Tanzania: Child’s father, priest arrested in ritual killing of girl with albinism

A shocking report on an innocent girl’s brutal death at the hands of unscrupulous, superstitious and criminal people. The crime took away the life of a young Tanzanian girl with albinism, and was committed in the Kagera region in north-west Tanzania.

Kagera region is bordered to the east by Lake Victoria. The region borders Uganda to the north, Rwanda and Burundi to the west, and the Tanzanian regions Kigoma to the south and Mwanza to the east. The region covers an area of 35,686 km2 and has a registered population of 3 million people according to the 2022 national census.

Unfortunately, Tanzania has a bad reputation as it comes to the treatment of people with albinism including discrimination, violent attacks and brutal murders having the highest number of reported attacks of all African countries. The girl’s murder is yet another example that this scourge has not disappeared or diminished in this East African country.

Meanwhile I commend the authorities for their swift action leading to the arrest of nine individuals suspected of involvement in the killing for ritual purposes of Asimwe Novath.
May her soul rest in peace.
(FVDK)

Tanzania: Child’s father, priest arrested in ritual killing of girl with albinism

Screenshot – for illustration purposes, see the original article

Published: June 20, 2024
By: The Citizen – NTV Kenya

Police Force has successfully apprehended nine individuals, including an Assistant Parish Priest and the biological father of Asimwe Novath, who are suspected of being involved in the murder of the child with albinism.

The child was abducted from her mother on May 30, 2024, in Bulamula village, Muleba District, Kagera region, and her body was found on June 17, 2024, in Makongora village, missing some of its parts.

A statement released by Police Spokesperson DCP David Misime explained that following the incident, the Police Force, in collaboration with concerned citizens who detest such inhumane acts, launched an intensive manhunt from May 31, 2024, until the night of June 19, 2024.

During this period, nine suspects were arrested with body parts believed to belong to Asimwe Novath, which were found stored in plastic bags as they sought a buyer.

The arrested suspects, who detailed their involvement in this incident, include the child’s biological father, Novart Venant, Desideli Evarist, a traditional healer residing in Nyakahama, and Elipidius Rwegoshora, the Assistant Parish Priest of Bugandika Parish.

Rwegoshora is alleged to have approached and convinced the child’s father to engage in the trade of human body parts.

He is also accused of finding the traditional healer and covering all the related costs.

Other suspects include Dastan Kaiza from Bushagara, Faswiru Athuman from Nyakahama, Gozibert Alkadi from Nyakahama Kamachumu, Rwenyagira Burkadi from Nyakahama Kamachumu, Ramadhani Selestine from Kamachumu, and Nurduni Hamada from Kamachumu.

The Police Force has issued a stern warning to individuals who indulge in superstitious beliefs, including fortune-telling, and persuade each other that they can attain wealth through such means, urging them to abandon these practices.

Source: Tanzania: Child’s father, priest arrested in ritual killing of girl with albinism

Nigeria: a surge in ritual killings worries Ondo State residents

Yesterday’s post was about an editorial of a leading Nigerian newspaper, the Nigerian Tribune, calling for immediate government action to stop and eradicate all criminal activities related to ‘money rituals’ – as illegal and inhumane ritualistic practices for personal gains are referred to in Nigeria. Today more on the same topic, underscoring the editorial appeal for a more rigorous enforcement of the rule of law in Nigeria, with more than 225 million people Africa’s most populated country.

Before leaving this space and allowing you to read the Leadership article presented below on the surge in ritual killings in Ondo State, I wish to draw draw your attention to the fact that in my opinion the claim in the article that in the past Ondo State was spared the evil of ‘money business’ related ritualistic killings is incorrect – as is amply demonstrated by the numerous cases of ritual murders and related attempts in this southern Nigerian state which I reported on the present site.

Notwithstanding the foregoing I wish to express my sincere gratefulness to the author and staff of the online Leadership newspaper for paying attention to the social evil which constitute ‘money rituals’ and the importance of stopping and eradicating these criminal activities which have no place in the 21st century. Ritual killings must stop!
(FVDK)

A Surge In Ritual Killings Worries Ondo State Residents

Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa

Published: June 19, 2024
By: Tope Fayehun – Leadership, Nigeria

Reported cases of ritual killings have surged in Ondo State, a state that was previously not known for such gory acts. For months now, law enforcement agencies have arrested many suspects of ritual killings with gory pictures of human skulls, intestines and dismembered bodies. Most of the suspects are youths, including teenagers.

Last week, a 31-year-old suspect, Yusuf Adenoyin was arrested by the police with eight human skulls and fresh human flesh in the Isua-Akoko area of the state. Adenoyin said he ventured into the business to raise N2 million to pay for his sick mother’s treatment in the hospital.

He told journalists as he was paraded at the Police Command headquarters at Alagbaka, Akure, that he was into the palm oil business and cashew nuts, reselling them before he met the human skull buyer on social media.

Another 30-year-old, Timothy Olaniyi was arrested with fresh human parts in Ondo town by men of the State Security Network Agency, codenamed Amotekun. Olaniyi, who claimed to be a trailer driver with a popular brewery company where he resigned in 2020, admitted that he was caught with a bag containing two severed human hands and two human legs at the Sabo area of the city.

He also confessed that he was promised N30 million after delivering the human parts in Lagos State. Weeks earlier, policemen in the state also arrested a self-acclaimed cleric identified as Tunde Olayiwola with a fresh human head.

A fruit seller, Dolapo Babalola, also narrated how he killed some of his victims, which include his intimate friend, and five persons including his cousin. Most of the residents who spoke with LEADERSHIP on the recent development, however, tasked the security agencies to be alive to their responsibility of securing lives and property.

A retired principal, Mr Akinola Adejobi, expressed fear about the upsurge in killing humans for ritual purposes in the state. According to him, “Human life is sacred and nobody is given the mandate from God to take another man’s life for ritual purposes. The rate at which the youth of today are looking for wealth is very alarming.

Security agencies, most especially the police should be aware of their responsibility to the security of our society. They should do everything in their power to stop the spread of this dastardly act.”

Reacting, the Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the state police command, Fumilayo Odunlami , disclosed that the command is doing everything possible to ensure that the people of the state are protected.

Source: A Surge In Ritual Killings Worries Ondo Residents

Nigerian Tribune Editorial: “Stop the trade in human parts and related criminal activities, ‘money rituals’!”

Below I present a cry for justice and an urgent appeal voiced by the Editorial Board of the Nigerian Tribune, a leading Nigerian newspaper, to stop the nefarious trade in human parts, related organ harvesting and inhumane criminal activities commonly referred to as ‘money rituals’ in Africa’s most populous country. The authors of the Editorial call for immediate government action to stop these heinous practices and to apprehend and punish the culprits.

Previous posts on the present site related to the widespread occurrence of ‘money rituals’ in Nigeria underscore the importance of this cry for justice and urgent appeal to the highest Nigerian authorities to take immediate action.
(FVDK).

That human skulls merchant

Published: June 19, 2024
By: Editorial – The Nigerian Tribune

IT seems that the criminals who trade in human flesh are intent on continuing their ruinous trade even in the face of social disapproval, and will never mend. That is why they must always be subjected to the wrath of the law. Hardly does a month go by without some story about ritual killing or related activities in the country. Just last week, one Yusuf Adinoyi, a suspected ritualist, was arrested with eight human skulls by security agents at Isua Akoko, in the Akoko South-East LGA of Ondo State. Adenoyin, 37, was arrested at one of the checkpoints between the Isua and Epinmi in a Nissan car en route Akure to Osogbo. He was in a vehicle with four other passengers when the personnel attached to the Police Safer Highway Patrol intercepted them on the road.

The Ondo State Commissioner of Police, Abayomi Oladipo, confirmed the suspect’s arrest in a statement. According to him: “Upon interrogation, Adinoyi, 37, confessed to being the owner of the skulls and explained that he was delivering them to a herbalist named Opeifa in the Oke-Onitea area of Osogbo. He equally mentioned other customers he usually supplies human skulls to include one Almonso, who lives at Oke-Onitea, Osogbo, Alfaa Agba who lives at Oke Onitea, and also Oshoyemi who resides around the Oja Oba area. The suspect further confessed that the human skulls were usually handed over to him by one Imaila living at Oboroke in Okene, and that each head is sold for between N30,000 and N35,000.” The police chief added that the suspect would be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) unit in Akure with his case file for further investigations.

It is a shame that some people not only violate the dead, other people’s treasured bodies and memories, but also kill people to harvest their organs for sale, treating them like cattle. In most cases, these dead bodies are used in demonic money-making rituals, but the absurdity of the trade and practice is underlined by the fact that to date, no one has come out to tell the Nigerian public that he is a ritualist, as the traders in human flesh are called. The government must deploy every asset at its disposal, including public enlightenment campaigns, against this pernicious trade which casts the country and its people in extremely bad light.  This nonsense must stop. As we have said it many times, no ritualist is on Forbes’ list of billionaires.  The wealthiest people in this world have legitimate businesses; they saw a need, keyed into it, and provided services to meet that need, reaping bountiful rewards from their investment in social research. The idea that dead human flesh could somehow conjure certain spirits that will bring wealth to those subscribed to such dark practices is not only absurd but patently illogical. Are the spirits alleged to be behind such practices supposed to replace government mints, printing money from their mystical spaces and modelling them after the national currency, or do they steal other people’s money from the vault of banks, perhaps even the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), then bring such monies to those who have summoned them?  Even if such a practice was real, which is vehemently denied, how does it square with the ancient, timeless wisdom that hard work—legitimate, socially sanctioned labour— is the route to wealth?

It is no coincidence that the apprehended ritualists easily show themselves to be extremely selfish, nihilistic and narcissistic. For instance, the suspect in the current story was reported to have claimed that he sold skulls in order to cater to his mother’s health. But this is a lame excuse if it even qualifies as one. Just how do you divest other people of their body parts in order to make your own mother keep hers in good shape? If every Nigerian whose mother took ill decided on his own course of action, how would the society look? Was engaging in crime the only route to addressing his mother’s health challenge? How about engaging in honest, decent labour? And now that he is in the clutches of the law, how will he ensure his mother’s wellbeing?

Yusuf’s arrest confirms, yet again, the prevalence of ritualistic engagements across the country as the platform for wealth enhancement as if killing people had ever resulted in real riches. The society has a lot of work to do to dissuade people from this unfortunate and ridiculous mindset that could only have resulted from the perversions attributable to poverty in the land. Wealth, we reiterate, ordinarily comes from productive engagements, hardwork and commitment and not the infantile engagement with occult manipulations. Given that this unfortunate engagement with rituals often comes with the sadistic killing of other human beings, there is a crucial need to strengthen the capacity of the government to apprehend those involved for necessary and appropriate punishment. In the present instance, that would include conducting thorough investigations to expose all those associated with Adinoyi in the nefarious business and ensuring that they are all adequately punished in accordance with the laws of the land.

Source: That human skulls merchant

Also read: A Surge In Ritual Killings Worries Ondo Residents

Ghanaian official: “Stop ritual killing of innocent children on the basis of witchcraft accusation.”

A Ghanaian official, the Oti Regional Director of Gender Department Esther Hammond, called on traditional and religious leaders to help stop child marriage and harmful cultural practices such as “ritual killing of innocent children on the basis of witchcraft accusation.” Her plea came during a consultative meeting held at Kpassa, in Nkwanta North District of the Oti Region, a newly created region, in December 2018, carved out of the northern part of the Volta Region.

The meeting was organized by the Oti Re­gional Department of Gender, in collaboration with the Oti Regional Coordinating Council, and funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Its objective was to to tackle early child mar­riage and other harmful cultural practices that impede the develop­ment of the area.

The fate of children in Ghana – as of those in other countries – who are accused of witchcraft is saddening. It leads to their exclusion, to discrimination, and other harmful practices including death. It should be stopped. I wish to thank Mrs Hammond for raising her voice against these outdated and cruel practices.
(FVDK).

Stakeholders discuss child marriage, harmful cultural practice in Nkwanta area

Published: June 11, 2024
By: Times reporter – Ghanaian Times

A consultative meeting has been held at Kpassa, in Nkwanta North District of the Oti Region, on Tuesday, to tackle early child mar­riage and other harmful cultural practices that impede the develop­ment of the area.

The meeting sought to raise awareness about negative ef­fects of child marriage, deepen stakeholders’ understanding of the issues, and equip community leaders with knowledge and skills needed to advocate policy changes and local interventions.

It was organised by the Oti Re­gional Department of Gender, in collaboration with the Oti Regional Coordinating Council, and funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFP).

The event was attended by he Oti Re­gional Department of Gender, in collaboration with the Oti Regional Coordinating Council, and funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFP). among others.

The meeting was held against the backdrop of the 2023 Ghana Statistical Service Report that showed that in the Nkwanta North District, 1,014 children aged 12 to 17 years had ever been in union, with 43.0 per cent being boys and 57.0 per cent being girls.

The report indicates that such early unions often led to poor health outcomes, increased risks of maternal and child mortality, disrupted education, entrenched poverty and gender inequality.

The Oti Regional Director of Gender Department, Esther Hammond, said despite global and national efforts to eliminate harm­ful unsafe practices, it remained a significant challenge, particularly impacting the lives of young girls.

She noted that child marriage was denying adolescent girls and boys education and apprentice­ship, resulting in deprivation and poverty.

Ms Hammond appealed to parents and guardians to desist from forcing their girls into early marriage, and rather support them to pursue education.

She called on traditional and religious leaders to help stop child marriage and harmful cultural practices such as “ritual killing of innocent children on the basis of witchcraft accusation.”

The Oti Regional Director of Social Welfare, Innocent Komla Agblosu, advised parents to seek the welfare of their children and give them proper training, to be­come responsible citizens.

He urged children to study hard, obedient and responsibilities, “because rights goes with respon­sibilities”.

The Nkwanta North District Chief Executive, William Nawugo­na, in a speech read on his behalf, gave the assurance that the assem­bly would collaborate with other stakeholders to tackle issues of child marriage and harmful cultural practices.

The District Public Health Nurse, Erasmus Awlime, sensitised the participants to health dangers of child marriage and teenage pregnancy.

The Nkwanta District Police Commander, Chief Superinten­dent of Police, Henry Ayisi Men­sah, cautioned community leaders against handling crime, especially defilement, rape, and encouraged that such cases should be prompt­ly reported to the police for the necessary action.

Source: Stakeholders discuss child marriage, harmful cultural practice in Nkwanta area

Also read:

Gender Ministry Engages Stakeholders to End Child Marriage in Nkwanta North

Source: Oti Regional Co-ordinating Council
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Republic of Ghana

South Africa: superstition in Vhembe District, Limpopo Province – ‘vampire’ who attacks old lady killed by angry mob

Warning: the following story and accompanying photo may upset people because of their graphic nature (FVDK).

I post the following article ‘as it is‘: I have virtually no comments – neither do I confirm the truthfulness of the incident reported nor do I present or suggest my belief in the superstition which forms the base and background of the alleged act, bizarre as it is.

Interesting though (and justifying its inclusion on this site) is the reference to a 2015 study of ritual murders in Vhembe, South Africa. Vhembe is situated in the Northern part of Limpopo Province, sharing borders with Zimbabwe in the north, Mozambique through Kruger National Park in the east and Botswana in the north west. Limpopo Province is notoriously known for its ritualistic murders and superstition.

Map of Limpopo Province with municipalities and districts. Source: Map of municipalities in Limpopo

Reportedly, Dr Alunamutwe Enos Randitsheni wrote a thesis on ritual murders – ‘muti’ murders – while doing his PhD at the University of Venda, and actually said that evil people who believed in such weird practices, such as sucking out someone’s blood, did in fact exist. (italics added by the webmaster FVDK).

“They don’t only exist in Vhembe, but they exist all over the world, and most of them perform these rituals for various reasons but mostly for personal gains,” Dr Dr Alunamutwe Enos Randitsheni alleged, adding that the Tshivenda name for such people was madzhavhathu (cannibals). According to Dr Alunamutwe Enos Randitsheni, most victims are women, children, and people living with albinism.
(FVDK)

‘Vampire’ who attacks old lady killed by angry mob

Published: June 7, 2024
By: Zoutnet, South Africa

A wave of fear and panic has gripped Vhembe District as reports of alleged vampire attacks have surfaced, leading to tragic and violent responses from local communities. In a recent shocking incident, a man accused of being a vampire was beaten to death and burnt by residents of Shikunduville in the Saselamani area.

The tragedy unfolded on Sunday, 26 May, when a man, after reportedly biting an elderly woman on the mouth in Shikunduville, was accused of being a vampire. The woman’s screams for help drew the attention of other members of the community, who rushed to her aid. In their attempt to rescue the victim, the crowd turned their fury on the alleged attacker.

Despite their assault, the man continued his attack, displaying unusual resistance to the beating. The escalating violence culminated in the community’s beating him to death and subsequently burning his body. The traumatic event has left the residents of Shikunduville deeply unsettled and fearful.

The chairperson of the SANCO branch in Saselamani B, Mr Solomon Mathonsi, said the community was still living in fear. “I was at church that Sunday, so I did not see the incident as it unfolded. I was told that the deceased, who worked at a local farm, was going to send money to his family in Mozambique when he started fighting with one of his relatives. He ran away and tried to get inside a neighbour’s house, and a dog attacked him, which forced him to run to another neighbour. He allegedly threatened her that he would bite her and rape her. He attacked her severely, injuring her face, and she looks scary now. Her mouth looks like it is about to be removed, and she appears as if she was attacked by a vicious animal. When the mob was fighting against him, he was roaring like an animal. He looked like he was possessed by evil spirits. We are now left in fear, both young and old,” he said.

According to the police spokesperson in Vhembe, W/O Vuledzani Dathi, the police in Saselamani opened a murder docket after a 29-year-old man was allegedly killed by the community in Shikunduville. He confirmed that the man had been accused of attacking an elderly woman on Sunday, 26 May.

“The police went to house no. 401 in Shikunduville and found the owner, Mr Sam Maceke. The deceased was lying on the ground, wearing black shorts and a black T-shirt. He had injuries on the face and legs. He was tied up with a rope. Mr Maceke told the police that his mother, old lady Nwajaki Priscinah Chauke, was bitten on the mouth by an unknown male person.”

Dathi said the community members had assaulted the male person and tied him up with a rope. “He died at the scene of the crime. He was later identified as Surprise Maluleke of Maineville, a Mozambican with no passport or legal documents. He is said to have been born around 1995. He was taken to Tshilidzini Hospital’s Forensic Pathology department. No arrests have been made so far, and anyone who can assist the police in apprehending the culprits may contact the investigating officer, Sgt Gunguva, on 082 664 6843,” Dathi said.

A 30-second video of old lady Nwajaki Priscinah Chauke narrating how she was attacked started circulating on social media on Wednesday, 29 May. In the footage, Chauke, who can be seen sitting down, wearing a yellow ANC T-shirt and drinking water, said, “He did this to me because he was roaming around my yard. When I asked him what he was looking for, he quickly turned, pushed me, and got inside my house,” she said, speaking in Xitsonga.

The injured lady is currently recovering from her wounds at home.

The incident incited a lot of fear among community members in Vhembe, with many wondering whether creatures such as vampires really exist in Vhembe.

Dr Alunamutwe Enos Randitsheni, who based his thesis on ritual murders in Vhembe while he was doing his PhD at the University of Venda in 2015, said that, during his investigation, he had found that evil people who believed in such weird practices, such as sucking out someone’s blood, did in fact exist.

“They don’t only exist in Vhembe, but they exist all over the world, and most of them perform these rituals for various reasons but mostly for personal gains,” he said. He said the Tshivenda name for such people was madzhavhathu (cannibals).

He added that most of their victims were women, children, and people living with albinism.

The old lady, Nwajaki Priscinah Chauke, who was attacked by an alleged vampire at Shikunduville. 
Photo: Video screen shot.

Source: ‘Vampire’ who attacks old lady killed by angry mob

Nigeria: 166 ritual and cult related killings in the South West in 2023

Nigeria has an immense security problem. Boko Haram and other terrorists, armed criminal groups, bandits, kidnappers, communal clashes, political killings and – last but not least – ritual and cult-related murders terrorize the population of this West African country.

When President Bola Tinubu assumed office on May 29 last year he promised to end or reduce the insecurity in Africa’s most populated country (an estimated 225 million people in 2023). One year later we have a quick look at some data. The result is frightening.

On this site I focus on murders for ritual purposes, therefor I will skip the other atrocities here (though mentioned in the article below). In 2023 there were reportedly 166 people murdered in ritual and cult-related killings in the South West. Presumably the author of the article, Jeph Ajobaju, refers here to the South West geopolitical zone.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria is divided into six geopolitical zones commonly called zones.

The six geopolitical zones of Nigeria

The South West geopolitical zone consists of  of EkitiLagosOgunOndoOsun, and Oyo States (6 out of Nigeria’s 36 states) with an estimated combined population of about 50 million people (2023).

Based on Ajobaju’s information that in the South West in 2023 166 persons died as a result of ritual and cult related killings, I estimate that in Nigeria at least one person a day dies as a result of ‘money rituals’, murder for ritual purposes. And this is a conservative estimate.
(FVDK)

Insecurity rubbishes Tinubu’s inaugural speech to spew mass atrocities

Bola Tinubu, president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (May 29, 2023 – present)

Published: June 3, 2024
By: Jeph Ajobaju – The Niche, Nigeria

Bola Tinubu marked one year in office on May 29 as President against the backdrop of major concerns over insecurity he promised to end or reduce during the hustings last year.

Historical data plus new reports of abductions, kidnappings, and attacks show terrorists’ invasions persist despite more money being poured into security architecture.

Abuja in 2020 deployed technology to track and close the bank accounts of peaceful EndSars protesters who did not commit a fraction of the atrocities terrorists have inflicted on citizens, but it fails to also use the same apparatus to track and prosecute kidnappers.

Tinubu promised in his inaugural speech that “security shall be the top priority of our administration because neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amidst insecurity and violence.”

However, data from various tracking institutions shows an upsurge in mass killings by criminals as well as other forms of criminal conduct.

All demographics – old, young rich, and poor – live in fear of non-state actors who perpetrate violence on a large scale.

Fatalities

Daily Post writes that verified media reports and confirmation from security agencies show up to 500 people and counting have been kidnapped in mass abductions in the North so far in 2024.

February 2024

Up to 200 women and children were kidnapped from an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Gamboru Ngala in Borno.

March 2024

287 schoolchildren were snatched by bandits in Chikun in Kaduna.

Some 15 children were taken from a Tsangaya school in Sokoto.

61 people were kidnapped by gunmen in Kajuru in Kaduna.

November 2023

Coordinated attacks by armed groups saw the kidnapping of 150 people from four villages in Zamfara.

December 2023

At least 190 people were killed and over 300 injured between 23 and 25 December in attacks on at least 20 communities in remote parts of Plateau.

North West

Armed Conflict Location & Events Data (ACLED) also found between 2019 and 2023, the North West witnessed 662 kidnapping-related incidents.

South East

The South East recorded 533 insecurity-related incidents in 2023, according to ACLED, with over 224 people killed by gunmen between January and May 2023.

South West

Media reports show 166 people were murdered in ritual and cult-related killings in the South West

Global Rights through its on-site tracking, recorded more than 6,945 mass atrocities across the country in the first 11 months of Tinubu’s tenure.

May 2023-April 2024

Between 29 May 2023 and 23 April 2024, Global Rights found 3,707 killings and 3,238 abductions.

A minimum 4,416 innocent civilians were killed along with 262 security personnel.

Zamfara led the numbers – mainly abductions – at 636 in 2023, followed by Plateau with 627 killings.

Figures compiled by Global Rights

A recent report by Global Rights said in 2023 alone

  • 1,781 people were killed by bandits
  • 637 by ISWAP or Boko Haram
  • 524 died in communal clashes
  • 475 died in herdsmen attacks
  • 118 were murdered through political killings

Figures collated by Nigeria Mourns

  • 2,423 killings between 29 May 2023 and 26 January 2024
  • 1,872 abductions in the same period

‘‘Global Right’s data is what we call the minimum. If you look at the various data from SBM Intelligence, from Data 5, from Nestia, and others, you will see similarities,” explained Global Rights Programme Manager Edosa Oviawe, 

“It just shows that even though we are all doing it independently, we are reporting the same issues. We have backup documents for all of these.

“We are not just putting out numbers, we have the locations, we have the names of victims.”

Oviawe warned the efforts of the government may never be appreciated until it tackles insecurity.

“Doing other things, the economy and the rest are good, but security is paramount.

”If the people are dying and are being killed, every other thing you are doing makes no sense for Nigerians.

“If a man cannot live in safety, if he doesn’t have that assurance that as he steps out of his house, he is not going to become one of the numbers we are counting, then every other thing you are putting together as a government makes no meaning.’’

Souce: Insecurity rubbishes Tinubu’s inaugural speech to spew mass atrocities

Nigeria: Police burst organ harvesting syndicate in Rivers State

The criminal nature of ritualistic killings goes without saying. Ritual killings are a crime and ritual killers are liable to prosecution. People who kill other people for ritual purposes usually do it for specific reasons related to their personal situation: to gain (more) power, prestige or wealth. The ‘engine’ of their criminal behavior is a combination of greed and superstition.

However, there are also criminals who use this combination of greed and superstition of other people as an income-generating model. They specialize in murdering innocent people for the sole purpose of harvesting their organs which then are sold for ritual purposes. A gruesome crime.

This what happened in Rivers state. The police in Rivers State, a state in the Niger Delta region of southern Nigeria, tracked a criminal syndicate that has been specializing in murdering e-hailing cab-drivers and harvesting their organs which were subsequently sold to unscrupulous individuals who wanted these organs and body parts for ritual purposes (‘money rituals’).

Unfortunately, the phenomenon of ‘money rituals’ is widespread in Africa’s most populated country, Nigeria. This is also the reason why the Federal Government recently imposed a ban on ritual killings in Nollywood movies in an attempt to curb the popularity of this phenomenon which is basically a crime based on superstition.

Rivers State, also known as Rivers, is located in the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The Federal Republic of Nigeria is divided into six geopolitical zones commonly called zones.

The six geopolitical zones of Nigeria

Rivers State is Nigeria’s 8th most populous state with an estimated population of over 7 million (2024). About half the population lives in Port Harcourt, the fast growing state capital and centre of the booming oil industry. Rivers is characterized by its many ethnic groups and its linguistic diversity. With a surface area of 11,077 km2 it ranks 26th (out of 36) on the list of Nigerian states by area.  

Police Burst Organ Harvesting Syndicate In Rivers, Trail Fleeing Members

Organ harvesting suspect

Published: June 2, 2024
By: Itode Akari – Independent, Nigerią

PORT HARCOURT – The Police in Rivers State have arrested a member criminal syndicate, that specialises in murdering e-hailing cab drivers and harvesting their organs for ritual purposes in the state.

The arrested suspect, a 35-year-old graduate of political science from the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, identified as Anthony Chima, confessed to have recently lured an innocent cab driver into his gang’s ambush, where the driver was waylaid before he was murdered in cold blood by the gang.

A statement signed by the Public Relations Officer for the Rivers State Police Command, SP Grace Iringe-Koko on Sunday, stated that the suspect was arrested following an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of one e-hailing cab driver on January 10, 2024, identified as Oghenevwarhe Barry Akpobome.

According to the police, a member of the syndicate confessed to have posed as a passenger to lure the unsuspecting driver to a remote area in Aminigboko community, Abia/Odual Local Government Area of the state, where other armed gang members laid an ambush and pounced on the driver, bound him both arms and legs, gagging his mouth and eventually killing him for the purpose of harvesting his organs.

The statement reads, “In a shocking turn of events, the Rivers State Police have uncovered a disturbing criminal enterprise that has been targeting Uber drivers in the region. The investigation was sparked by the disappearance of one such driver, Oghenevwarhe Barry Akpobome, leading to the arrest and confession of 35-year-old Anthony Chima, a political science graduate from the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education.

“According to Chima’s testimony, he was recruited into a gang that specialized in luring cab drivers into ambushes, stealing their vehicles, and ultimately murdering them for ritualistic purposes and organ harvesting.

“Chima revealed that he was brought into the fold by a friend, Amfoh Abu, who introduced him to the gang’s armourer, a man known as “Reason,” and the notorious ringleader, “General Effizy,” a prominent figure in the Greenland cult and a seasoned kidnapper.

“The chilling details of Akpobome’s demise emerged as Chima recounted the events of January 10, 2024. On that fateful day, he was summoned to Reason’s residence and instructed to call a driver whose number he had previously collected. Posing as a passenger, Chima then lured the unsuspecting Uber driver to a remote area in Aminigboko, where he and Reason were met by General Effizy and four armed gang members.

“The driver was forcibly removed from the vehicle and taken to Effizy’s shrine, where he was bound, gagged, and ultimately murdered. Chima’s involvement in the gruesome act was confirmed when the police, following his confession, recovered the victim’s skull and a locally fabricated Beretta pistol from Effizy’s residence.”

Iringe-Koko quoted the state Commissioner of Police, CP Olatunji Disu to have advised citizens of the state and drivers to be circumspect while boarding passengers to remote areas in the state.

She noted that while the police continues to trail fleeing members of the syndicate, emphasising that the case serves as a stark reminder of the dangers that lurk in the shadows, and the importance of vigilance and cooperation between law enforcement and the public in maintaining the safety of all citizens.

“This disturbing revelation has sent shockwaves through the community, prompting the Rivers State Police Commissioner, Cp Tunji Disu, to advise both citizens and Uber drivers. He urged them to exercise caution when boarding or transporting passengers, especially to remote or potentially dangerous areas.

“The investigation is ongoing, with the authorities still searching for the fleeing suspects involved in this chilling criminal enterprise. The case serves as a stark reminder of the dangers that lurk in the shadows, and the importance of vigilance and cooperation between law enforcement and the public in maintaining the safety of all citizens. Meanwhile, the suspect would be charged to court immediately.”

Source: Police Burst Organ Harvesting Syndicate In Rivers, Trail Fleeing Members

More:

Police arrest gang known for killing cab drivers, harvesting body parts for rituals

The arrest of one gang member exposed the sinister activities of the gang in the state.

Published: June 4, 2024
By: News Agency of Nigeria – Pulse, Nigeria

And:

Police nab Rivers’ syndicate targeting ride-hailing drivers for ritual purposes

“The driver was forcefully removed from the vehicle and taken to Effizy’s shrine, where he was tied up, gagged and gruesomely murdered.”

Published: June 4, 2024
By: News Agency of Nigeria – Peoples Gazette, Nigeria

And:

Police Uncover Gang Targeting, Killing Car-Hire Drivers In Rivers

The Rivers State Police Command has arrested some members of a criminal gang suspected to be murdering car-hire drivers and stealing their vehicles. 

Published: June 5, 2024
By: Daily Trust, Nigeria

Nigeria: FG ban on smoking, ritual killings scenes in Nollywood movies revisited: Filmmaker supports ban

I thought it interesting and useful to add another post on the federal government’s ban om smoking and ritual killing in Nollywood movies.

Filmmaker and co-founder of Yabatech Film Academy, Abay Esho, publicly supported the ban emphasizing that “Nollywood is a major contributor to the epidemic ‘money ritual’ in present Nigeria.

Need I say more?
(FVDK)

Filmmaker Supports Ban On Smoking, Ritual Killing Scenes

Abay Esho, Nigerian filmmaker

Published: June 1, 2024
By: Samuel Abulude – Leadership, Nigeria

Filmmaker and co-founder of Yabatech Film Academy, Abay Esho, has offered his opinion in support of the federal government’s recent ban on smoking, ritual killing and glamourisation of crime in Nigerian films.

Esho who believes the media to be an important tool for social engineering of any society, said a society cannot separated from whatever it’s been fed over a long period of time. 

Nollywood, he said ought to drive change by deliberately producing movies that set agenda, change behaviour and its viewers perception and way of thinking. 

The director’s statement is in response to the chief executive officer (CEO) of National Film and Videos Censors Board (NFVCB), Shuaibu Husseini, announcement of federal government’s approval of a ban on glamourisation in Nollywood films, last week, at the National Stakeholders Engagement on Smoke-free Nollywood in Enugu.

The ban, has triggered mixed reactions amongst Nigerian movie stakeholders who were vocal about their stance.

Esho whose views aligns with Husseini’s on ‘money ritual’ factor in Nollywood films, stressed that Nollywood is a major contributor to the epidemic ‘money ritual’ in present Nigeria, but the distrust of Nigerians in Africa owing to “what we portray in our films, especially the ones with money ritual theme.”

He, however, expressed reservations with the NFVCB’s CEO on banning of smoking in movies noting it’s be near impossible to do so. “It will be difficult to place a ban on smoking because if the story has a smoking character, how else do you expect (filmmakers) to portray that?” 

Source: Filmmaker Supports Ban On Smoking, Ritual Killing Scenes

Nigeria: again on the ban on money ritual and other vices in Nollywood movies

On May 25, I posted the news that the Nigerian federal government had announced a ban on money ritual, ritual killing and other vices in Nollywood movies. This morning I read a very interesting editorial comment on this decision in a Nigerian newspaper which I like sharing with you. The editorial provides us with more insight in the background of the federal government’s ban, in particular I cite:

“Nigerian movies have generally tended to present false narratives, (….). They have glamorized voodoo, conveying the impression that it is the only source of wealth, and thus misleading the country’s army of impressionable, often jobless youths who have, by their own admission, not only learnt bad habits from the movies but put them into practice, sometimes landing in the clutches of the law and lamenting their poor choices. “

Moreover, the Tribune Editorial places the ban in a historic perspective and appeals to film makers to take their responsibility in a modernizing society such as Nigeria’s. It concludes:

“(…) movie culture should be dynamic. (…) the content of Nigerian films should be in tandem with the paradigm shift in the society. The idea, however, is not just about issuing a ban, but more about the state of enlightenment and development of those involved in the industry.
Their production naturally would not just portray their creative predilections, but also their level of consciousness, which makes it important to raise the consciousness of movie producers and practitioners, such that they would key into the idea of using their films to portray the limitations of rituals and not seek to glamorize them. Indeed, with the right kind of consciousness, films and movies are some of the best ways to help change society and correct anomalies. (…)”

Well said!
(FVDK)

The ban on money ritual, other vices in movies

Published: May 31, 2024
By: Tribune Editorial Board

WORRIED by the accustomed negative trends in Nigerian movies, the Federal Government recently placed a ban on the promotion of money rituals and vices in Nigerian films.

Disclosing this during a National Stakeholders Engagement on Smoke-Free Nollywood held in Enugu, Enugu State,  an event organised by the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) and the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), the Executive Director/CEO  of  the NFVCB, Dr Shaibu Husseini, said that the country was currently confronted with an industry emergency requiring bold and ambitious actions from all parents, guardians and stakeholders.

He said: “I am delighted to announce to you that the  Minister of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, pursuant to Section 65 of the NFVCB Act 2004, has approved  the regulation. The minister has approved the Prohibition of Money Ritual, Ritual Killing, Tobacco, Tobacco Products, Nicotine Product Promotion and Glamorization Display in Movies, Musical Videos and Skits Regulations 2024. We have also forwarded the approved copy to the Federal Ministry of Justice for Gazette.”

According to him, besides the health implications,  glamorizing  smoking in films has a negative influence on  teens and young adults, the largest segment of Nigerian movie viewers. His words: “The film industry occupies a central position in the entertainment and creative sector, and it is imperative that we continue to place the highest premium on the progress of the film industry. The NFVCB supports smoke-free movies and supports smoke-free Nollywood, and we therefore seek your collaboration to develop creative content that discourages smoking and promotes positive health messages. After series of engagements, the NFVCB in collaboration with the CAPPA decided to do a subsidiary regulation to address smoking in movies since this aspect was not expressly spelt out in the extant law. The NFVCB is well prepared to take leadership in this regard and has planned and begun implementing innovative ways to achieve its mandate.”

For decades, while there have admittedly been some positives in terms of the exponential growth of the movie industry and the expansion of the audience and income base, together with growth in terms of the technical aspects of movie making, including the use of special effects, Nigerian movies have generally tended to present false narratives, shirked the social responsibility of advocating societal change,  and assisted the feckless political establishment in confining the vast majority of Nigerians to the morass of poverty, despondency and despair.

They have glamorized voodoo, conveying the impression that it is the only source of wealth, and thus misleading the country’s army of impressionable, often jobless youths who have, by their own admission, not only learnt bad habits from the movies but put them into practice, sometimes landing in the clutches of the law and lamenting their poor choices.

It is a fact that even at this very moment, most Nigerian movies continue to portray Nigerians as a people very badly; that is, as avid subscribers to dark and demonic practices, fraud, prostitution and drug abuse, to mention but a few. They show a society still living in the stone age, which is why the late erudite scholar, Professor Ayo Banjo, once panned them for consistently portraying a bygone age and for being pernicious in their messages. In most cases, the movies portray Nigerians as a people still stuck in superstition, whereas culture is dynamic and any aspect of it that is repugnant should be discarded. Nigerian movies, if they are to assist in the development and  modernisation effort, ought to project positive images and ideas. They ought to enable and give a fillip to science and technology.

Nothing in life is static: movie culture should be dynamic.  There was a time twin babies had to be killed in many communities in this country, but magnifying such today is evidently anachronistic. Sticking to the osu caste system, the suppression of widows and genital mutilation is barbaric: the content of Nigerian films should be in tandem with the paradigm shift in the society. The idea, however, is not just about issuing a ban, but more about the state of enlightenment and development of those involved in the industry. Their production naturally would not just portray their creative predilections, but also their level of consciousness, which makes it important to raise the consciousness of movie producers and practitioners, such that they would key into the idea of using their films to portray the limitations of rituals and not seek to glamorize them. Indeed, with the right kind of consciousness, films and movies are some of the best ways to help change society and correct anomalies. The idea should be to conscientize movie practitioners about the need to observe the limits and negatives of rituals and use their craft to help dissuade society from them. The government should take up this advocacy in earnest.

Source: The ban on money ritual, other vices in movies

Imo State, Nigeria: ritualists killed pregnant woman, dumped corpse in the bush 

A few days ago I posted a message on the daily occurrence of ritualistic murders in Nigeria, with an estimated population of 225 million people Africa’s most populated country. Below I present a recent case from Imo State.

It is not he first time people in Imo State are confronted with these heinous crimes. In January 2023 villagers in Arondizuogu took to the streets following a number of unexplained murders, presumably linked to politics, hence suspected to be carried out for ritual purposes.

Imo State is located in the South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria, bordering Anambra State in the north, Rivers State to the west and south, and Abia State to the east.  The Federal Republic of Nigeria is divided into six geopolitical zones commonly called zones.

Imo State is Nigeria’s 16th most populous state with an estimated population of over 6 million (2024). With a surface area of 5,530 km2 it is  the third smallest state. The state capital is Owerri. 
(FVDK)

Ritualists killed pregnant woman, dumped corpse in the bush 

Published: May 29, 2024
By: Stories from Everest Ezihe,  Owerri/Imo State

Exhibiting serious act of wickedness, residents around the  Amaraku-Umudim road in Isiala  Mbano local Government Area, Imo State were startled as they woke up on Tuesday with the ugly sight of a decomposing body of a yet-to-be-identified woman found in the bush within the area.

The deceased was allegedly seen to be victim of ritual killing.

An eyewitness (names withheld) told The AUTHORITY that the persistent barking of a dog within the vicinity prompted some residents to enter the bush and made the eye sour discovery.

The commotion that followed the discovery triggered an upsurge of sympathizers  who also noticed  that the deceased was pregnant and and had her breasts and private parts chopped-off.

This prompted the sympathisers to rush to the Amaraku Police Station and reported the incident.

Thee Police Division consequently removes the corpse to nearby government hospital for autopsy and identification.

When contacted, the Imo State Police Command’s Spokesman, ASP Henry Okoye, said he had yet to be briefed on the matter.

Source: Ritualists killed pregnant woman, dumped corpse in the bush