Abamawa State in Nigeria was in the spotlight during my recents postings. For this reasons I consider it appropriate to post the following article, though dating from 2017.
Presenting the article – which was originally published by Sahara Reporters – here does not imply that I accept its contents without criticism or reticence. It’s no small thing, the accusation leveled at her father by the daughter of the traditional ruler is very serious. It is worth noting though that Sahara Reporters is a credible source of information. For that reason I have no hesitation presenting the article below. Hence read it and judge for yourself.
Adamawa State is also religiously very diverse. About 50% of the population is Muslim and 40% is Christian while the remaining 10% are adherents of traditional ethnic religions. (Source: Wikipedia.) (FVDK)
Daughter Accuses Adamawa Traditional Ruler Of Attempted Ritual Murder, Bribing Police Commissioner
Published: March 26, 2017 By: Sahara Reporters, New York
Ms. Umar claimed that her siblings – Murtala, Aisha, Abubakar and Aliyu – were hired by her father to carry out the murder.
Fadimatu Umar, daughter of the district head of Umar Ardo in Yola, Adamawa State, has claimed that her father bribed the Police Commissioner in charge of Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID) in Abuja to cover up a case of an attempt to kill her.
She alleged that her father planned to use her corpse for a ritual. Ms. Umar claimed that her siblings – Murtala, Aisha, Abubakar and Aliyu – were hired by her father to carry out the murder.
Her siblings, she told SaharaReporters, attacked her in front of the National Identity Card Management Office in Yola, leaving her with a badly damaged arm, which may have to be amputated, according to doctors treating her.
The victim, 28, disclosed that less than a year ago, her stepmother, Bintu, died under mysterious circumstances, which she alleged was the handiwork of her father. The woman’s death, Ms. Umar added, convinced her that she would be the next target.
After hearing noises coming from the front gate of her home, Ms. Umar jumped through her window in fear of her life. She alleged that she was pursued by her siblings, who were armed until they caught up with her in front of the National Identity Card Management Office.
Ms. Umar said she reported the attack to the police, who subsequently arrested Aisha and Abubakar. But Aliyu Umar Ardo, an Air Force officer, and Muitala, who works with Intels Services, escaped arrest by fleeing.
The Air Force officer, she said, later emerged from hiding and wanted to shoot her with a pistol, a fate she escaped through the intervention of family friends. She maintained that Aliyu and Murtala have continued with their plot to kill her in an effort to end the case of attempted ritual killing she reported to the police.
Ms. Umar then fled Yola and petitioned the FCID in Abuja. The petition led to the arrest of Murtala in Calabar.
Their father, along with influential people in Adamawa State, used their connections to free Murtala, who proceeded to bribe Mr. Jonah Mava, Police Commissioner in charge of the FCID, to dump the case.
“They asked us to come back the next day by 10:00 a.m. But when I got there at 10:00 a.m., they didn’t allow me to go inside to see the Commissioner. But when I saw the Investigative Police Officer (IPO) in charge of the matter, he told me that Murtala had been around and that I should go in to see the commissioner,” she said.
Having received encouragement from the IPO, Ms. Umar barged into the Commissioner’s office, where she saw Murtala handing an envelope to the Commissioner of Police.
“The Police Commissioner quickly stuffed it in his drawer and said we should come back at noon,” she said.
Ms. Umar said she suspected that the envelope contained a bribe from her father. Her suspicion became stronger when, a few days later, the Police Commissioner told her to forget the matter because it was a family affair.
“My mind is not at peace because they are still after my life and I cannot step into Adamawa State,” she told SaharaReporters.
She also disclosed that her case with the family would be brought to court in Adamawa State on April 6, but she has been warned not to appear in court because she would be abducted.
“I have been given privileged information that my father has also paid some men of the Directorate of State Security and the Police to look out for me and arrest me either at the airport or anywhere near te court.”, Ms. Umar revealed.
Reportedly – see the article presented below – the two accused men committed a gruesome ritualistic murder. Hence it is not clear why the state prosecutor only accused them of criminal conspiracy, causing grievous hurt and attempting to commit culpable homicide. Be it as it may, the reported ritualistic act is repulsive and shows once more that superstition, ritualistic acts and criminal behavior also exist in Bauchi State, located in the North-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The Federal Republic of Nigeria is divided into six geopolitical zones commonly called zones.
Of Nigeria’s 36 states, Bauchi State is the fifth largest in area with a total land area of 49,119 km2 (18,965 sq mi) representing slightly more than 5% of Nigeria’s total land mass. Bauchi is Nigeria’s seventh most populous state with an estimated population of between 7 and 8 million in 2023 composed of not less than 55 tribal groups which include Fulani, Gerawa, Sayawa, Jarawa, Kirfawa, Turawa, Bolewa, Karekare, Kanuri, Fa’awa, Butawa, Warjawa, Zulawa, Boyawa, MBadawa. The Fulani (Peiulh in French) are the main ethnic group.
The vast majority of the population, some 85%, are Muslim with smaller Christian (6%) and traditionalist minorities 9%). However, like in a number of other SSA countries remnants of traditional beliefs (and superstition) linger in the religious – muslim and christian – population.
Notable people from Bauchi State include Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (1912 – 15 January 1966), who was Nigeria’s first and only prime minister upon independence in 1960. He was murdered in a military coup in January 1966 under circumstances which have never been become clear. His body was dumped at a roadside near Lagos. He was buried in Bauchi.
Warning: The following articles contain graphic details which may upset readers (webmaster FVDK).
2 men bag 35 years imprisonment for attempted ritual use of 6-year-old girl’s private parts
The defendants were arraigned on a three-count charge of criminal conspiracy, causing grievous hurt and attempting to commit culpable homicide.
Published: December 12, 2023 By: News Agency of Nigeria – Pulse, Nigeria
Bauchi State High Court 1 has sentenced two persons, Adamu Abdulra’uf and Abdulkadir Wada to 35 years’ imprisonment each for causing grievous hurt and attempting to commit culpable homicide on a six-year-old girl.
Justice Rabi Umar convicted and sentenced Abdulra’uf, 20 years old, and Wada, 21 years old, after they pleaded guilty to the crime. Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Sabiu Gumba, told the court that the two defendants Abdulrauf and Wada were arraigned on August 17, 2021 on a three-count charge of criminal conspiracy, causing grievous hurt and attempting to commit culpable homicide.
The prosecution counsel called four witnesses including the father of the victim, while the defendants testified for themselves but didn’t call additional witnesses. Gumba tendered the two knives used in committing the crime, a bottle containing the private part of the girl and a powder.
The News Agency Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendants were alleged to have on December 30, 2020, at Jama’are Local Government Area of the state, strangled one Hauwa’u Ya’u. Ya’u, who was six years old at the time, fainted before they used knives to cut off her private part for ritual purposes.
Court Sentences Two Men to 70 Years For Removing 6-year-old Girl’s Genitals For Money Ritual in Bauchi (Photo)
Published: December 12, 2023 By: Thandiubani – Tori, Nigeria
Justice Rabi Umar convicted and sentenced Abdulra’uf, 20, and Wada, 21, to 35 years each after they pleaded guilty to the crime.
Two young teenagers have been sentenced to 70 years in prison for removing a 6-year-old girl’s genitals for money ritual. They were sentenced by a Bauchi State High Court 1.
The ritualists have been identified as Adamu Abdulra’uf and Abdulkadir Wada. They were sentence to 35 years each.
The court had earlier heard how the defendants, on December 30, 2020, at Jama’are Local Government Area of the state, strangled one Hauwa’u Ya’u. Ya’u, who was six years old at the time, fainted before they used knives to cut off her private part for ritual purposes.
Justice Rabi Umar convicted and sentenced Abdulra’uf, 20, and Wada, 21, to 35 years each after they pleaded guilty to the crime. Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Mr Sabiu Gumba, told the court that the two defendants, Abdulrauf and Wada, were arraigned on August 17, 2021 on a three-count of criminal conspiracy, causing grievous hurt and attempting to commit culpable homicide.
The prosecution counsel called four witnesses including the father of the victim, while the defendants testified for themselves but didn’t call additional witnesses.
Gumba tendered the two knives used in committing the crime, a bottle containing the private part of the girl and a powder.
The Paramount Ruler of Iwoland, Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, has again raised his voice against the seemingly endless killing of innocent citizens for ritual purposes in Nigeria. Its is not the first time, as I have repeatedly said here on this site.
This week, on February 24, he said what I always feared and have indicated multiple times. The Paramount Chief said no one can account for the number of lives lost to ritual per day. He said: “No crime is good but there are more ritual killings in the South. It consumes an unaccountable number of our sons and daughters every day. Only a few are reported while many were not caught.”
A gruesome reality. Repeatedly I have drawn attention to the unaccountable number of ritualistic murders in Africa’s most populated country. More action is needed by federal authorities and on the state level. Perpetrators must be caught and tried, the rue of law should be upheld, and a nation-wide public awareness campaign should start immediately aiming at rooting out this cancer of the Nigerian society, fighting this disease based on superstition and ignorance. (webmaster FVDK)
Oluwo To Yoruba Activists: Use Energy For Pursuing Herders To Address Ritual Killings In South-West
Oluwo said no one can account for the number of lives lost to ritual per day, saying it will amount to disservice if such could not be addressed by Yoruba activists.
Published: February 24, 2021 By: SaharaReporters, News York
The Paramount Ruler of Iwoland, Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, has urged Yoruba agitators and freedom fighters to commit their energy towards ending ritual killings consuming innocent sons and daughters of Yoruba in their thousands rather than attacking Fulani herdsmen.
The monarch urged agitators to be more interested in probing crimes and not attacking ethnic groups.
He, however, condemned the kidnapping, raping, and killing by some herders across the region.
Oluwo said no one can account for the number of lives lost to ritual per day, saying it will amount to disservice if such could not be addressed by Yoruba activists.
He said, “No crime is good but there are more ritual killings in the South. It consumes an unaccountable number of our sons and daughters every day.
“Only a few are reported while many were not caught. Yorubas should dissipate more energy in checkmating ritual killers and openly protest against them. Someone’s son and daughter are being killed by ritualists at the moment. There is a baby-making factory in the South. When are we protesting against that?”
Oba Akanbi claimed he is a preacher of peace and a united Nigeria, describing ethnicity as “ungodly and enemy of humanity”.
He said, “I stand on the path of peace and to me, that is the path of honor. Nigeria’s ethnic diversity is too fragile to be drumming ethnic war. I remain an unrepentant preacher of peace and a one, united Nigeria.
“Ethnicity is Ungodly. No faith preaches attack on all because of the crime committed by the few. Prosecute the criminals and probe crimes, not the tribe. Nigeria is a nation of ethnic diversities. Peace and unity are our strengths, not war. I never regret beating the drum of peace. We should rather hang on Fulanis to produce the bad eggs among them and not a total condemnation of the tribe. Even if it is the Igbo tribe that is being persecuted because of the bad few, I will stand to defend the good ones among them.
“Yoruba race is one of the best with rich cultural value. I love her people. I’ve never sold even a plot of my subjects’ land or anything from them since enthronement. Even, my salary is dedicated to the poor in my hometown. For what gain and purpose will I now mislead or sell them out? Never. What I preach is peace and truthfulness. The path to peace is to prosecute individual crimes and not their tribe. I stand on this and will keep repeating it.”
He further called on the government to ensure quality formal education and enlightenment on modern ranching for Fulani children.
Nigeria’s security problems have many faces. In the northeast of the country Boko Haram terrorizes the population and has disrupted ordinary, daily life. The exact number of victims of the jihadist terrorist organization which also operates in neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, can no longer be counted. It is estimated that since the beginning of the uprising, in 2002, between 25,000 and 30,000 people have been killed, over two million people have been displaced, and a countless number of children have been kidnapped – girls for sexual motives, boys to be forcibly recruited as soldier in the terrorist organization which originally started as a campaign against corrupt officials.
The seemingly perennial violent conflicts between herders and farmers in several states also have cost thousands of people their lives. Furthermore, a countless number of people have been abducted by kidnappers, bandits and cultists. Moreover, superstition and the greed for (more) power, prestige or success are at the origin of the notorious ‘money-rituals’ for which Nigeria is known and which is feared by virtually the entire population, not only in the southeastern states as my posting of January 30 could suggest. Last but not least, ‘ordinary’ criminal killings, manslaughter, murder and extrajudicial killings by security personnel add to the many security challenges which Nigeria is facing.
In the coming days and weeks I will elaborate on the ‘money-rituals’ and the criminal activities of cultists, herbalists, witchdoctors, and other perpetrators of heinous, criminal ritualistic acts. If a government wants to effectively fight and eradicate this ugly, partly traditional phenomenon it will have to take the overall (in)security situation of the country into consideration.
The author of the article reproduced here, Femi Falana, SAN, is a Human Rights Lawyer and a recipient of the prestigious Bernard Simmons Award of the International Bar Association. In his article he explains the violent clashes between herders and farmers, and provides a possible solution to their conflict which basically is a dispute over land. Although the topic of his article is beyond the main focus of the present website, the article is reproduced here in its entirety, not only for a well-deserved respect for the author but also for information reasons as well as to illustrate that for every problems there exists a solution (webmaster FVDK).
Violent Clashes Between Herders and Farmers: A Legal Panacea
Published: February 2, 2021 By: This Day, Nigeria – Femi Falana SAN
From 1999 to 2021, thousands of people have been brutally killed in herders/farmers’ clashes in several States of the Federation. The mindless killings have continued, due to official impunity and negligence which have led to the virtual collapse of the security architecture of the neocolonial State. Hundreds of other citizens have been abducted by gangs of kidnappers and bandits. While some of the abducted people were killed in gruesome circumstances, others were released after the payment of ransoms running into hundreds of millions of Naira by their family members. The hardened criminal elements, have subjected abducted women to sexual abuse. Over 100 school girls in captivity, have been forced to marry their abductors. In spite of the routine assurance of the security of life and property of every citizen, the Federal Government appears to have lost the monopoly of violence to the criminal gangs.
As a result of desert encroachment, the Fulani herders have been forced to seek fertile land for grazing of their cattle in the middle belt and southern parts of the country. Since the State has failed to address the challenge of desertification, the herders have continued to graze their cattle in the bush. In the process, they graze their cattle without regard to State laws and the rights of the farm owners. In struggling to survive on fertile land, the herders attack farmers who resist the invasion of their land. They attack farmers with AK 47 rifles, which have been acquired to protect cattle from rustlers. The violent clashes between herders and farmers have continued, due to the failure of successive governments to revive the ranches inherited from the regional governments of the First Republic, but which collapsed during years of the locusts under successive military regimes.
History of Ranching in Nigeria
The point that I am struggling to make is that, ranching is not a new phenomenon in the country. It is on record that the regimes of Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe established ranches in the Northern, Western and Eastern regions respectively. The Obudu Cattle Ranch which was the oldest in the country, was established in 1951 by a Scot, but was later taken over by the Eastern Regional Government. The Northern Regional Government established a ranch in Mokwa (Niger State). In the West, there were ranches in Iseyin (Oyo State), Oke Ako (Ekiti State) and Akunu (Ondo State).
Under the Yakubu Gowon regime (1966-1975) , the Kano State Government headed by Police Commissioner Audu Bako, established ranches in the State. All the ranches collapsed during the years of the locusts, under successive military juntas. The famous Obudu Cattle Ranch has since been turned to Obudu holiday resort.
In 2014, the Jonathan regime decided to establish ranches in the country. A team of young people were sponsored to learn animal husbandry in Botswana, while the sum of N100 billion was released to some State Governments to establish the ranches. In a recent probe, the House of Representatives confirmed that the money was diverted, as not a single ranch was established.
In 2016, the Buhari regime also opted for the establishment of ranches, in order to end the perennial violent conflicts between farmers and herders. About 55,000 hectares were acquired in 11 States, for the project. The Federal Government also announced its plan to disarm the herders, and other armed bandits. But, instead of establishing the ranches and disarming the herders, the Federal Government has handled the violent clashes between farmers and herdsmen rather lackadaisically. The sudden embrace of cattle colony or RUGA policy by the Federal Government, was suspected by many citizens as a design to take over and turn over land seized from farmers to herders.
Clashes and Kidnapping
Even though the dangerous policy has been dropped, the plan to establish ranches has equally been abandoned. In recent times, the clashes between herders and farmers has been compounded by many incidents of kidnapping that have been traced to some herders. Owing to the failure of the Federal Government to bring the situation under control, some people have reported to self help and jungle justice. The various State Governments have come up with policies such as enactment of anti-grazing laws, and compulsory registration of all herders and farmers operating in forest reserves. The Umar Ganduje administration, once invited displaced herders in Benue and Taraba States to Kano state.
Instead of adopting knee jerk reactions to the crisis, the Federal Government and State Governments should encourage the immediate establishment of ranches. Apart from ending clashes between herders and farmers, the policy will lead to large scale production of meat which will be distributed throughout the country, and possibly exported. Ranching is working in Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya and South Africa. It has worked before in Nigeria. It can work again. Let the Authorities move speedily to end the violent clashes between herders and farmers, without any further delay. Let the Authorities adopt proactive measures to end kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and ritual murder, as well as extrajudicial killing by security agencies.
State Governments and Security Challenges
A few years ago, armed robbers launched violent attacks on banks in Lagos State. The criminals killed many bankers, customers and security personnel, and carted away millions of Naira. The then Babatunde Fashola administration, sought the permission of the Federal Government to purchase and import some modern security equipment and gadgets. As soon as the licence was granted by President Umaru Yar’adua, the Lagos State Government brought in the equipment and gave them to the State Police Command. Armed with such equipment, the Police succeeded in securing the banks and other commercial institutions in the State. Shortly thereafter, about 20 well armed members of the Boko Haram sect sneaked into the State and concluded plans to launch bombing attacks on people, religious centres and schools. The terrorists were arrested and detained under the Terrorism Act, a Federal offence. The State Government requested the Federal Government, to try the dangerous suspects.
When it became clear that the Federal Government was foot dragging over the matter, the Attorney-General of Lagos State applied for the fiat of the Attorney-General of the Federation to enable him to prosecute the terror suspects. As soon as the fiat was granted, the suspects were tried, convicted and jailed.
In another development, the State Government faced fresh security challenges when another set of criminal elements embarked on kidnapping school children and other innocent people. Again, with the acquisition of more sophisticated equipment by the Lagos State Government, the Police Command has frontally attacked the crisis and brought the situation under control. About three years ago, the Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Unit recently arrested a billionaire kidnap suspect, Mr. Chukwudimene Onwuamadike (a.k.a Evans). The suspect was alleged to have specialised in extorting millions of dollars and other foreign currencies, from victims of his criminal enterprise. At the end of the Police investigation, the Lagos State Government took over the matter and has since charged the suspect and his cohorts with armed robbery and kidnapping, before the Lagos high court.
Before then, the Ondo State Government had invoked its sovereign powers to deal with the challenge of insecurity. On September 21, 2015, Chief Olu Falae, a former Secretary to the Federal Government was kidnapped by a gang of kidnappers on his farm at Ago Abo in the outskirts of Akure, Ondo State. The criminals demanded a ransom of N100 million, for his release. President Muhammadu Buhari who was embarrassed by the report of the incident, directed the Inspector-General of Police to rescue Chief Falae without further delay. The Chief regained his freedom three days later, after the payment of an undisclosed ransom. The seven kidnap suspects (Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibrahim, Masahudu Mohammed, Idris Lawal, Abdulkadir Umar and Babawo Kato) were arrested and paraded by the Police at Abuja, in the Federal Capital Territory.
As soon as the investigation was concluded by the Police Headquarters, the then Ondo State Government decided to take over the case in exercise its constitutional powers. Since the case had disclosed that the offence of kidnapping was committed in Ondo State, the then State Attorney-General, Mr. Tayo Jegede, SAN requested the Police to transfer the suspects to Akure, together with the case file and the exhibits recovered during the investigation of the case. As soon as the suspects were brought to Akure, they were charged with conspiracy and kidnapping before the Ondo State High Court. At the end of the marathon trial, the presiding Judge, the Honourable Justice Williams Olamide found the Defendants guilty as charged, convicted and sentenced them to life imprisonment.
No doubt, by prosecuting the dangerous kidnappers and armed robbers, both Attorneys-General of Lagos and Ondo States have demonstrated that State Governments are not encumbered from maintaining law and order in their areas of jurisdiction. It is my strong belief that it is the failure of other Attorneys-General to enforce relevant criminal and penal codes, that has led to a breakdown of law in several States of the Federation. Even though hundreds of suspects have been arrested in several parts of the country by the combined teams of Police and Army personnel for abducting several people including children, they have not been brought to book by the Attorneys-General of the affected States. Majority of critics who are not aware that it is the exclusive constitutional responsibility of State Attorneys-General to prosecute suspects indicted for the offences of kidnapping, armed robbery and culpable homicide, have continued to blame the Federal Government for not prosecuting herders who have been arrested by security agencies.
Welfare of the People
Since a country cannot be secured by a Government that is not prepared to attend to the welfare of the people, the Constitution has outlined the socioeconomic rights of the people and embodied them in Chapter two of the Constitution. The said socioeconomic rights are otherwise called, the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy. Even though the ruling class has made them not justiciable, the workers in alliance with other progressive civil society organisations have compelled the Government to enact a number of laws to promote the welfare of the people. But, the welfare laws have not been implemented due to alleged lack of ,funds in spite of the nation’s enormous wealth. On account of the failure of the Government to fund welfare programmes, Nigeria is said to have the largest number of poor people in the world.
The economic paradox has been fuelled by large scale looting of public funds, by the ruling class. Most of the problems at the root of insecurity in Nigeria, are traceable to the implementation of neoliberal policies imposed on the nation by imperialism. Over 25 million young people including university graduates, are in the unemployment market. In addition to that figure, there are over 10 million children of school age who are roaming the streets, which is said to be the highest figure in the world. Not unexpectedly, such street kids are easily recruited by terrorists, bandits and other criminal gangs to unleash mayhem on the people. The hijack of the recent #EndSARS protests by hoodlums and other criminal elements, has confirmed that the nation is sitting on a keg of gunpowder.
Since armed robbery, kidnapping and murder or culpable homicide are State offences, we have pointed out that State Governments ought to be blamed for failing to end impunity, by prosecuting the herders and other criminal suspects arrested and indicted for kidnapping and killing of innocent people. Instead of engaging in ethnic profiling, concerned citizens should be organised to prevail on the Federal and State Governments to discharge their constitutional duty of protecting the life and property of every citizen. The Governments should also be compelled to put an end to the perennial violent conflicts between farmers and herders, which have needlessly claimed many lives and the destruction of properties worth several billions of Naira in many States of the Federation. As a matter of urgency, herders and bandits should be disarmed by the Federal Government. Having embraced ranching as a permanent solution to the clashes between herders and farmers, the Federal Government and State Governments should proceed to establish ranches in a number of States.
Femi Falana, SAN, Human Rights Lawyer, recipient of the prestigious Bernard Simmons Award of the International Bar Association