“It is time we put an end to these barbaric practices.”
What can I add to this cry for the rule of law, to respect human life, and to act. Governments can no longer ignore these barbaric practices based on superstition, poverty and ignorance, and fed by greed. The numerous examples of ritual murders given in this Op-Ed are frightening: all over the country though I’ve pointed at the widespread occurrence of ritual murders in Nigeria in previous postings (webmaster FVDK).
The Illusion of money-making rituals in Nigeria – Editorial
Published: February 20, 2023 By: Editorial – This Day, Nigeria
Ritual killing remains largely a crime driven by ignorance and poverty
The recent arrest of two teenagers by operatives of the Edo State Security Vigilante Network has once again brought into sharp focus the bizarre practice of money rituals. The young men were apprehended following a tipoff by the female herbalist from whom they sought help in their desperate bid for wealth through diabolical means. But they are not alone. Just recently, some young men were reported to have stormed a health centre in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state capital, asking for day-old babies. The unanswered question remains: What do they want to do with day-old babies? We can hazard a guess. They must belong to the growing group of desperadoes murdering innocent people, particularly women, children and sometimes the physically challenged, for ritual purposes.
These murderers, sometimes called headhunters, can go to any extent in the search of body parts for money-making rituals. And they are all over the country. Not long ago, there was a shocking discovery of three human heads inside a hotel room in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State. The three heads said to have been kept inside polythene bags were reportedly discovered by police officers following a raid on the hotel. Eleven persons suspected to be kidnappers or ritualists were arrested but typically, nothing was ever heard again about the case. At about the same time, the police in Kagura in Rafi Local government area of Niger State arrested four people in connection with the alleged murder of a 13-year-old son of an Islamic scholar. They reportedly lured the young boy to a secluded area where they removed his intestines and other vital organs after he had been murdered.
So rampant is this crime that in cosmopolitan cities like Lagos, Ibadan, Benin City and Kano, cases of ritual murders have now become commonplace. Indeed, incidence of ritual killings is said to account for many missing people in the country. But illiteracy is also a great factor in this crime. Even though the belief lacks common sense, many people indulge in these bestial acts for the purpose of making “instant wealth”, what some have aptly dubbed “blood money”. Yet, it is difficult to prove that these sacrifices, done at the instruction of some crafty traditional medicine practitioners and witch doctors, can catapult people from penury into instant wealth. At least, for now, there is no single person that can be named to have become rich because of human sacrifices, except the characters in some Nollywood movies. So, to that extent, ritual killing remains largely a crime driven by ignorance and poverty.
Meanwhile, the old image of the country as a citadel of humanitarianism, peacefulness, fraternity, cultural and moral renaissance seems blurred. There is disorderliness and chaos everywhere. Amid the moral confusion, it is difficult for many young Nigerians to understand that work comes before wealth. The estrangement from pristine values now finds dramatic expression in crass materialism, inordinate ambition to get rich quick at all costs. But on the prevalence of money rituals, this is also a law-and-order failure. Indeed, the increasing cases of abduction and killing of many innocent men, women and children is a poignant reminder that the police and the other security agencies have not sent a forceful message on what awaits the perpetrators of such a most heinous crime. The largely indifferent treatment of those caught has encouraged the commitment of more crime.
This is an issue that the relevant authorities must deal with and very quickly. There is also an urgent need for enlightenment campaigns to put a lie to the erroneous belief that money can grow out of the body parts of murdered people. It is time we put an end to these barbaric practices.
Recently, Edo State police did a horrific find when it discovered in Benin City a ritualist’s den with 20 mummified bodies: 15 dried male corpses, three female corpses and two children corpses. Benin City is the capital of Edo State. Click here for more information on the Edo or Benin people.
It is not known who the victims are and how long the corpses have been in the ritualist’s den.
In general, it’s a gruesome reality that many unidentified bodies of victims of ritual murders (‘money rituals’) in Nigeria may be linked to unexplained disappearances. Even worse, some people are not being reported as missing.
Hence the exact number of victims of ritualistic murders in Nigeria is unknown, but much higher than the number of reported cases. (webmaster FVDK)
Edo Police Command uncovers ritualist’s den, 20 corpses in Benin
Published: August 19, 2022 By: The Guardian, Nigeria
Edo State Police Command has uncovered a ritualist’s den with 20 mummified bodies, along Ekehuan Road area of Benin City.
The State Commissioner of Police (CP), Abutu Yaro, said the Command unravelled the suspected ritual shrine on Wednesday, August 17 and arrested three suspected ritualists.
Yaro said the raid is in line with the Command’s operational mandate of curbing crime in the state.
He said: “Following credible information at the Command’s disposal that some corpses were discovered in a building along Asoro slope off Ekehuan Road, Uzebu Quarters, in Benin City, operatives of the Command immediately swung into action and mobilised to the scene.”
According to him, three suspects were arrested at the scene, namely: Chimaobi Okoewu ‘m’ and Oko Samuel ‘m’ both of Afikpo in Ebonyi and Gideon Sunday ‘m’ of Akwa-Ibom State, while other suspects fled.
Yaro said the police have launched an intensive manhunt to apprehend the fleeing suspects.
Among the corpses discovered at the scene of the crime, are 15 dried male corpses, three female corpses and two children corpses.
He noted that the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Command Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (CIID) has been directed to carry out a discreet investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the discovered corpses.
The commissioner urged members of the general public to be calm as the Command will continue to ensure the safety of all law-abiding citizens and those residing in Edo State.
The cases of ritualistic activities, attacks and murders in Nigeria are too many to include here on a daily basis. I have stated this more than once. The article below not only confirms this. Some of the ritual murder cases referred to in the article have been previously reported on this site, some not. More importantly, the author of the article, Otuya Daniel, explains the reasons for this, seemingly, surge in what is popularly called ‘money rituals’. One of the contributing factors, he argues, is the example set by Nollywood movies idealizing the importance of a social status based on material wealth and the way one can ‘get rich quickly’: through a ‘money ritual’ which implies the use of someone’s organs and other body parts in a ‘juju’ ritual performed by local ‘herbalists’ who often are nothing else but criminals conniving in the act of murder.
For the interested readers: the article also explains the difference between Yahoo boys (internet fraudsters) and Yahoo Plus boys (ritual killers).
Warning: certain descriptions of ritual murders contain shocking, graphic details (FVDK).
The prevalence of ritual killings amongst Nigerian youths
Published: January 28, 2022 By: Otuya Daniel – The Street Journal, Nigeria
Never before have the quest to get riches by all means been so magnified among Nigerian youths than as it is now.
To satisfy the need for getting money, youths today have fully invested their time in learning and practising internet fraud popularly called Yahoo Yahoo.
They have created various ingenious ways to rip unsuspecting victims of hard-earned income.
As if that is not enough, the new wave amongst these fraudsters is to add killing of human beings for money rituals or as it is popularly called, Yahoo Plus.
While families and friends came together to celebrate this past Yuletide, it was not the case for two families who were thrown into grief as in two separate incidents, young girls were killed by their boyfriends in suspected cases of money rituals.
In one of the incidents, it was reported that a Yahoo boy simply identified as Osas who had recently returned to Nigeria from Ghana killed his girlfriend, Elohor Oniorosa for ritual purposes.
It was reported that the deceased and the suspect had gone out only for the young girl to be found dead with her throat slit and the fraudster went on the run.
A few days on, A 300-level student of the University of Jos (UNIJOS), identified as Jennifer Anthony, was found dead in a hotel room with her body mutilated and some body parts missing.
Jennifer was reportedly lured to the hotel by her 20-year-old boyfriend, Moses Okoh who drugged, killed her and proceeded to pluck off her eyes and other body organs before running off.
Such stories are not really new. In fact, in 2018, there was a public outcry in reaction to the gruesome way a student of Delta State University, Abraka, Elozino Ogege was murdered by some group of ritualists and internet fraudsters.
Not only was the poor girl killed, her organs were reportedly harvested while she was still alive.
The frequency of how these incidents has got many wondering, how did moral decadence in the Nigerian society get to the point where someone will unilaterally decide to kill, butcher and harvest another’s organs just for the sake of making quick riches.
Nigerian youths now consider the amount of money they have as the only accepted measure of success as such, they are ready to do any and all things possible to get it.
The ‘glorification’ of internet fraud in Nigeria is the root cause of this trend of ritual killings.
As a matter of fact, that it is called ‘Yahoo Plus’ depicts that many of these youths consider these killings as a necessity in the advancement of their ‘fraud business.’
Some days back, one of such fraudsters was arrested and his confession shocked many.
The 32-year-old, Afeez Olalere who was arrested by operatives of the Lagos State Police Command narrated how his mother encouraged him to kill his younger brother for money rituals.
His words, “My mother took me to a herbalist who told me if I want to be successful in the yahoo business, I will have to sacrifice one life and that person must be a sibling to me.”
Shockingly, the mother and son proceeded to kill a younger sibling for the stipulated rituals and were about to dump the body before they were apprehended.
It is not just parents of fraudsters who ‘support’ them, young girls are also now encouraged by their parents to date these Yahoo boys despite the attendant risks just for the financial ‘gains’.
A lady in Edo State recently said “In Benin city, at least 90% of parents are aware that their daughters are dating Yahoo/ G- boys and they are 100% in support of it.”
She also revealed that parents will gladly give out in marriage their daughters to such Yahoo boys and will even shout the catchphrase “them get money?” when these fraudsters shower them with money.
Worse still, social media has been vehemently used to convey the misleading message of ‘get rich or die trying’ to the youths.
Pictures and videos of flamboyant lifestyles displayed over Facebook, Instagram, TikTok etc deceive these youths and sometimes serve as motivation or the final push to some who were having doubts about going into such business.
Celebrities and/or social media personalities who should know better are not even helping matters. Sometimes even, they themselves display these luxuries lifestyles.
Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh recently revealed the extent some of these social media personalities go to display fake lifestyles when she said some people would rent money from bureau de change operators just to show off.
Although many of these displays are fake and only done for social media engagements, it does not register as such to the gullible youths.
Earlier in the month, two 15-year-old boys were caught in the act trying to use a 14-year-old for money rituals in Bayelsa.
According to reports, they lured the girl with charms, cut off her finger and had already begun the ritual process when a passerby saw them, raised alarm and the boys were arrested. It begs the question, where do these kids learn such?
Nigeria music producer, Samklef has said that Nollywood movies are a contributing factor to the rising cases of ritual killings among young people.
The musician argued that by constantly promoting fetish-themed content, Nollywood movies have influenced a lot of young Nigerians negatively.
His words, “Igbo Nollywood, English and Yoruba movie are the reason why a lot of young boys are doing rituals. They keep promoting fetish stuff in all their movies.”
Considered, there is some element of truism in the words of Samklef. For a long time, making money through rituals has been the predominant theme of Nigerian movies.
In fact, just by seeing the cast of a movie gives away the plot as some actors it may seem are only cast to play such ritual roles.
The plot of the movies have always revolved around a struggling young man, who meets a rich friend who introduces the poor man to a group of ritualists and after someone is sacrificed, the poor man instantly becomes extremely rich.
Having been fed with this content for a long time, it comes across to youths that a sure way out of poverty is money rituals and so, it is a route a desperate youth is willing to take.
Peer pressure and the company of friends a youth keep are also contributing factors.
As the saying goes, birds of a feather, flock together. Constant exposure and association with fraudsters will actually have a knock-off effect on many youths considering the fact that at this stage of their life, they make many outlandish decisions.
James McCue of Edith Cowan University, Australia advocates for parents to help guild their teenagers as “A teen’s developing brain places them at greater risk of being reactive in their decision-making, and less able to consider the consequences of their choices.”
In the same vein, Nollywood actor, Ime Bishop Umoh, popularly known as Okon Lagos has said that boy child needs urgent attention to stem the tide of ritual killings.
His words, “Let’s fix the boy child and do it ASAP. It’s a shorter route to decriminalising and putting an end to most societal vices in our fast decaying society.
“Let’s put a central and foundational end to all these killings of young girls by these Benz driving wannabe boys.”
Generally, society has to step up and the paradigm should shift towards appreciating good and honest labour than just money or riches.
Just as a commentator said we need to digress and abandon the mindset that making money by any means establishes fulfilment in life and until we get this right, this generation of youths and the ones to come will continue to do things that are inhumane without any remorse.
More (the following murder case has been referred to in the preceding article):
Police arrest suspected killer of 300L UNIJOS student
Published: January 12, 2022 By: Otuya Daniel – The street Journal, Nigeria
The Police in Plateau State have arrested and paraded Moses Oko, a 20-year-old suspected Yahoo boy who allegedly killed his girlfriend, Jennifer Anthony.
Jennifer, a 300L UNIJOS Student was found on January, 1st, 2022 with her eyes plucked out and other parts of her body mutilated.
According to Vanguard, the suspect was paraded alongside personal effects of the deceased and exhibits from the crime scene which included a blood-soaked bedsheet and a blood-stained fork allegedly used to pluck the deceased’s eyes
The State Commissioner of Police, CP Bartholomew Onyeka who paraded Moses Oko, stated Oko was arrested on Tuesday, January 11 in Benue State.
The CP said, “The Command through my leadership has put together a lot of strategies to prevent crimes in Plateau State. But whenever crime occurs, we put in all efforts to arrest the perpetrators for them to face the consequences of their criminal actions.
“Sequel to the gruesome murder of Miss Jennifer Anthony, a 300 level student of the University of Jos whose lifeless body was found mutilated on 01/01/2022 at Domus Pacis Guest House, Jos by a man named Moses Oko ‘m’, aged 20 years, suspected to be her boyfriend who fled after committing the crime, the Command in a bid to arrest the perpetrator launched an aggressive manhunt on the suspect and tactically trailed him to Benue State where he was arrested by hawked-eye police operatives of the Command.
“The suspect will be arraigned in court as soon as investigation is completed.”
Suspected yahoo boy kills girlfriend for rituals in Edo
Published: December 27, 2021 By: Otyua Daniel – The Street Journal, Nigeria
A suspected internet fraudster popular called Yahoo boy who was simply identified as Osa has allegedly killed his girlfriend identified as Elohor Oniorosa, for ritual purposes.
It was reported that the incident happened in the Egor Local Government Area of Edo State near Benin on December 24, 2021.
It was gathered that the suspect, who recently returned to Nigeria from Ghana, allegedly killed the girl for ritual.
According to the report by Daily Trust, the deceased went out with the suspect but was found dead with her throat slit with a knife even as the suspect absconded.
The details of how it happened are however still sketchy at the moment.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Kongtons Bello, who confirmed the incident, said the suspect is on the run.
He said that the father of the deceased, William Oniorosa, reported the case to the police and investigation is on to arrest the suspect.
The PPRO said, “The suspect’s name is Osas and his surname is unknown, who is a boyfriend of Elohor Oniorosa, daughter of one William Oniorosa, who also reported the incident to the police.
“Investigation is on while the suspect is on the run. The Incident happened on the 24th of December 2021,” the PPRO added.The Street Journal earlier reported how a sex worker developed a strange sickness and started vomiting blood after an encounter with clients suspected to be yahoo boys in Ondo.
News about ritualistic activities in Nigeria abound. Nigeria is, as we all know, Africa’s most populated country. Hence, for that reason it is not surprising that the country ranks Number One in ritual murders, commonly referred to as ‘money rituals’ in this West African country.
The next few days I will present more articles on these crimes, because that is what these activities are. Cruel murders, claiming the lives of innocent people, young girls, boys, children, elder people, terrorizing the local communities. And why? – Just for superstition reasons, the belief that these practices will enhance one’s wealth, health, prestige or power. (webmaster FVDK)
Ritual victim’s head, hand sold to native doctor for N130,000
Published: December 19, 2020 By: Vanguard, Nigeria – Ozioruva Aliu
THE family of 35-year-old Eneshero Sunday Daudu from Igarra, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo state who was declared missing about a month ago and later found dead and buried in a shallow grave by persons who have confessed to have used parts of his body for ritual has demanded thorough investigation and prosecution of all those involved. After weeks of uncertainty when Eneshero was declared missing in Koko, Delta state where he had visited his sister for a burial event, the family had hoped that he would soon find his way back believing he must have missed his way especially as he was said to have called a friend in Igarra that he was on his way back home but it was never to be.
The family therefore lodged a complaint with the police about his disappearance and also assisted the police in the investigation. Last week, their efforts paid off as a 25-year old Peace Onoshakpokaye who was arrested in connection with the alleged killing and dismembering of Eneshero was said to have made confession. been stranded.
According to a police source, the arrested suspect confessed that: “the deceased became stranded around 7 p.m. around Koko junction axis of the Benin – Sapele Highway in Delta state when the vehicle he boarded to Benin City developed a fault. In the course of waiting for another vehicle by the roadside, some persons approached him and asked him to follow them. We learnt that the deceased put up some resistance, but he was dragged to a large trench at the roadside and was murdered on the spot by four persons. His head and hands were severed and later taken to a native doctor in the locality for alleged money rituals.”
The said principal suspect later took the police team and health officials to recover the body that was already decomposing and he was said to have confessed that the body parts were requested by a man in Koko, Delta state who paid them N130,000.
The Edo state commissioner of police, Johnson Babatunde Kokumo who confirmed the incident said the young man was abducted and murdered in Delta state but the police in Edo state command intervened because he was declared missing in Edo and promised that a dragnet had been extended to all parts of the country in order to arrest the fleeing gang members.
A family member told Saturday Vanguard: “It has been a traumatic one month for the family since he went missing. He had attended a burial ceremony in Koko where his sister also stayed. He left his sister’s house in the morning of the fateful day and his sister thought he would be back home but that was the last seen of him. They waited patiently and they concluded that he may have gone back to Igarra but calls to his phone were no longer going through and he did not arrive at Igarra. The last conversation was when he called a friend in Igarra that he would soon arrive but he never came. We first reported the case in Igarra police station and later at the state command in Benin City where investigation began by the police which led to the situation we are in now.
This incident was carried out by a gang but only one person has been arrested, so we are calling on the police to ensure that all the other persons involved are arrested and brought to justice.
“Eneshero was a hard working young man whose elder brother stays abroad. Eneshero has been helping him to take care of the home. The news devastated all of us in the family, particularly his elder brother who had to vowed a financial reward for anybody who was able to his missing brother until we got to this sad point. The dead cannot be brought back to life but the only solace we will have is for the authorities to ensure justice for our late brother”.
The following reproduced article is not about an entirely new incident of mob justice in Nigeria. It relates to the same jungle justice addressed in my February 27 posting and also yesterday’s Editorial. However, for completeness sake I want to include it here: readers who may have missed previous posts may find in the article reproduced below the necessary information to fully understand the editorial in the Nigerian newspaper The Nation (online) posted yesterday (webmaster FVDK).
Four burnt to death after ritual killing in Edo
Published: February 25, 2020 The Punch, Sola Shittu – Benin (city), Nigeria
Three middle-aged men and a woman were on Monday set ablaze by a mob at Otuo community in the Owan East Local Government Area of Edo State.
The four were alleged to have been involved in the murder of a Senior Secondary School 3 pupil of Azama College, Otuo.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the pupil was allegedly killed and her head severed from her body for ritual purposes.
A source in the community said the murder was carried out at night by her neighbour who sent her on an errand to get sachet water in the evening.
While in his room to deliver the sachet water, she was allegedly murdered and decapitated.
Our source said when the girl’s parents could not find her, they raised the alarm.
The alleged culprits were said to have been caught while attempting to dump the victim’s body in the early hours of the following day.
They were said to have identified two other persons, including the woman who performed the rituals for them.
“The two men were burnt this morning (Monday) along with the woman, while her house was razed. They were all dragged to the popular Women Centre where the community police station is located. The third man was traced to his farm and apprehended,” he said.
Later in the day, our source confirmed that the third man had also been burnt by the mob.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Chidi Nwabuzor, while confirming the incident, said two suspects were lynched.
“The command is aware that a young girl’s head was cut off and the youth of the community arrested two suspects, brought them to the front of the station and set them ablaze,” he said.
Mob justice is a serious problem in many if not all of Nigeria’s states. Early January of this year an angry mob set robbers ablaze in Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State. In early October last year an angry mob in Benue State set three suspected armed robbers ablaze over their alleged involvement in the robbery and serial killings witnessed in Gbaste community. I could cite many more examples of jungle justice in Nigeria, but this will do, for the moment. Recently, two – or four, accounts differ, see below – young men were set ablaze for alleged involvement in the killing of an SS3 Secondary Schoolgirl of Azama College, Otuo, Edo State.
The use of violence is a prerogative of State authorities. Moreover, every accused is considered innocent as long as he or she has not been found guilty by an independent and impartial judge during a public, transparent trial. Mob justice is a sign of a weak state authority and should not be tolerated. Mob justice resulting in the death of the victim is a crime; those responsible should be prosecuted and punished by law (webmaster FVDK).
Angry Mob Sets Four On Fire Over Ritual Killing In Edo State
Reports reaching Naija News at this time reveals that there was an uproar at a village in Owan East Local Government Area of Edo state on Monday, following the murder of a young girl who was reportedly beheaded for ritual purpose.
According to a source in the Otuo community in a chat with newsmen, some four young men were set ablaze for alleged involvement in the killing of an SS3 Secondary Schoolgirl of Azama College, Otuo.
The source whose identity was not given due to security purpose reveals that the child’s head was cut off at night hour by the culprits while she was on an errand by her neighbour who sent her to get him sachet water.
Naija News understands that she was murdered at the point of delivering the sachet water.
It was said that the girl’s parents cried out after they could not find their daughter, but that the culprits were nabbed while making moves to dump the victim’s body before the rising of the sun of the next day.
Further information revealed that two out of the four culprits were identified, including the woman who is to perform the rituals for them.
The source said, “The two men were burnt this morning (Monday) along with the woman, while her house was razed. They were all dragged to the popular Women Centre where the community police station is located. The third man was traced to his farm and apprehended,”
However, after the arrest of the culprits, furious residents set the young men on fire.
Meanwhile, a confirmation from the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Chidi Nwabuzor, mentioned that only two of the suspects were burnt alive.
“The command is aware that a young girl’s head was cut off and the youth of the community arrested two suspects, brought them to the front of the station and set them ablaze,” he said.
4 burnt to death for kidnapping SS III student for rituals in Edo
Published: February 24, 2020 By: Vanguard – Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY— FOUR persons, including a lady, were, yesterday, set ablaze by a mob in Otuo, Owan East Local Government Area over allegation of kidnapping an SS III female student and killing her for ritual purpose.
It was gathered that the victim, a student of Azama College in Ikhuera quarters of the rustic town, was allegedly sent to buy sachet water by her neighbour Sunday night.
A source said while she was on her way from buying the water that her head was severed from her body apparently for ritual.
It was also gathered that when the young girl’s parents could not find her, they raised the alarm, but her whereabouts remained unknown.
The source said one of the culprits caught in the early hours of yesterday while attempting to dump the victim’s body confessed to the crime and those involved, including the woman, who allegedly performed the rituals for them.
“The two boys were burnt this morning (yesterday) along with the woman while her house was razed. They were all dragged to the popular ‘Women Centre’ where the community police station is located. The third boy was traced to his farm and apprehended,” he said.
Vanguard gathered that the third man apprehended in connection with the ritual killing was later burnt by a mob late yesterday.
One of the suspects, the gang leader, identified as Lukeman, was alleged to be a serial killer while two of the boys, who accompanied Lukeman, are of same parents and from Ikhueran quarter, Otuo.
He also said the woman, who performed the rituals was from Kogi State while Lukeman is said to be from Auchi in Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.
Spokesman for Edo Police Command, Mr Chidi Nwabuzor, while confirming the incident, said it was only two of those arrested that were burnt.
“The command is aware that a young girl’s head was cut off and the youths of the community arrested two suspects they took to the station where they were set ablaze,” he said.