Liberia: Key Massaquoi Ally Says Finnish Court Got it Wrong

About ritual murder during Liberia’s civil wars.
Under construction (webmaster FVDK)

Liberia: Key Massaquoi Ally Says Finnish Court Got it Wrong

Published: May 17, 2022
By: FrontPage Africa – FPA Exclusive by Anthony Stephens with New Narratives

MONROVIA – A key former ally of Gibril Massaquoi, the Revolutionary United Front commander, says a Finnish District Court got it wrong when it acquitted Massaquoi of charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Liberia.

Joseph Marzah, commonly known as “Zizar Marzah”, was a fierce general with then-president Charles Taylor’s forces in the period Finnish prosecutors alleged Massaquoi conducted his crimes during a trial that lasted more than a year. Marzah was a key figure, accused repeatedly by witnesses of atrocities allegedly committed with Massaquoi in Lofa County. In an exclusive interview with New Narratives last week at his residence along the Monrovia-Robertsfield highway, Marzah insisted Massaquoi was among the RUF troops Taylor sent to Liberia to help defend his government against the uprising by the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) rebel group that would eventually drive Taylor to resign in August 2003.

In an 850-page ruling, the Finnish judges found there was “reasonable doubt” as to whether Massaquoi, who denied the charges, was in Liberia when the alleged crimes took place. They acquitted Massaquoi of all charges. Prosecutors plan to appeal.

“Gibril Massaquoi fully took part in war here,” Marzah said listing the Lofa towns he was with Massaquoi. “He passed through the towns of Zorzor, Fessibu and Vasala.”

Marzah said Massaquoi was decorated with the rank of Captain at Taylor’s direction because of his strong performance on the frontlines of battle.

“Gibril Massquoi was assigned to me. When we sent him for our logistics like arms and ammunition, he went for them and brought them to us,” said Marzah. “Where there was intense fighting, he joined us to fight. In 2001 and 2002, he was with us, and we battled LURD in Chicken Soup Factory, Double Bridge, ELWA and Shefflin.”

Marzah’s claims back the allegations put forward by Finnish prosecutors that Massaquoi had been active in Liberia’s second civil war between 1999 and 2003. The indictment alleged Massaquoi committed rape, torture, ritual murder, torture and recruitment of child soldiers in villages in Lofa County in the years 2000-2002.

In the most shocking crime heard during trial, Liberian witnesses testified that dozens of women and children were forced into a kitchen building that was set alight, burning them to death.

Marzah, no doubt mindful of his own risk of prosecution, did not concede that he and Massaquoi committed any crimes. But he insisted Massaquoi was with him, as many had witnesses testified, in Lofa during the 2001-2002 period.

“If Gibril Massaquoi denies that he was with me, NPFL, I would like for us to sit face-to-face (in court) so that I can question him like the scenario between Taylor and I. I fear nothing.”

However, Marzah cast doubt on the most contentious prosecution accusation: that Massaquoi escaped a UN-backed safehouse in Freetown between June and August 2003 to fight for Taylor in the Waterside area of Monrovia. 

“In 2003, I only heard that he came (from Sierra Leone) and went back. I was assigned to Grand Cape Mount County at the time.”

Marzah claimed Massaquoi escaped Liberia in 2002 after he stole from Taylor.

“After we had made two trips (with two jars of diamonds) along with the logistics to Taylor, he left us because he ran away with the third jar of diamonds,” said Marzah. “When the order came that if we saw Gibril Massaquoi, we should execute him because of the diamonds he stole and ran away with, I didn’t see him then.”

Massaquoi’s Lawyer, Kaarle Gummerus denied commenting on Marzah’s allegations, telling this reporter in a WhatsApp message “the defense does not feel the need to comment on Mr. Marzah’s allegations”.

Marzah said he was approached by representatives of the Finnish investigators in the case and was willing to testify. He did not say why he was not called to give evidence.

In a WhatsApp message Tom Laitienen, the Chief Prosecutor for the case said “We considered Marzah as a witness, but practical issues hindered us from hearing him. We will most likely consider him again if he agrees to testify.”

When pressed as to what the practical issues may have been Laitinen said “unfortunately, I cannot discuss them in detail, but they include his possible role in the suspected crimes and his role as a witness to the Special Court.”

It is not clear that Marzah’s testimony would have made a difference in the verdict. The court found many of the witnesses, including those who claimed to be ex-soldiers of Charles Taylor’s army, were unreliable. It said they had provided contradictory and inconsistent statements between the investigation and the trial. The court found it likely they had been influenced to a degree.

“The witnesses’ accounts have been very similar in some respects, and in some respects they have changed in court in the same way compared to the pre-trial phase,” said the ruling. “This has been the case in particular with regard to the time of the events. This suggests a kind of collective processing of the facts on the basis of which the witnesses formed their perceptions, or at least external influences. In some respects it has been difficult to distinguish between what was based on the witness’s own observations and what was otherwise based on information obtained by the witness. These factors undermine the reliability and relevance of individual reports as evidence.”

While the court was persuaded that Massaquoi, whose testimony played a key role in the conviction of Taylor and a dozen top rebel leaders in the Special Court for Sierra Leone, held very high rank in the RUF, it was not convinced he committed war crimes in Liberia.

The Court’s ruling was almost entirely about inconsistencies in the witnesses’ testimonies. It cited as examples, where some of the witnesses were not exact about key dates and names of individuals who may have carried out crimes. In one instance, witnesses accused Massaquoi of being responsible for mass killings in Kamatahun, Lofa County. In another instance, they attributed the crimes to Marzah.

“It has emerged from several witness accounts that “Zig Zag” Marzah or “Stanley” [another Taylor commander] had been responsible for the burning of people in the Lofa area, especially in Kamatahun.”  

Marzah Denies Allegations

Marzah, now 64 and living in a remote part of his native Nimba County, denies he committed any atrocities.

He claimed to have provided safety for members of the Gbandi tribe, who were allegedly burnt alive in buildings, because, he claimed, his wife was a Gbandi woman. Marzah denied he was in the town when the alleged killings took place.

“It was Benjamin Yeaten [another top Taylor commander known as “Chief 50”] who sent Brigadier General Gourtor, [known as “Idi Amin” after the late Ugandan President], “Butu Lazen” and the late “Busy Boy”. They went to Kamatahun Hassala to carry out those executions,” Marzah alleged.

Yeaten, whose whereabouts are unknown, was mentioned many times by witnesses. They told the court Yeaten was very close to Taylor and coordinated the operations of government and RUF forces. Taylor, who is currently serving a 50-year sentence in a British jail for aiding and abetting Sierra Leone’s civil war, funded the operations of the RUF by giving them arms and ammunitions in exchange for diamonds according to the Special Court. 

Marzah said there were times that both RUF and Taylor’s forces backed up each other, depending on the scale of the attacks they experienced from opponents.

Special Court former Trial Attorney Backs Marzah’s Comments

Marzah’s comments were backed up by Chris Santora, a former Trial Attorney for the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone and on the Taylor trial.

“Whoever really understands well the history of the links between Charles Taylor and the RUF trial knows that top RUF commanders were often in Liberia interacting at many levels with Benjamin Yeaten and Charles Taylor throughout 2000 and 2001,” said Santora.

“The reasons were many not least of which was Taylor’s use of the RUF in his own war in Liberia but also this was when the diamond pipeline was at its peak as the RUF had firm control of the diamond areas of Kono. Many of these RUF commanders including Massaquoi were back and forth frequently through 2001 as they were running diamonds. (sometimes their own side deals others through Taylor) The finding of the Finish District Court which says that Gibril Massaquoi was not anymore traveling at all to Liberia after June 2001 does not accord with the overwhelming evidence I myself have seen. It doesn’t make sense in the larger context of events at that time period,” said Santora.

Marzah Supports a War Crimes Court for Liberia

Once considered a Taylor trusted general, Marzah, dismissed allegations that he betrayed his former boss. But he said he did oppose Taylor by the end. He was  “killing our people slowly,” Marzah said. He blamed Taylor for the murders of a long list of individuals, including Enoch Dogolea, Taylor’s first Vice President and Samuel Dokie, a leading opposition politician with the Unity Party at the time.

Marzah is ranked 66th on a list of 100 most notorious perpetrators recommended for prosecution for gross human rights violations by Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. But in the interview he expressed support for a war crimes court and said he was willing to appear.

“I prefer it to be in Liberia,” he said. “There are some wicked people. Some did nothing, some went in the government because they have connections. Some carried out destruction. So, it’s better for the war crimes court to come to sifter all of us. I am willing for it to come. That’s the time we all will explain everything in detail.”

Prosecutors will file a motion to appeal the District Court’s acquittal in coming weeks.

This story was produced in collaboration with New Narratives as part of its West Africa Justice Reporting Project.

Source: Liberia: Key Massaquoi Ally Says Finnish Court Got it Wrong

Ghana: female student murdered at Cape Coast, private parts removed by unknown assailants

A shocking news item, but it is important to emphasize that the police hasn’t yet confirmed that we’re dealing here with a ritual murder, even though there are indications of ritualistic activities. To be objective, one has to include the possibility that seemingly ritualistic activities such as removing organs or other body parts aim to mislead the investigators and that the perpetrator thus tries to cover up another crime.

As soon as more details will emerge I will inform the reader accordingly.
(webmaster FVDK)

Woman murdered at Cape Coast, genitals removed

The identity and family of the deceased is yet to be established

Published: May 14, 2022
BY; Kasaha fmonline

A lady believed to be in her early twenties has been murdered and her genitals removed at Ola, a suburb of Cape Coast in the Central Region Friday night.

The deceased who is suspected to be a student of the Ola College of Education or University of Cape Coast was found lifeless along the road around the College premises.

The Authorities of the Ola College of Education and the University of Cape Coast have not yet confirmed whether the said deceased was a student of any of the schools.

The residents of Ola were thrown into a state of shock after they found the body of the light-skinned lady lying in a pool of blood with several machete wounds on the body near the Ola Catholic Church Stretch.

According to eyewitnesses, initially, they assumed a car had knocked the deceased and the driver escaped but upon getting closer they realized her vagina had been removed with blood oozing from her nose and mouth making them suspect the assailant may have committed that heinous crime for rituals purposes.

An inspection of her body showed that some of her body parts had been removed by her assailants who it is believed cut them for use in rituals.

The Police who were notified of the incident conveyed the body to the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital mortuary.

Meanwhile, the Police have commenced an investigation into the incident.

The family of the deceased is yet to be identified and no arrest has been made.

Source: Kasapafmonline.com/Yaw Boagyan

Source: Woman murdered at Cape Coast, genitals removed

Inside the world of Nigeria’s deadly money ritualists where human parts are traded like commodities (Part II)

I am flabbergasted after reading this investigative report of a courageous reporter who posed as a desperate internet fraudster who wants to ‘get-rich-quick’ by contacting herbalists tracked online. Her experiences are recommended reading!

It is hard to believe this happens in real life. Judge for yourself.
(webmaster FVDK)

Inside the world of Nigeria’s deadly money ritualists where human parts are traded like commodities (Part II)

Collage of Promise Oyewole’s (Ifa Tunde) BVN image and image obtained during WhatsApp callM

The craze for getting stupendously rich through the senseless killing of humans for rituals has reached an alarming crescendo in Nigeria. The phenomenon has thrown families of victims into untold anguish. For two months, posing as a desperate internet fraudster searching for mystical means to acquire wealth, our correspondent using the pseudonym, SEGUN ADESINA, met with herbalists tracked online for help

Published: May 14, 2022
By: Special reporters – Punch, Nigeria

Ifatunde’s identity unveiled

That same day, our correspondent set out for the agreed meeting point after receiving several calls from someone that claimed to be Promise, Ifatunde’s son.

At Ipeba, for safety reasons, our correspondent waited for Promise inside the commercial bus that conveyed him there, as he had yet to arrive. This move was pre-arranged with the bus driver before leaving the park.

After a while, a young man descended from a bike and moved toward the bus after scanning his surroundings suspiciously.

After locating our correspondent through repeated calls, he introduced himself as a 19-year-old Promise and demanded N20,000.

With his facial expression changing from that of shock to confusion when our correspondent refused to give him the money, he quickly hopped on the bike that brought him, which all the while was parked at a relatively safe distance and disappeared into a bush track. A frustrated Ifatunde would later call to ask why the money was not given to his son. He was told that the money would only be sent if the herbalist revealed his face via a WhatsApp video call.

Desperate to collect the last tranche of payment, Ifatunde agreed but insisted that our correspondent’s camera must be switched off.

At the agreed time, as soon as our correspondent initiated the video call and Ifatunde’s face became visible, a screenshot was quickly obtained.

When PUNCH Investigations compared the face captured with the one obtained from a source that carried out an independent background check on the Bank Verification Number of the account provided for the transaction, it was a match.

The 19-year-old Promise Oyewole, whom the old herbalist claimed was his son, was the manipulative voice behind the scene all the while.

When confronted with PUNCH Investigation’s findings, Ifatunde, still pretending to be an old man, vehemently denied being the same person and curiously asked, “How did you get the picture of my son?”

When he was told to refund the N30,000 paid for the money ritual or risk being arrested by the police, he went into an angry tirade and said, “I didn’t force you to bring the money. Even when we got to the police station, they would ask if I came to your house to collect it. They will also ask what you paid for. I am sure you can’t tell them you wanted to do money rituals.

“If you want to collect your money, I will send it, but you will have to be patient until I get another customer that needs the same ingredients.”

As of the time this report was published, Ifatunde had yet to make any refund and refused to pick up our correspondent’s calls.

Yet another

Still wanting to explore the murky waters of money rituals, PUNCH Investigations approached Fayemi Fafunke, another Facebook user posing as a herbalist.

Like others, he advertised his skilled ability at money-making rituals and was deft at using proverbs. He also sounded like an old man when a call was sent to him with a number found on his post. After our correspondent told him about his experiences with the two other herbalists, he was quick to condemn their actions.

However, PUNCH Investigations would later discover that he was no different.

When asked how much it would cost to prepare the ‘Osole Gbigbona’ money ritual, Fafunke said, “We have different types, and they range from N20,000 to N100,000. It depends on you.

“The one that would be prepared with human parts will cost you N100, 000. You will get a good result within a week. You can ask for a refund if nothing happens.”

When told that the amount available for the money ritual was N30, 000, Fafunke grudgingly accepted the amount.

It was agreed that an initial deposit of N10,000 would be paid to procure the items needed for the charm. At the same time, the balance of N20,000 would be brought by our correspondent to Ilaka, an area in Oyo State, to collect the charm.

Surprisingly, not long after N10,000 was transferred into a bank account provided by Fafunke, he called the next day to demand another N10,000.

Items bought by Ifatunde for the money-making ritual

“Things are now very expensive,” he claimed, adding, “In fact, when I got to where I would get the human parts, I was charged N18,000. You have to send N10, 000.”

When reminded of his earlier promise not to demand any additional money, Fafunke became furious and told our correspondent to send his account details for a refund.

An hour after the account details were forwarded, the herbalist called back and, in a calm tone, requested N5,000.

Fafunke said, “I want to help, and it’s for your own good. You can send N5,000. I am still in the market,” he said.

When our correspondent insisted on a refund, Fafunke claimed he had purchased some items already.

“So, what do you want me to do with what I have bought,” he asked and disconnected the call.

Since then, every attempt to reach the herbalist has proved abortive, and no refund has been made.

Human lives and sanctity violated

These encounters are just a glimpse into how individuals violate the sanctity and sacredness of human lives to carry out money rituals for an alarmingly increasing number of people (majorly young) possessed by a get-rich-quick syndrome.

Based on widespread reports, such adventures always have sad endings.

Despite dire consequences known to be associated with such actions, which include sudden loss of senses, loss of lives, including that of loved ones, loss of limbs, blindness, sleeplessness, and loss of properties, among other things, they are undeterred.

No week passes without the media reeling out graphic, horrifying activities of those caught with fresh or decomposing human parts or of mutilated bodies discovered in hotels or dismembered, with most victims being declared missing earlier.

While there has been glaring evidence and confessional statements from those arrested in possession of human parts or involved in the actual killing, linking their intent to ritual purposes, some victims have been suspected of being killed due to circumstances surrounding their demise for such purpose.

Distressing statistics

The menace, going by reports, is not peculiar to any region of the country, even though some have gained notoriety lately.

A report by the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta revealed that an estimated150 women and girls were killed for ritual purposes between January 2018 and December 2021 in the Niger Delta region of the country.

“Recent incidents also indicate an upsurge in targeted killings of women and girls for ritual purposes in the region, particularly in Cross River, Delta, and Imo States. In January 2022, for example, more than 10 girls were reportedly killed for rituals in Ogoja town, Cross River State. Some vital organs of the victims were allegedly harvested,” it stated.

The report, among other cases highlighted, revealed an attempt by a young man to kill his mother for ritual purposes in Owerri, the Imo State capital, and the killing of an 80-year old woman who had her body parts harvested for ritual purposes in Olomoro town, Isoko South Local Government Area, Delta State on February 7, 2022.

Hotbeds for ritual killings

Although the data only captured states in the Niger Delta, media reports indicated that the phenomenon had become endemic in states such as Oyo, Ogun, and Lagos.

Recall that several drainage tunnels were discovered to be used by ritualists in Lagos, while in Oyo State, the activities of ritual killers became known in March 2014, when a slaughter slab was uncovered in Soka, a few metres from the popular Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The abandoned building was initially a traditional treatment centre for mentally ill people.

A raid on the den by the Oyo State Police Command led to the rescue of malnourished victims meant for the slaughter slab and uncovered mutilated body parts of victims and decaying corpses.

Eight years after the sordid discovery, the business of abducting, killing, harvesting, and selling human parts for ritual purposes still thrives in Ibadan, PUNCH Investigations revealed.

This claim was mainly validated with the conversation and aborted transaction with Oladipupo, the Ibadan-based herbalist.

Money-making charms strange

While speaking with PUNCH Investigations, Dr Ajibola Olosun, a traditionalist, decried the alarming trend. The sexagenarian, who said he succeeded his father, Baba Olosun of Osogbo, in 1977, revealed that young internet fraudsters usually approach him with mouth-watering offers for money rituals but that he always declines.

“These Yahoo boys are not ashamed and don’t hide what they do. I am surprised because these recent developments are strange. Our forefathers don’t bequeath charms to just anybody. My father, the late Olosun of Osogbo, warned us against preparing charms for fraudsters and robbers,” he said.

On the rising use of human parts for money rituals, Ajibola, who is also a law student, told our correspondent at the Ifetedo campus of the Osun State University, where he is studying, that those killing for money rituals were not traditionalists.

“Those killing for money rituals are not traditionalists because the tradition has ethics and taboos. Ifa asks us to pray every day, how then do you do evil and keep praying? Yoruba tradition does not support such evil,” he said.

He, however, said, “Sometimes, we can use bones of the dead for rituals, but it’s not fresh ones. Maybe when you see a human bone after erosion must have washed it to the surface, you can pick it up and keep it for use. In fact, we are not allowed to exhume dead bodies.”

In the background of claims by Ifatunde, the Ibadan-based herbalist who said that traditionalists preparing money charms are not meant to meet with a client, Ajibola said in Yoruba tradition, transactions must be transparent.

“Why would he not meet with his client? I have not heard it in my life. You have to know the person you are dealing with when it involves money.

“Some taboos associated with such charm might be that a woman should not touch it or that the charm must not touch the ground. Others might require a naira note to be placed underneath,” he clarified.

All money rituals have dire consequences

The traditionalist warned that money rituals have rebounding consequences.

“My fear is that some of these things have repercussions. Some of these Yahoo boys run mad because Osole Gbigbona, requires sacrifices, and it has an expiry date. When it expires, no one can predict the repercussions. It’s like a give and take arrangement,” he warned.

Ajibola said it might be difficult to curb the excesses of individuals like Oladipupo because they are not under any recognised body.

He then advocated education as a viable tool to curb ritual killings and money rituals.

A country’s weak fight against money ritual

Embarrassed by the global outcry over the rising trend in Nigeria, especially with enthusiasts, mostly teenagers, claiming to have carried out ritual murder or taken an interest in money rituals after watching a series of trending videos online, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said steps would be taken to ensure the responsible use of social media. He also said national awareness would be raised against the scourge.

He said, “For those who may still be in doubt, ritual killings have assumed a worrisome dimension in recent years. Recently, in Ogun State, four young men, one of whom is 18 years old, murdered their 20-year-old female friend for money rituals.

“One of them said they learnt about using human parts for money rituals from social media. Of course, you are also aware of a case involving a female student of the University of Jos, allegedly killed by her boyfriend for ritual purposes. These killings have been widely reported by the media.”

However, based on PUNCH Investigation’s findings, nothing beyond the categorical statement had been done by the Federal Government.

Five ritual cases reported in six months —Police

The spokesperson for the Nigerian Police Force, Muyiwa Adejobi, while speaking with PUNCH Investigations, revealed that cases of money rituals were rampant in the South West.

He said, “In other parts of the county, we just have some isolated cases. In the South West, the state that has recorded the highest number is Ogun. Within six months, we recorded almost five cases in the region. Fifteen suspects were arrested, and almost all of them confessed to the crime. They have been charged to court.”

Adejobi advised parents not to entrust their children to strangers or estranged friends, adding that the police had embarked on enlightenment programmes, especially in schools to curb the menace.

“Be careful. Don’t just keep your children in neighbours’ hands,” he warned.

How ritual killers operate —Amotekun

The Oyo State Commandant, Western Nigeria Security Network, code named Amotekun, Col. Olayinka Olayanju (retd), revealed that three groups involved in human parts sales were arrested within two years of its operation.

He revealed that those into money rituals had targets and could trail their victims for some time.

“They know the identity of their victims and sometimes can trace the body of a dead victim to the burial site and have it exhumed to remove the part needed or take the whole body.

“Some will kill physically and extract the part they want for ritual purposes. As for those that sell, some people patronise them, but I don’t know much about that. They will only tell you they have lots of clients.”

PUNCH Investigations gathered from the retired military chief that most of those patronising body parts merchants are affluent.

“People now call it Yahoo Plus, no longer Yahoo Yahoo. It’s purely money rituals and what they use are human parts,” he added.

Slow justice system

On the challenges faced by the outfit in arresting and prosecuting suspected ritual killers, Olayinka complained about the slow justice system and the friction with the police.

The Amotekun boss said that while some were being tried by the police, others were prosecuted by the Oyo State Directorate of Public Prosecution.

“We arrested a suspect and handed him over to the police, but he was returned to us. The police claimed that we didn’t follow proper procedure. We approached the DPP and threatened to release the suspect.

“He (suspect) actually killed a 73-year-old man. The DPP took it up, and he has been remanded in Abolongo prison pending when the case would be charged to court,” he said.

Olayinka called for better synergy between the police and Amotekun corps to succeed in the fight against ritual killings.

Oyo State upholds prosecution –Oyo AG

The Oyo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, said the state upholds the law when it comes to prosecuting ritual killers, adding that the DPP has not failed to wield prosecutorial powers when necessary.

“Investigations and prosecution are not the sole prerogatives of the Ministry of Justice. It is the police that will arrest, and we will write a legal opinion on whether there is enough evidence,” he added.

Our members not ritualists —OPC reacts

When contacted, the Chairman, Oodua People’s Congress, Oyo State chapter, Rotimi Olumo, denied the alleged involvement of its members in ritual killings or human body parts sales.

“The OPC, led by Iba Gani Adams, is only concerned about the security of the people,” he told our correspondent.

Psychologist harps on empowerment

A clinical psychologist, Olawumi Oluwatosin, attributed the trend to unpleasant childhood or life experiences, peer pressure, and mid-life expectations.

She recommended that empowerment programmes should be part of incentives through which the government can curb the menace.

Oluwatosin stated, “It might be difficult to convince a person already exposed to large amounts of money, rituals, and other bad things, except to replace the pleasure, which is money, with something else. But it can be done by probably providing an alternative source of livelihood like empowerment programmes.”

Source: Inside the world of Nigeria’s deadly money ritualists where human parts are traded like commodities (Part II)

Inside the world of Nigeria’s deadly money ritualists where human parts are traded like commodities (Part I)

I am flabbergasted after reading this investigative report of a courageous reporter who posed as a desperate internet fraudster who wants to ‘get-rich-quick’ by contacting herbalists tracked online. Her experiences are amazing!

It is hard to believe this happens in real life. Judge for yourself.
(webmaster FVDK)

Inside the world of Nigeria’s deadly money ritualists where human parts are traded like commodities (Part I)

From the left: Initial preparation as sent by Ifatunde; Ifatunde preparing the money-making charm and Oladipupo

Published: May 13, 2022
By: Segun Adesina – Punch, Nigeria

The craze for getting stupendously rich through the senseless killing of humans for rituals has reached an alarming crescendo in Nigeria. The phenomenon has thrown families of victims into untold anguish. For two months, posing as a desperate internet fraudster searching for mystical means to acquire wealth, our reporter, using the pseudo name, SEGUN ADESINA, met with herbalists tracked online for help

What was uncovered was a frightening, sadistic romance involving young men, voodoo, and traditionalists that are ready markets for booming human parts harvesters.

Oladipupo Olalere looked remarkably fresh for an herbalist. His eyes were fixated on a book of mystics propped on his lap. Not even the presence of a potential customer could distract him. He only managed to nod his head to acknowledge the presence of our correspondent, pointed to a weather-beaten wooden bench and went on to flip through the pages of the book, mumbling inanities.

The 30-year-old plies his trade somewhere inside the densely populated area of Oja-Oba in Ibadan, Oyo State. His shrine is a ramshackle building sandwiched between two old structures with brown corrugated iron sheets. His dimly lit room was littered with fetish objects, mostly wrapped in red cloth. While some were displayed on wooden tables, others thickly coated with dust, hung loosely on the dirt-stained wall. Inside the room, which was crammed with other odd-looking objects, was an area demarcated with a cream cloth.

Staring at the space generated an eerie feeling as it oozed secrecy. From all indications, it was not meant for prying eyes. Before the visit, our correspondent had been in talks with the herbalist, who has over four thousand followers “liking and sharing” his fetish suggestions.

Known as Ifatunde Ifayemi on Facebook, his timeline is littered with adverts beckoning on individuals interested in all manner of charms, especially those that hold great promises for individuals seeking avenues to get rich mysteriously.

With his page, a beehive of interactions, he constantly fed fans with content that boasts his mystical powers and deep-rooted traditional beliefs. With flagrant disregard for identity protection, he flaunts his clients as a way to prove his success rate as a money-ritual guru.

It was from one of his posts that our correspondent got his phone number and began a negotiation that, with time, led to a face-to-face meeting.

Initially, when the conversation was initiated, the picture painted by our correspondent to Oladipupo was one of a frustrated Yahoo boy (Internet fraudster) faced with a life of struggle and lack, and was ready to stake his neck to hit the goldmine through money ritual.

Oladipupo flanked on both sides by two clients

A journey into the mysterious

Excited by the call from not only a new client but one ready to go the whole hog, Oladipupo, with-no-holds barred, revealed and explained coded traditional terminologies, which he said were only known by money ritual underdogs.

PUNCH Investigations gathered from him that various types of money rituals had their attached consequences. Oladipupo said the two in high demand were ‘Osole Gbigbona,’ which required human parts, and ‘Osole Tutu,’ the one prepared with animal parts.

Following promises by our correspondent to ensure a huge return after hitting it big and sensing his desperation, the herbalist voluntarily opted to prepare the ‘Osole Gbigbona’ money ritual.

While still marketing the extraordinary potency of this particular charm, he warned that it would cost quite a lump sum of money. Still, he refused to divulge the amount on the phone. Oladipupo later gave our correspondent an address in Ibadan for a physical meeting to finalise the arrangement.

Meeting days later, Oladipupo ranted about popularly held perceptions on the potency of money rituals and boasted about a sizeable number of Nigerians he had made stupendously rich. The conversation, which was more of a self-advertisement, appeared to be a mind-playing gimmick meant to mentally prepare our correspondent for what was ahead.

He said, “Osole Gbigbona is real. Some are more potent and effective than others. I have done so many money rituals. From Abuja to Abakaliki, I transfer the charms. I have clients abroad and send the charms through courier,” he boasted with a glint in his eyes.

Oladipupo said he relocated to Ibadan from Ogun State because of the huge patronage he enjoys from mostly young Internet fraudsters.

He said, “I have more customers in Ibadan than Ijebu Ode. You know that a prophet is not respected in his own town. I have customers that sometimes lodge in hotels for weeks, and when it’s time to eat the concoction made for them or to collect the charms, they will come to my place. Two friends came to me from Abuja and another from Abakaliki. I posted about them on my timeline,” he said.

A vivid description of the individuals matched some uploaded pictures discovered on his Facebook page by PUNCH Investigations.

The actual cost of money rituals made with human parts

Delving deeper into the mystery, Oladipupo explained what each money ritual entailed and asked our correspondent, “Do you want the one that will yield money immediately or that which would make people start rendering monetary favours to you?

“There is money-making soap that will be prepared for you with parts of a dead body. When bathing with it, the dead body will appear. You may not see the spirit, but you will hear words like ‘give me my head or give me my flesh,’ depending on the part used. The potion prepared with body parts is more potent than those made with the head of lizards or other animals.”

Our correspondent asked for the cost after Oladipupo’s earlier advice to go for the money ritual prepared with human parts due to its efficacy.

Ingredients for rituals bought by Ifatunde.

“Osole Gbigbona will cost you N250, 000. I am offering you this charm at a cheap price. If you can get me the money, you will have so much money within one week. You will see money and become afraid,” he blurted with accompanying incantations.

The herbalist further boasted that the charm prepared with human parts can last for three years, adding, “By the time it expires, you would have made more than enough money.”

Asked if there are accompanying repercussions, Oladipupo answered, “Since you are not the one that killed the person, there won’t be any problem.”

Pretending to be pleased and convinced, our correspondent asked Oladipupo for his bank details, promising to transfer the amount needed for the money ritual once he gets to Lagos.

Surprising ease of obtaining human parts

Before taking his leave, pretending to be worried, our correspondent asked the herbalist how he intended to source the human parts required for the money ritual.

He dismissively answered that he was unaware but later said it could be harvested from accident victims or dead bodies.

After a deep thought, he (herbalist) claimed to also source from herb sellers and “from old members of Oduduwa People Congress.”

In order not to arouse suspicion by probing further, our correspondent left with a promise to transfer the N250,000.

However, three days later, instead of returning with the money, our correspondent called to make an odd urgent request – to procure a human toe for personal reasons.

Without hesitating, Oladipupo promised to contact his supplier and revert back on the price and mode of delivery.

A few minutes later, he called back with the news that the toe could be delivered at any location. He (herbalist) was ready to act as a middle man to broker the deal.

He revealed that it would cost N50,000, but after negotiation, the duo settled for N40,000.

“Once you send money and it is confirmed, I will get it from the supplier and bring it to your place. If you send the money today, I will bring it to Lagos today. My delivery fee is N5,000,” he said.

PUNCH Investigations, however, aborted the mission by not contacting Oladipupo, as it was unclear where the toe would be sourced from.

It is worth noting that the transaction was hinged on an agreement of payment before the supplier would source for it.

After two weeks of silence, the herbalist sent a message to our correspondent to find out why he had yet to hear from him, but he got no response.

Enter Ifatunde, 19-year-old herbalist cum swindler

In Oyo State, Ifatunde, a 19-year-old, who hoodwinked our correspondent into believing he was in his 70s, held sway.

He was the second herbalist that PUNCH Investigations’ search unearthed on Facebook and was contacted via a number advertised on his posts. In what could pass as a veiled attempt to deceive desperate victims, Ifatunde had the ‘Odu Ifa Corpus’ symbol as his profile picture.

However, PUNCH Investigations stumbled on another of his Facebook accounts with another mystical symbol used as a display picture through a WhatsApp number given to our correspondent by the herbalist, which he claimed belonged to his son.

Findings showed that the first Facebook account had 2,140 friends, while the second had 1,000.

He spoke with an unadulterated Ibadan accent in a series of telephone conversations with our correspondent that spanned two weeks. He pretended to be a gruffly old man. He continuously referred to our correspondent as ‘Omo mi’ (my child).

Still sounding like a desperate Internet fraudster, our correspondent reeled out why he needed to become rich. Ifatunde wasted no time boasting that he possessed the ultimate mystical power to conjure wealth and success.

However, his bill was small compared to that of the Ibadan-based herbalist.

“Are you ready for it now?” he asked after days of back and forth on the phone with our correspondent.

“I will charge N95,000 for the one that needs human parts. Since you are 30 years old, there is no problem. If you are not up to a certain age, you cannot use it. Some people that are 19 and 20 years old have approached me, and they got what they wanted. Put your mind at rest,” he said.

After pleading with Ifatunde to reduce the fee, the amount was brought down to N40,000. It was agreed that the amount would be paid in two instalments of N20,000.

The herbalist explained that the deposit would be used to buy the human parts and other items needed to perform a particular sacrifice. At the same time, the balance of N20,000, would be paid once the charm was ready.

“I will do it for you. I hope you won’t be an ingrate because the N40,000 is too small. Do you have the money with you now,” he asked.

However, the money ritual came with a clause – no physical meeting between him and our correspondent until the charm is ready.

“Seeing me would render the charm useless,” he warned.

In what appeared to be a tactic to avoid being traced, Ifatunde requested that the money be transferred to a POS operator, claiming to have issues with his bank account but when our correspondent insisted on paying through a bank or back out, he agreed to send the bank details of his son.

He kept demanding more

After an account with the name Promise Oyewole was sent, the first instalment of N20,000 was paid. However, two days later, Ifa Tunde called to demand an additional N10,000 to purchase ‘essential materials’. He claimed the N20,000 was insufficient and highlighted the dangers of aborting the ritual halfway. The money was sent but with an agreement that only a balance of N10,000 would be paid when the charm was ready.

Surprisingly, the herbalist called the next day to demand another N20,000, to carry out another special sacrifice to fortify the money ritual. He said, “Something appeared to me last night, and I had to suspend the preparation. Before I finish the process, we need to make a sacrifice. I saw something with positive and negative side effects. If the sacrifice is made and you start using the charm, you will get results within three days, but if not, it won’t work.

“It seems that you have been using other charms before now, and they don’t work. I don’t want that to happen again. And you know that there is no way we can perform the sacrifice without money. N20,000 should be enough.”

At this point, it dawned on our correspondent that he could possibly be dealing with an Internet fraudster masquerading as an herbalist.

Our correspondent offered to bring the N20,000 to his shrine, pretending to play along. Still, Ifatunde refused and voiced fears that it portended danger.

He referred to an earlier discussion wherein he warned that the charm forbade any physical meeting with a client. Instead, he proposed sending his son, Promise.

“He would wait for you by the roadside at Ipeba to collect the money,” he said.

Findings by PUNCH Investigations showed that Ipeba is a remote village along the Ogbomoso-Oyo Road.

To be continued

Source: Inside the world of Nigeria’s deadly money ritualists where human parts are traded like commodities (Part I)

Nigeria: Killing people for money ritual is saddening — Oba Olakisan, Ogboni President

The President of Ogboni Agbaye (worldwide), Oba Akanji Adetoyese Abudu Olakisan, is not the only traditional leader to raise his voice against the wave of ritualistic activities including murder which terrorize the Nigerian population. He is to be commended for his brave position and being outspoken against these cruel practices which have no place in the 21st century. (webmaster FVDK)

Published: May 7, 2022
By: Sam Nwaoko – Nigerian Tribune

Oba Akanji Adetoyese Abudu Olakisan, is the President of Ogboni Agbaye (worldwide). He speaks with SAM NWAOKO on the widespread report of ritual killings in Nigeria and on how this affects the image of traditional worshippers in the society among other issues. 

How does it make you feel when you hear the rampant reports of people killing others for money rituals?

I feel sad whenever I hear how people are being killed or slaughtered for money rituals in our country. I’ve always said that the major cause of all these is unemployment, most especially among our youths and government is to be blamed for this. That’s why entrepreneurship skill acquisition must be made compulsory right from the secondary schools so that youths could be engaged and become self-employed at the end of their education. Secondly, as the adage says ‘charity begins at home’, parents must teach their children morals and let them know the evil effects of engaging in criminalities because our creator frowns at every form of immoral act. Since the greatest sin that a man can commit in life that may attract the wrath of God is killing fellow human being, why can’t we run away from such sin and come back to God? So, the government should wake up to their responsibility by creating jobs for all our teeming youths either by encouraging them to be self-employed and give them a take-off grant or provide them with white collar jobs.

Do the reports affect what you do or how you are viewed in the society?

Of course, it has effect on what I do and want to believe it’s not only me but to every other law-abiding citizen of Nigeria. If you observe vividly, killings and other forms of insecurity have generally made our country unsafe for foreign investors. So this is to tell you that apart from me, every other Nigerian has equally been affected one way or the other. For example, people are no longer safe to even travel from one state to the other. Our economy has generally gone bad as a result of this insecurity and killing problems. Today, people are no longer safe in their houses, on the street, in the religion institutions, in the farms, in their places of work as well as while travelling from one place to another. So, since part of our government’s promise is to secure life and property of the citizenry, it is now time for them to have a rethink and wake up to their responsibilities

How would you advice a person who wants to do rituals for wealth?

My major advice for whoever that is planning it is to desist from such a dastardly act and never to go to it. Naturally if someone is very hard-working, focused, have trust and belief in God for the blessing of his handwork definitely, such a person will make it in life without making money rituals. Success in life is just a matter of obeying the principles of work and pray. Instead of money rituals, we should all wait for the time of God. It is only God that gives man wealth without adding stress to it. Though, it is good for someone to be wealthy because there is nothing we can do on this earth in the absence of money but one must not be too desperate for it. The love of money and desire to have it at all cost is responsible for all the criminalities and insecurity problem that we found ourselves in Nigeria today.

Sir, politicians are jostling for positions as preparations for the general election in Nigeria is heightening. What would be your message to the politicians and the electorate?

Our politicians must rule with the fear of God. Electioneering campaign should be centred on issues instead of personality. All elected representatives must not be self-centered but rather, the interest of Nigerians and the electorates must always be at their heart and they must make sure they fulfill all their electioneering campaign promises. Political violence and killings must be totally avoided in Nigeria if we really want Nigeria to continue to remain as one entity. Honestly speaking, God has even revealed to me that except we pray very well, and eschew crisis and violence, many of our political leaders may die before the 2023 general elections. God also told me in a dream that all the kidnappers, ritualist and human killers in Nigeria will meet their waterloo soun. and Nigeria will be a better place to live. You see, the major killer of our economy in this country is corruption. Therefore, our elected representative must eschew corruption for our economy to pick up again because corruption has now become a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabric of our society.

What solutions would you suggest to the government on the way out of the present bad economic and security situation we are facing in Nigeria?

I think the first step President Muhammadu Buhari’s government should take is to genuinely create jobs. Our government must make sure that all our teeming youths are usefully engaged. Though the government can’t provide all the needed white-coller jobs for everyone but they can encourage entrepreneurship skill acquisition among the youths by making it a compulsory course in our higher institutions of learning so that after their graduation, the government can make it a point of duty to provide them with materials/instruments as well as take off grant to start work.

If this can be done, our youths will not only be self employed but they will also become employers of labour and they will be able to utilize their God given talents positively for the socio/economic growth of the nation rather than using it in a negative way. So, all the nation’s money that our politicians are embezzling can be use positively to build and develop these youths. So therefore, all we just need to do now is to make sure that corruption is being totally eradicated so that this money can be utilize for the creation of job opportunity for our youths as well as provision of social amenities for the people.

In the area of economy that you talk about the other time, the solution is also very simple and that is diversification away from oil economy to agriculture and other sectors of economy. You see, our government has relied too much on the petroleum resources for our economic sustenance in Nigeria. Agriculture alone can create job opportunity for about one hundred millions of our youths in the country if our government can encourage agriculture. Secondly, it could help in boosting our economy by the time we are having excess of foodstuff and become exporters of agricultural produce rather importing them. Again through farming products, many industries can spring up where agricultural produce can be branded and packages into another thing.

I also want to use this medium to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to as matter of urgency find lasting solution to the high rate of fuel price in the country. You see, instead of importing our petroleum products, the government should try and repair all our refineries in Nigeria so that we won’t be taking our crude-oil to the outside Nigeria again to be refined and import back to us at the exorbitant price. So, I want to believe that if this can be done by the federal government, the current price of almost N200.00 per liter of petrol will be naturally drop to N50.00 per liter.

Talking security-wise again, Nigerians too should not leave the security issue to the governments hand alone but instead, we should all be security conscious by reporting whatever strange things we notice in our societies to the security agencies or any appropriate authorities as quickly as possible. Moral teachings and preaching’s should be encourage among us so that everybody can know the evil effects of engaging in criminalities and the consequence of it before our creator after we might have died. As the Yoruba adage use to say ‘charity begins at home’ every parents must try and educate their children on the importance of moral and the evil effect of engaging in criminalities. Again children should be taught on what will come out of whoever engage in criminal act and is caught by the security agencies, they should let the younger ones also know that killing of fellow human being for whatever reasons is a very great sin before our creator which could attract very serious punishment.

Parents should also train their children in the line of creativity and handwork as tools towards attaining success and greatness in life.

Source: Killing People For Money Ritual Is Saddening —Oba Olakisan, Ogboni President

Ghana: plea for Stop Money Rituals on TV campaign

From 9-16 May, 2022, 9 am to 5 pm, daily, an important exhibition will be open to the general public in Ghana, at the Archeology Museum of the University of Ghana, Legon. The organizer Eyram Magdalena Kwasie and all collaborators are to be commended for this laudable initiative.

Dubbed “STOP MONEY RITUALS ON TV NOW”, Ms. Kwashie draws attention to the fact that over the past two years ritual killings have become rampant in Ghanaian society and the worrisome role of the media including television resulting in influencing young people, like allegedly happened in the Kasao ritual murder case.

What has become known as the Kasoa murder case involved two teenagers who allegedly murdered a 10-year old boy for ‘money rituals’. See for more details my extensive previous reporting on this notorious ritual murder case (2021).
(webmaster FVDK)

Stop Money Rituals on Television campaign to headline 7-day exhibition at University of Ghana

Published: May 7, 2022
By: Graphic Online, Ghana

Three Postgraduate students of the Archeology Department of the University of Ghana, Legon, are to mount a seven-day, multi-themed exhibition from Monday, 9th to Monday, 16th May, 2022.

The exhibition will be mounted in the museum located within the Archeology Department at the University of Ghana, Legon.

Three different themes will be on display for the seven-day exhibition.

Whilst two of the exhibitors are celebrating Ghanaian heritage in the areas of sports and tourism, a third exhibitor, Ms. Magdalene Eyram Kwashie, is focusing on getting society to redirect its energies into speaking up against an ill that seems to be perpetuated by a section of the Ghanaian media.

Dubbed “STOP MONEY RITUALS ON TV NOW”, Ms. Kwashie says she intends to use the exhibition to provoke the thoughts of society into pushing authorities to take a second look at media content especially radio and television and to act in the best interest of Ghanaians.

Ms. Kwashie says, “Ritual killings have become rampant over the past 2 years and the scary part is the involvement of teenagers in the heinous crime”.

She refers to the Kasoa killing incident and says the alleged confession by the two teenagers that a ritualist on television inspired them raises serious issues about the content in our media space.

“It is no secret that majority of our television stations’ contents are dominated by persons who claim to have powers to double money for people. And they show these with impunity and mostly during prime time,” she added.

According to her, she has themed her exhibition “Stop Money Rituals on TV Now” in support of a social media hashtag that trended on Facebook during the unfortunate Kasoa incident where a 10-year old boy was killed allegedly by two teenagers ostensibly for “money ritual”.

Ms. Kwashie believes that it is about time authorities such as the National Media Commission (NMC), and the National Communications Authority (NCA) did something about some of the content in the Ghanaian media space.

“I am not calling for censorship of the media, however, we need a body that can set the parameters within which media organisations work particularly when it comes to content. We all cherish freedom of speech but this freedom must be accompanied with responsibility”.

On display will be a makeshift shrine, some implements used in maiming victims with very interesting inscriptions. Ms. Kwashie says “such interesting inscriptions are only to reduce the tension that is usually associated with the subject of ritual killing yet sending the message home that it is a serious subject”.

The other exhibitors are Emmanuel Kwame Yeboah who is celebrating Ghana’s two greatest football teams, Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko and their achievements over the years on the African and Ghanaian landscape.

The third exhibitor, Ali Mahama, will showcase the Mole National Park in the Northern region, with the exhibitions opening from 9am to 5pm daily.

Source: Stop Money Rituals on Television campaign to headline 7-day exhibition at University of Ghana

Ghana money rituals: Why ritual murder dey on de rise for Ghana

The focus of the September 2021 article showing below is clear even though it’s in Pidgin English, a mixture of English and local languages spoken in Ghana. It refers to several ritual killing cases which have already been reported on this site, like the notorious Kasao ritual murder case. It also refers to the role of media, notably television, which has also been addressed in previous posts.

The main theme is clear: ritual murder cases are in the rise in Ghana, a worrisome phenomenon. The article below scratches the surface of the roots of the problem: superstition, lack of education – even though education provides no guarantee – and a weak rule of law, sometimes caused by institutional factors, sometimes attributed to connivance of authorities at the highest level.

The eradication of ritualistic activities including murder must have a high priority of lawmakers and those who are responsible for upholding the law. It’s a question of protection of human rights, notably the right to live and to live without fear, and of having a modern, democratic society in conformity with what one may expect in the 21st century.
(webmaster FVDK)

Ghana money rituals: Why ritual murder dey on de rise for Ghana

Published: September 2021
By: Seth Kofi Yeboah – BBC

Two teenagers bin allegedly kill dis 11-year old boy afta witch doctor allegedly direct dem to do so

Ritual murder be major issue Ghanaians dey deal with after de country start dey record multiple cases dis year.

In de past, some of de most infamous ritual murderers target women, but recently children be de target of ritual murders for Ghana.

But question wey dey on de minds of many people be why ritual murder dey on de rise for Ghana. 

Why ritual killings dey increase for Ghana

Unemployment be major challenge which most Ghanaian youth dey face. 

Dis unemployment challenge create economic hardships give young people who dey look for get rich quick schemes to escape poverty. 

Security Analyst, Adam Bonaa dey argue say jobless youth dey take up criminal means to survive. 

”While internet fraud, robbery, money laundering den tins be criminal activities de youth dey engage in, some people dey see ritual killings as option.

“De killings dey happen sake of Spiritualists who dey promise patrons money”, he talk. 

Popular traditional priest, Nana Kwaku Bonsam explain dis better, according to him, ‘fake’ traditional priests dey demand for people to satisfy some very difficult conditions like bringing human parts den tins.

Dis be one of de reasons why ritual killings dey on de rise. 

Dis show in de recent Kasoa killing case where two teenagers allegedly kill 12 year old neighbour sake of fetish priestess allegedly direct dem to bring human parts.

“De misconception be say once dem use human blood do rituals, dis dey make de vodoo more potent” Nana Kwaku Bonsam talk. 

De implication be de needless killings to meet conditions of fetish priests off late.

‘Fetish priests who request for human parts be scammers’

Nana Kwaku Bonsam
Wetin we call dis foto, Nana Kwaku Bonsam

For popular traditional priest, Kwaku Bonsam, de use of human blood no dey make any vodoo potent. 

After de murder of three kids for Abesim, he reveal say most fetish priests dey request for human parts be scammers. 

According to Kwaku Bonsam, “de only blood sacrifice traditional priest dey need to perform any ritual be animal blood.”

“But some traditionalists who want make money from unsuspecting people, dey charge den big monies in addition, dem go request human parts which dem know say go be difficult to do”, he explain. 

“Once you no fit do am de money you give dem lock, again you no go expect any vodoo money sake of you no bring de human parts”, Nana Kwaku Bonsam add. 

“In de end, monies wey all de people who visit carry give dem as part of de ritual go be for dem – that be how dem dey scam people”, he explain. 

Increase in On-air radio/TV/online adverts by fetish priests

Another cause of ritual killings be de increase in adverts by fetish priests who dey advertise say dem fit double money or give people charm to make money. 

De failure of key state institutions who for control content on public radio and TV dey make some youth vulnerable to de spiritual scammers.

Those who go follow de public adverts, radio and TV shows go visit de fetish priests for money solutions dey end up going extreme lengths to kill innocent people as part of de ritual process. 

Early dis year, Ghana Communicate Minister, Ursula Owusu make police arrest owner of Thunder TV and Ice1 TV sake of dem dey broadcast shows on money doubling rituals den stuff.

According to Ursula Owusu, “unregulated television stations dey promote some content which dey affect public order, public morality den rights.”

Authorities for Ghana start dey shut down TV den radio stations who dey run adverts on ritual money den tins. 

Violence turn currency in Ghana

Security analyst, Dr Kwesi Aning believe say Ghana go continue to experience crimes like ritual murder sake of people dey see am as profitable venture. 

According to am, “crime turn profitable venture in dis country such that we no know what to do.

“Dis in addition to de weak criminal justice system for Ghana which dey fail to arrest and prosecute criminals dey punish encourage more crime”, Aning add.

Security agencies for Ghana over de years fail to deal with crimes in de country like robbery, kidnapping den ritual murders. 

Dis according to analysts dey encourage more people to attempt criminal activities like ritual murder of kids sake of dem feel say police no go investigate and bring dem to justice.

In 2019, de kidnapping of three girls for Takoradi go under police radar until media start dey report on de matter. 

De many media reports put pressure on de Ghana Police Service to investigate, identify suspects den later retrieve de bodies of de girls. 

After media make de issue of kidnapping a national issue, de police service make de issue step up dema investigations leading to arrest and prosecution of de suspects behind Takoradi girls who dem discover dead. 

What Ghana law say about ritual murderers

Ghana dey classify murder as first degree felony, publishable by death. 

Ghana lawyer, Oliver Barker-Vormawor explain say based on section 46 of the Criminal Code, 1960 (Act 29) people who commit murder go suffer de death penalty.

Despite de death sentence, Ghana shun dey effect de death sentence since 1993.

Sake of dis, in practice death row inmates dey serve life imprisonment whenever court sentence murderer to death.

Source: Ghana money rituals: Why ritual murder dey on de rise for Ghana

Liberia: man found dead “with body parts missing” in Grand Kru County

Warning: graphic image

Under construction (webmaster FVDK)

Liberia: Gruesome Murder in Grand Kru County

Published: May 3, 2022
By: Leroy M. Sonpon, III – Daily Observer

A man in his late 20s, named Worteh Koffa, has been found dead “with body parts missing” in Grand Kru County. 

The deceased, according to a 15-man coroner jury in Grand Kru County died as a result of ritualistic killing.  The coroner jury reported that the late Worteh’s eyes, tongue, fingers and toenails, and other body parts were missing upon discovery of his body in early April  2022 on the beach in Grandcess City, Grand Kru County District #1.

Worteh’s death comes just a year after a 23-years old motorcyclist named Mordecail Nyemah for ritualistic purposes in Maryland County, which is a southeastern county like Grand Kru. The deceased was discovered dead with his right eye plugged, and right fingers cut off in Pleebo during the morning hours of March 25, 2021, and it triggered a wave of violent riot both in Pleebo and the Maryland County’s capital, Harper.

Suspect Moses Mlamah said in a video interview that he was sent by a man identified as Daniel Wesseh to get blood for reasons and was paid to do so. He added that he enlisted the help of two others to carry out the act. The issue about ritualistic killings in the southeast is not anything strange with Maryland County seeing a  series of ritualistic murders that occurred around Harper, in the 1970s.

Between 1965 and 1977 over 100 murders occurred in Maryland County, many of which were considered ritualistic due to the mutilation and removal of body parts. During the 1970s, Liberians in Maryland County were constantly under the threat of ritual murders. Between November 1976 and July 1977, 14 people had disappeared in the county prompting Liberian president William Tolbert to fire Superintendent of Maryland County, James Daniel Anderson, who failed to report the missing people. Tolbert publicly declared “Anyone who kills deliberately: The law will kill that person.”

These murders went unreported and uninvestigated until the murder of a local fisherman and popular singer, Moses Tweh. Tweh was abducted on June 26, 1977. His body was discovered on July 4, 1977, heavily mutilated with his eyes, ears, nose, tongue and penis removed. Prior to the discovery of Tweh’s body, Wreh Taryonnoh, the girlfriend of Assistant Supervisor of Schools, Francis Nyepan, was allegedly heard by a group searching for Tweh saying that “if they would be so lucky to find him, only his bones they might see”. This sparked the arrest of 12 people, a majority of whom were government officials.

During the first Harper Trial, Joshua Brown and Teah Toby were released and later became state witnesses. The other ten defendants were found guilty and sentenced to public execution by hanging. Tagbedi Wisseh appealed his conviction and was pardoned by Tolbert before execution. Wonplu Boye and Koti Weah both died before execution, it was rumored their own family members poisoned them to avoid shame.

On 16 February 1979, the seven remaining people convicted of Moses Tweh’s murder were publicly hanged at dawn in Harper. The media dubbed them the “Harper Seven” The crimes back then were regarded as “Liberia’s most notorious ritual killing case” due to the number of murders, the involvement of high ranking government officials and their subsequent public executions.

Meanwhile, up to press time, the Liberian National Police Detachment in Grand Kru County is still tightlipped on the investigation of Worteh’s death.

Worteh’s mother has therefore called on the government to probe the mysterious death of her son as “her family remains peaceful and awaits the outcome of any investigation.   His death has caused fear among youths in the county and there appears to be a self-imposed curfew among residents of the area, fearing for their own safety.

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker and Acting Chairman of the Grand Kru County Legislative Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa, on has condemned the gruesome and ritualistic murder of Worteh Koffa and called on the Minister of Justice to put more resources into the investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators.

On his Facebook page, the Grand Kru County District #2 lawmaker noted that: “We condemn in the strongest terms the gruesome and ritualistic murder of young Worteh Koffa. I have placed a call to the Minister of Justice to put more resources in the investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators.”

Cllr. Koffa added: “The age-old practice of ritualistic killings, for whatever purpose, must end. I call on the peaceful citizens of Grandcess to remain calm and law-abiding and assist in the investigation. No young person should have his promising life taken away by nefarious and heartless creatures. I call for a swift and speedy investigation.”

Source: Liberia: Gruesome Murder in Grand Kru County

Malawi: Catholic priest and 11 others convicted of killing albino for ritual purposes

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Catholic priest and 11 others convicted of killing albino for ritual purposes

Published: May 3, 2022
By: Andreas Kamasah – Pulse, Ghama

A Malawian High Court has found guilty a Catholic priest and 11 others of killing a man with albinism with the intent to use his body parts for witchcraft rituals.

MacDonald Masambuka, 22, was gruesomely murdered in 2018 and some suspects were arrested in connection with his death, and their trials have since been ongoing.

Interestingly, the deceased’s own brother was also among the people who have been convicted and are awaiting sentencing.

The murder of Masambuka follows a spike in gruesome killings of people with albinism, resulting in over 40 murders and 145 assaults on them.

The perpetrators of these murders hold the false belief that using body parts of albinos engenders wealth and luck.

Speaking after the court proceedings, Malawi’s director of public prosecutions, Steve Kayuni, told AFP that Masambuka’s brother had conspired with other accomplices to kill him.

The convicted brother of the deceased lured him to meet his friends, who he claimed had found him [Masambuka] a woman to marry. Little did he know that they were going to kill him.

“MacDonald was betrayed by those he had trust in, namely the brother, the priest, the policeman, and the clinical officer. These are positions of trust,” the official said, as quoted by Thecitizen.co.tz.

The High Court on Thursday concluded that the 12 plotted to kill Masambuka to extract his bones for rituals that they were hoping to benefit from financially.

Reading the decision, judge Dorothy NyaKaunda Kamanga said: “This is a violation of the right to human life and the greatest violation of the rights to life and integrity for persons with albinism.”

Sentencing of the convicts has been set for May 31.

Meanwhile, the court’s ruling has sparked reactions among activists. Former UN rapporteur on albinism, Ikponwosa Ero, lamented that the latest discovery “points to a serious safety issue for people with albinism in Malawi”.

Steve Kayuni, revealed that there are around 20 cases under prosecution in Malawi courts involving the murder, attempted murder, exhumation, and selling of body tissue of people with albinism.

Source: Catholic priest and 11 others convicted of killing albino for ritual purposes

Liberia war crimes: Sierra Leone rebel commander acquitted of rape, ritual murder and the recruitment of child soldiers  

Gibril Massaquoi is a former commander of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), a notorious rebel group in Sierra Leone responsible for a long list of atrocities, human rights violations and war crimes. Massaquoi is a Sierra Leonian national and was arrested in Finland in March 2020; accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Liberia.

Gibril Massaquoi played an important role – as a key-witness – during the trial of warlord-turned-president Charles Taylor who was found guilty of war crimes and human rights violations in Sierra Leone and sentenced to 50 years in prison by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL).

For briefness sake I refer to the following site for more background information on this person: Liberia: Past and Present of Africa’s Oldest Republic, click here.

Highly recommended reading is also Justice Info Net, in particular Thierry Cruvelliers’ contribution: THE MASSAQUOI AFFAIR: SPECIAL REPORT ON THE JUDAS OF SIERRA LEONE (PART 1 and PART 2).

Under construction (webmaster FVDK)

Liberia war crimes: Sierra Leone rebel commander acquitted by court in Finland

Published: April 29, 2022
By: BBC

Gibril Ealoghima Massaquoi denies murders, rape and recruiting child soldiers

A court in Finland has acquitted a rebel commander of rape, ritual murder and the recruitment of child soldiers during Liberia’s civil war.

The court said there was not enough proof to convict Gibril Massaquoi. 

The 52-year-old is from Sierra Leone and was a senior member of a notorious rebel group, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), that also fought in neighbouring Liberia from 1999 to 2003.

He had moved to Finland in 2008 and was arrested two years ago.

Mr Massaquoi was a school teacher when Sierra Leone’s civil war began in 1991. He joined the RUF, quickly rising through the ranks to become spokesman of the group which was notorious for atrocities such as hacking off the limbs of civilians, as well as murder and rape.

But he then gave evidence to the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone set up to investigate war crimes committed in that conflict.

He was relocated to Finland as part of a witness protection programme, which provided immunity for crimes committed in Sierra Leone, but not Liberia.

Prosecutors alleged that in Liberia, Mr Massaquoi had ordered buildings with people locked inside to be torched, and described the widespread rape and murder of civilians, often by enslaved child soldiers.

The ex-rebel said he was not in Liberia at the time.

The Finnish court had decamped to the Liberian capital, Monrovia, for a while to hear local testimony.

Around 250,000 people were killed during the internal conflicts that ended in 2003.

This was the first prosecution over Liberia’s civil war to be partially held in the country, although Mr Massaquoi remained in Finland.

Screenshot – Miatta, former child soldier in Liberia: “I know I killed people”
To watch the video, please click on the link mentioned below (under ‘Source’)

Former Liberian President Taylor was convicted by an international criminal court in 2012 of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but that was in connection with the conflict in Sierra Leone. He is serving his 50-year sentence in a prison in the UK.

His son “Chuckie” Taylor was sentenced to 97 years in prison in a US federal court in 2009 for torturing and killing people while he was the head of Liberia’s anti-terrorist services.

Ex-warlord Mohammed “Jungle Jabbah” Jabateh has been jailed for 30 years in the US for lying about his past as a leader of a force that carried out multiple murders and acts of cannibalism.

And Alieu Kosiah was last year convicted of war crimes in Switzerland.

Source: Liberia war crimes: Sierra Leone rebel commander acquitted by court in Finland