‘, a 2014 article, as well as my post dated May 11, of this year, ‘The scourge of ritual killings in Nigeria‘.
(webmaster FVDK)

Published: December 7, 2021
By: The Lutheran World federation, Geneva, Switzerland, 

Webinars hear how faith-based organizations must step up action to change cultures and stop gender-based violence

(LWI) – The dramatic plight of women and girls who end up ‘Missing and Murdered’ was under the spotlight during two webinars organized in the context of the 16 Days of activism to end gender-based violence. The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) partnered with the World Council of Churches (WCC), ACT Alliance and the Young Women’s Christian Association(YWCA) to ask what the churches can do to prevent the rising crime of femicide.

The two-part event focused on different areas of the world, presenting first-hand testimony from panelists working with women and girls who have been trafficked, abused or forced to flee their homes in fear of their lives. Among those speaking about the problem in Indonesia on 25 November was Faye Simanjuntek, a young Lutheran activist who set up her own safe house called Rumah Faye for sexually abused children. Noting that the center cares for trafficked victims as young as six, she spoke of the work to empower survivors through reproductive health education, as well as creative skills training including art and cooking workshops.  

Simanjuntek also addressed the underlying cultural problems that allow violence against women and girls to thrive in her country, citing recent comments from a police chief who said wives should be confined to the “well (fetching water), the kitchen and the sheets.” Though Indonesia is a vast and diverse country, she said, women are largely viewed as “second-class participants” in family and public affairs.

Combating patriarchal cultures

Rev. Emmanuel Gabriel, Nigeria’s national coordinator of the LWF’s Symbols of Hope project, spoke about the work to support and reintegrate survivors of trafficking through psycho-social counselling and livelihoods activities. Women are the most vulnerable to exploitation in his country, he noted, often because of gender-based violence in their communities which motivates them to migrate and fall victim to the traffickers. Churches must be part of the solution, he said, raising awareness of the dangers and advocating for a bible-based approach to gender equality.

Another Nigerian panelist, Rev. Dr Kehinde Babarinde, adjunct lecturer at West Africa Theological Seminary, addressed the issue of ritual killings of women whose body parts are believed to possess mystical powers to bring prosperity to others. He said the church must speak out against this and other abuses such as widow inheritance, where women can be forced to marry another family member following the death of their husbands. Many women prefer to commit suicide, he noted, stressing that this must be recognized as a form of femicide too.

Speaking about the widespread violence and killings of women in the Pacific region, Stephanie Dunn of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Center said churches have at times reinforced the problems of a patriarchal culture which create barriers to prevent women from coming forward to denounce the perpetrators of violence. While global statistics show one in every three women has suffered from intimate partner sexual violence, in Fiji and the Pacific, she said, that figure rises to two out of every three women experience gender-based violence.

Building a ‘Gender-competent Church’ 

South African Catholic theologian Nontando Hadebe, international coordinator of the faith-based gender justice network Side by Side, spoke of the interconnected legacies of patriarchy, colonialism and apartheid in her country. Women, she said, are still “socialized to be submissive” and the church must do more to highlight positive role models of women in the bible.

Frantseska Altezini, a lawyer working with the YWCA in Greece, spoke of the way that the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent economic crisis have brought the underlying problems that women face into the spotlight. She and other participants stressed the need to teach children gender justice in schools, as well as developing curricula for theological institutions in order to “build a gender-competent church.”

A second webinar on 2 December highlighted the scale of this ‘shadow pandemic’ of gender-based violence in Latin America, North America and the Caribbean. Valéria Vilhena, a researcher with Mulheres EIG (Women Evangelicals for Gender Equality) highlighted the work that organization has been doing since 2015 to support survivors and their families. Her country, Brazil, ranks fifth in the world for the highest levels of femicide after El Salvador, Colombia, Guatemala and Russia, she said.

Protecting the most vulnerable

Dr Imani Ama, a research fellow at the University of the West Indies, spoke of the challenges of “indifference and impunity” for perpetrators in Jamaica where the “subordination of women is normative.” Easy access to guns and a “de-sensitization to the value of life” have helped to rank Jamaica “among the murder capitals of the world,” she said. Demilitarization and de-colonialization are necessary, alongside “theologies to dismantle patriarchy,’” she added.

Ebony Rempel, chief executive officer of the YWCA in Banff, Canada, spoke of the increased threats facing indigenous women and girls who are seven times more likely to be victims of femicide. Her organization runs an emergency shelter, as well as longer terms support and affordable housing for survivors of domestic violence. Their crisis helpline has seen a 71% increase in calls during the pandemic, she said, with trans women also running higher risks of femicide.

In conclusion, First Nations Cree artist Amanda Wallin shared her experience of supporting two daughters who were on the Missing Persons’ list in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the province with the highest femicide rate in Canada. She spoke of the pain of witnessing her daughters in abusive relationships, saying there is a need for greater legislative efforts to protect women from violence and femicide, especially among the indigenous communities.

LWF/P. Hitchen

Source: 16 Days: ‘Missing and Murdered’ victims of femicide

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