Although not the main focus of this website I find it useful and necessary to draw attention to this phenomenon which is based on superstition, violates human rights and creates many innocent victims – not only elderly women and men but also children, just like ritual murders.
I wish to commend Charlotte Müller and Sertan Sanderson of DW (Deutsche Welle) – see below – for an excellent article on this topic. It’s an impressive account of what happens to people accused of witchcraft and victims sof superstition. (FVDK)
World Day Against Witch Hunts: People With Dementia Are Not Witches
Published: August 4, 2023 By: The Ghana Report
August 10 has been designated World Day against Witch Hunts. The Advocacy for Alleged Witches welcomes this development and urges countries to mark this important day, and try to highlight past and contemporary sufferings and abuses of alleged witches in different parts of the globe.
Witchcraft belief is a silent killer of persons. Witchcraft accusation is a form of death sentence in many places. People suspected of witchcraft, especially women and children, are banished, persecuted, and murdered in over 40 countries across the globe. Unfortunately, this tragic incident has not been given the attention it deserves.
Considered a thing of the past in Western countries, this vicious phenomenon has been minimized. Witch persecution is not treated with urgency. It is not considered a global priority. Meanwhile, witch hunting rages across Africa, Asia, and Oceania.
The misconceptions that characterized witch hunting in early modern Europe have not disappeared. Witchcraft imaginaries and other superstitions still grip the minds of people with force and ferocity. Reinforced by traditional, Christian, Islamic, and Hindu religious dogmas, occult fears and anxieties are widespread.
Many people make sense of death, illness, and other misfortunes using the narratives of witchcraft and malevolent magic. Witch hunters operate with impunity in many countries, including nations with criminal provisions against witchcraft accusations and jungle justice.
Some of the people who are often accused and targeted as witches are elderly persons, especially those with dementia.
To help draw attention to this problem, the Advocacy for Alleged Witches has chosen to focus on dementia for this year’s World Day against Witch Hunts. People with dementia experience memory loss, poor judgment, and confusion.
Their thinking and problem-solving abilities are impaired. Unfortunately, these health issues are misunderstood and misinterpreted. Hence, some people treat those with dementia with fear, not respect. They spiritualize these health conditions, and associate them with witchcraft and demons.
There have been instances where people with dementia left their homes or care centers, and were unable to return or recall their home addresses. People claimed that they were returning from witchcraft meetings; that they crash landed on their way to their occult gatherings while flying over churches or electric poles.
Imagine that! People forge absurd and incomprehensible narratives to justify the abuse of people with dementia. Sometimes, people claim that those suffering dementia turn into cats, birds, or dogs. As a result of these misconceptions, people maltreat persons with dementia without mercy; they attack, beat, and lynch them. Family members abandon them and make them suffer painful and miserable deaths. AfAW urges the public to stop these abuses, and treat people with dementia with care and compassion.
Published: August 10, 2023 By: Charlotte Müller | Sertan Sanderson – DW
Witch hunts are far from being a thing of the past — even in the 21st century. In many countries, this is still a sad reality for many women today. That is why August 10 has been declared a World Day against Witch Hunts.
Akua Denteh was beaten to death in Ghana’s East Gonja District last month — after being accused of being a witch. The murder of the 90-year-old has once more highlighted the deep-seated prejudices against women accused of practicing witchcraft in Ghana, many of whom are elderly.
An arrest was made in early August, but the issue continues to draw attention after authorities were accused of dragging their heels in the case. Human rights and gender activists now demand to see change in culture in a country where supernatural beliefs play a big role.
But the case of Akua Denteh is far from an isolated instance in Ghana, or indeed the world at large. In many countries of the world, women are still accused of practicing witchcraft each year. They are persecuted and even killed in organized witch hunts — especially in Africa but also in Southeast Asia and Latin America.
Witch hunts: a contemporary issue
Those accused of witchcraft have now found a perhaps unlikely charity ally in their fight for justice: the Catholic missionary society missio, which is part of the global Pontifical Mission Societies under the jurisdiction of the Pope, has declared August 10 as World Day against Witch Hunts, saying that in at least 36 nations around the world, people continue to be persecuted as witches.
While the Catholic Church encouraged witch hunts in Europe from the 15th to the 18th century, it is now trying to shed light into this dark practice. Part of this might be a sense of historical obligation — but the real driving force is the number of victims that witch hunts still cost today.
Historian Wolfgang Behringer, who works as a professor specializing in the early modern age at Saarland University, firmly believes in putting the numbers in perspective. He told DW that during these three centuries, between 50,000 and 60,000 people are assumed to have been killed for so-called crimes of witchcraft — a tally that is close to being twice the population of some major German cities at the time.
But he says that in the 20th century alone, more people accused of witchcraft were brutally murdered than during the three centuries when witch hunts were practiced in Europe: “Between 1960 and 2000, about 40,000 people alleged of practicing witchcraft were murdered in Tanzania alone. While there are no laws against witchcraft as such in Tanzanian law, village tribunals often decide that certain individuals should be killed,” Behringer told DW.
The historian insists that due to the collective decision-making behind these tribunals, such murders are far from being arbitrary and isolated cases: “I’ve therefore concluded that witch hunts are not a historic problem but a burning issue that still exists in the present.”
A pan-African problem?
In Tanzania, the victims of these witch hunts are often people with albinism; some people believe that the body parts of these individuals can be used to extract potions against all sorts of ailments. Similar practices are known to take place in Zambia and elsewhere on the continent.
Meanwhile in Ghana, where nonagenarian Akua Denteh was bludgeoned to death last month, certain communities blamed the birth of children with disabilities on practices of witchcraft.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is usually the younger generations who are associated witchcraft. So-called “children of witchcraft” are usually rejected by their families and left to fend for themselves. However, their so-called crimes often have little to do with sorcery at all:
“We have learned of numerous cases of children suffering rape and then no longer being accepted by their families. Or they are born as illegitimate children out of wedlock, and are forced to live with a parent who no longer accepts them,” says Thérèse Mema Mapenzi, who works as a mission project partner in the eastern DRC city of Bukayu.
‘Children of witchcraft’ in the DRC
Mapenzi’s facility was initially intended to be a women’s shelter to harbor women who suffered rape at the hands of the militia in the eastern parts of the country, where rape is used as a weapon of war as part of the civil conflict there. But over the years, more and more children started seeking her help after they were rejected as “children of witchcraft.”
With assistance from the Catholic missionary society missio, Mapenzi is now also supporting these underage individuals in coping with their many traumas while trying to find orphanages and schools for them.
“When these children come here, they have often been beaten to a pulp, have been branded as witches or have suffered other injuries. It is painful to just even look at them. We are always shocked to see these children devoid of any protection. How can this be?” Mapenzi wonders.
Seeking dialogue to end witch hunts
But there is a whole social infrastructure fueling this hatred against these young people in the DRC: Many charismatic churches blame diseases such as HIV/AIDS or female infertility on witchcraft, with illegitimate children serving as scapegoats for problems that cannot be easily solved in one of the poorest countries on earth. Other reasons cited include sudden deaths, crop failures, greed, jealousy and more.
Thérèse Mema Mapenzi says that trying to help those on the receiving end of this ire is a difficult task, especially in the absence of legal protection: “In Congolese law, witchcraft is not recognized as a violation of the law because there is no evidence you can produce. Unfortunately, the people have therefore developed their own legal practices to seek retribution and punish those whom call them witches.”
In addition to helping those escaping persecution, Mapenzi also seeks dialogue with communities to stop prejudice against those accused of witchcraft and sorcery. She wants to bring estranged families torn apart by witch hunts back together. Acting as a mediator, she talks to people, and from time to time succeeds in reuniting relatives with women and children who had been ostracized and shamed. Mapenzi says that such efforts — when they succeed — take an average of two to three years from beginning to finish.
But even with a residual risk of the victims being suspected of witchcraft again, she says her endeavors are worth the risk. She says that the fact that August 10 has been recognized as the World Day against Witch Hunts sends a signal that her work is important — and needed.
Hunting the hunters — a dangerous undertaking
For Thérèse Mema Mapenzi, the World Day against Witch Hunts marks another milestone in her uphill battle in the DRC. Jörg Nowak, spokesman for missio, agrees and hopes that there will now be growing awareness about this issue around the globe.
As part of his work, Nowak has visited several missio project partners fighting to help bring an end to witch hunts in recent years. But he wasn’t aware about the magnitude of the problem himself until 2017.
The first case he dealt with was the killing of women accused of being witches in Papua New Guinea in the 2010s — which eventually resulted in his publishing a paper on the crisis situation in the country and becoming missio’s dedicated expert on witch hunts.
But much of Nowak’s extensive research in Papua New Guinea remains largely under wraps for the time being, at least in the country itself: the evidence he accrued against some of the perpetrators there could risk the lives of missio partners working for him.
Not much has changed for centuries, apart from the localities involved when it comes to the occult belief in witchcraft, says Nowak while stressing: “There is no such thing as witchcraft. But there are accusations and stigmatization designed to demonize people; indeed designed to discredit them in order for others to gain selfish advantages.”
Maxwell Suuk and Isaac Kaledzi contributed to this article.
In Nigeria, the number of ritual killings, ritual murders, ‘money rituals’, cannot be counted. Occasionally I report on these widespread crimes in Africa’s most populated country, but it would be a daily job to (try to) cover all of them – though I doubt if this would ever be possible, also in light of the fact that presumably not all ritualistic murders are discovered.
Often, so-called Yahoo-boys are involved in these ritual practices which are nothing less than ordinary violent crimes committed by ruthless, greedy people who butcher innocent people – men, women, children – whose organs are being sold to superstitious people.
It is to be expected that in a country of over 200 million people many crimes are committed including crimes for ritualistic purposes. In Nigeria, the crime of ritual murder is so persistent and widespread that one wonders if there are other reasons than superstition, greed, and the country’s vast population which explain this ugly crime.
In Nigeria there’s a general lack of security which goes hand in hand with the lack of rule of law. Bandits, Boko Haram rebels, terrorists, ritualists, political activists, the Nigerian government is confronted with multiple agressors. Nigeria’s recently installed president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, faces many challenges of which the eradication of ritual murders in the country is just one.
The focus on Yorubaland in the article presented below is by no means meant to suggest that the problem of ritualistic killings elsewhere in Nigeria is less serious.
PS The reproduction of articles here and elsewhere on this site does not imply that the webmaster agrees with the contents of the articles published. (FVDK)
Unprecedented spate of ritual killings in Yorubaland and the absence of elders
Published: August 12, 2023 By: Dr. Tayo Douglas – The Nation, Nigeria
One of the epigrams often cited in Yorubaland whenever the household or the whole community is thrown into orgy and disarray is namely this;
“Agbà kó sí ní ìlú, ìlú bàjé, baãlé ilé kú tán ilé di ahoro.” Loosely taken, it means; “the absence or death of the elders turns the household into an empty shell.”
In recent times, never has Yoruba land witnessed the flurry and plague of mindless and imbecilic killing of human beings for ritual purposes. It is now a daily occurrence and it appears there won’t be an end to it. The question which all right-thinking men and women of Yorubaland should be asking themselves is; where are their morals and where have they got it wrong?
It seems these elders are yet to come to terms with the fact that they now have big problems on their hands. At the moment, it would appear that politics and how to get rich quickly through any means are now the major preoccupation of an average Yoruba man. Nobody cares any longer about morals or the good names of each family. Orientation or good upbringing in each household or family setup is already lost to vulgar and questionable lifestyles among the Yoruba youths.
If a fool would reason at all, he would be quick to point out to you that the fallout is a result of poverty or hardship in the country. A fool has reasoned indeed! The Yoruba saying of old is very much replete here and that is, “ohun tí otí bá nínú òmùtí ni òmùtí fi se ìwà wù,” That is, let no criminal plead that he committed the crime because he is drunk. After all, lawyers always tell us that an act is considered blameworthy because an accused mind is equally guilty (actus reus reum nisi mens sit rea). In essence, a murderer has gone to kill a human being for ritual purposes of getting rich quickly and not because there is hunger, poverty, and hardship in the country.
In the days of old, our parents always drummed it to our ears to remember the children of whom we were – (Rántí omo eni ti ìwo n’se), I doubt if these youths on killing spree today have houses again let alone keeping the names of the owners.
Before it is too late, a time is coming (and that is if it hasn’t come already) when whatever is left remaining of Yorubaland ethos and dignity would soon be thrown to the dogs and the winds if care is not taken. These boys’ excesses, I mean the ritualists, yahoo boys, and whatever other evil names they are called, have to be curtailed at all costs. That time is now. Instead of the Afenifere warlords turning themselves to Peter Obi or any other politicians, campaign managers, and spin doctors, they should come back home and address the real problem that is turning their lands into graveyards and other abominable monuments.
It’s quite unfortunate that these so-called elders have left leprosy untreated but keep running after ringworm. Overnight, Tinubu became their major headache. His election as president of the country was then and up till now an “abomination” that must be prevented. It is better in the sight of these Yoruba elders if ‘yahoo plus’ and other ritualists continue their nefarious activities in Yorubaland but Tinubu must not be president. “Over” their “dead bodies” are their slogans. SMH.
Never in the history of the Yoruba race have we ever witnessed the unprecedented carnage, a gory obscenity and orgy of ritual seppuku, and disembowelment of human beings for money purposes. It is highly unfortunate.
• Dr. Douglas, Ph.D. is a lawyer and social commentator, sent this piece from Lagos.
As a reminder I will recall what basically happened on the fateful day in December 2019 when the innocent university student was brutally murdered. Favour Daley-Oladele, a final year student of Lagos State University (LASU), was murdered and partly cannibalized for a ritualistic motive, a ‘money ritual’, by her boyfriend Owolabi Adeeko, aided by Philip Segun, a white garment church pastor and his mother, Mrs. Bola Adeeko.
Last month, a High Court found both men guilty of conspiracy and murder and sentenced them to death by hanging for murder (Owolabi Adeeko) and 14 years imprisonment (Philip Segun) for conspiracy. The court also found Bola, Owolabi’s mother, guilty of eating human flesh and sentenced her to two years imprisonment.
Read the full article below. Warning: the article may upset readers because of its shocking and graphic contents. (FVDK)
The long arm of justice, after three years, finally caught up with killers and eaters of Favour Daley-Oladele, a final year student of Lagos State University, brutally murdered and used for “victory soup” ritual concoction by her boyfriend, Owolabi Adeeko, and a prophet, Segun Philip.
Last month, a High Court found Owolabi and Segun guilty of conspiracy and murder and sentenced them to death by hanging for murder and 14 years imprisonment for conspiracy.
The court also found Bola, Owolabi’s mother, guilty of eating human flesh and sentenced her to two years imprisonment.
Favour, a student of Theatre Arts, was in a final semester and at home to meet her parents before Owolabi put a call to her to meet him, so they could meet his uncle at Ikoyi in Isokan local government area of Osun State.
The deceased, who had attended church service on the day, also spoke with her father who wished her success in her final examinations before setting out on the fateful trip.
Before leaving home on that day, she also informed her mother that she was going back to school but will also be seeing a friend on her way and the mother never knew that the friend would eventually use her for “victory soup” and together with his mother “eat her up for their own good”.
Days after leaving home, Favour’s parents became apprehensive having tried to reach her on phone severally and were not successful, an unusual character, hence, they reached out to her friends in school who told them she had not returned to school.
The parents had to report a missing person at a police station in Mowe, Ogun State.
Meanwhile, Owolabi and Prophet Philip had concluded plans on how to kill the missing girl and butcher her for ritual soup.
She had journeyed all the way from Mowe to Osun and, upon arrival, she was lodged in a hotel in Ikoyi but rather than allow her rest upon complaint of tiredness, the boyfriend urged her to meet his supposed uncle before she would later come back to the hotel for a complete rest.
At a church, which is secluded from the rest of the community, Favour still complained of the need to rest and her boyfriend urged her to enter into the partial wooden building to rest while he and his prophet accomplice concluded their talk before returning to the hotel.
While Owolabi and Segun chatted outside the building they took time to check on the poor lady and having been sure that she was fully asleep, Owolabi took a pestle and smashed it on her head. Thereafter, the prophet cut her opened and took the vital organs needed for the ritual soup.
After Favour’s parents reported that she was missing at the police division in Mowe, the Divisional Police Officer assembled a team of detectives to find her.
The team, according to Ogun Police Command spokesperson, tracked her phone to her last destination, hence, the team mounted surveillance in the town and further tracked the last location of the phone to the church where the prophet was arrested.
The cleric informed the police that the deceased was brought to him by Owolabi who was still in the hotel where he lodged. They were both arrested after Christmas in 2019.
‘I lured her to Ikoyi to kill’
After his arrest, Owolabi told police detectives that he lured the victim to Osun under the pretence to meet his uncle and spend more time together.
He added that she travelled down because of the trust she had in him as the victim had not embarked on such journey before that one which eventually was her last.
His confessional statement which was tendered in court “I called Favour on December 8, 2019 to meet me at Ikoyi-Ile so that we could spend time together. She met me at an hotel in the area, but immediately she got there, she started complaining that she was tired and needed to rest.
“I told her that we needed to visit my dad’s younger brother before she would rest. It was a lie. I tricked her into going to the church of Segun. When we got to the church, again, she complained that she wanted to sleep, so, I asked her to go into the church and rest.
“When she slept off, I used a pestle to smash her in the head and she died. After we confirmed she was dead, Pastor Segun slaughtered her and removed the vital organs from her body which he used to prepare concoction for me and my mum to eat.
“Despite what we ate, things have not improved till I was arrested. My mum’s business has not improved after what we did and despite all our efforts. I think the money ritual did not work”.
He added that his mother was not aware of his evil plans and was made to believe that she was eating ritual soup prepared from goat’s organs.
Owolabi agreed to face the consequences of his actions but asserted that punishing his mother would amount to an injustice.
On his part, Segun admitted to cutting the deceased open after her boyfriend had killed her, removed her vital organs to prepare the spiritual meal for mother and son to be victorious of spiritual attacks.
His words also admitted as confession in court: “It is true I slaughtered Favour with a knife. I removed her heart, breasts, and other vital organs so we could use them for rituals. But, I was not the one that smashed her head with a pestle. Owolabi did it.
“We deceived Mrs Adeeko that the concoction was prepared with goat’s organs. She was not aware we used human parts in the concoction I gave her. I prepared the ritual for them because I was broke and I needed money. I demanded N250,000 but was paid N210, 000.
“I was called by God, but I think I have lost the call because of what I did”.
Owolabi’s mother, Bola, said she was not aware a human was killed in a bid for her to overcome her spiritual challenges.
According to her, she was made to believe the concoction she ate was prepared from goat meat.
Following their arrest and confession, Owolabi and Segun told the police that the remains of Favour were buried in the church building. The entire community was thrown into frenzy when the remains were exhumed from a shallow grave close to the building.
The already decomposing body was packed in a body bag and transported to Ogun State with a view to delivering it to the family after autopsy.
The three suspects were first arraigned before an Osun State Magistrate Court in November 2020 after investigation by the police on two counts of conspiracy and murder.
They were later arraigned before a High Court sitting in Ikire.
The prosecution, led by Adekemi Bello, called nine witnesses during trial to establish conspiracy and murder charges against the suspects who testified for themselves.
At the end of trial, Justice Christiana Obadina found Owolabi and Segun guilty of conspiracy and murder.
She sentenced the Prophet and Owolabi to death by hanging for murder and 14 years imprisonment for conspiracy.
The trial judge also found Bola, Owolabi’s mother, guilty of eating human flesh and sentenced her to two years imprisonment.
The Onikoyi of Ikoyi-Ile, Oba Yisau Oyetunji, said the community is peaceful and the people peace loving.
He maintained that the killer-prophet is not an indigene of the community.
The monarch stressed that churches should be properly registered with a view to identifying and preventing such horrible incident.
“From my findings, the self-acclaimed pastor is not an indigene of Ikoyi. The fellow who took the lady to the place, his mother and the victim are also not from Ikoyi”, he said.
“My plea to religious leaders and residents of Ikoyi and Osun State in general is to be vigilant. We should take up responsibility to secure our areas.
“If we see any strange faces or movements, we should try and do our findings on them. Our surveillance should not be restricted to strangers alone. We should not be silent on the issue of security. We should report to the police anyone constituting security risk”.
Meanwhile, the sentencing of the killers means a proper closure to a sad tale for Favour’s parents as justice appears to have been served.
The following article is highly recommended reading, excellent work by Victor Ayeni!
In Nigeria, nearly every day ‘money rituals’ are reported, maybe not surprising in view of the country’s large population of well over 200 million people – Africa’s largest – even though just one ritual murder is already one too much. However, on the other hand, it could well be that the cases known and reported are only the tip of an iceberg.
But what do we know about ‘money rituals’, as ritual murders are being called in this part of the African continent? Most articles reporting on these crimes, which are driven by greed – for power, prestige or wealth – and based on superstition, are superficial. It is hard to find an article which treats this phenomenon in depth and in a serious way. The Nigerian journalist Victor Ayeni has done a great job and he’s to be commended for this achievement.
The traditional history of ritualistic killings and human sacrifices point to protection of the community’s interest by sacrificing one of its members. Cruel as this might be in our eyes nowadays, in the 21st century, back then relatives of the victim may have been proud of their family member’s contribution to the community. We see nowadays in many parts of the African continent that the ritualistic act which demands the death of the victim is for the (pretended, aimed) benefit of one person only who thus wants to increase his or her power, wealth or health. Moreover, the victim is often picked at random. Involuntary, the victim is attacked and tortured, what results is a gruesome, a wicked crime. Sometimes, specific groups are targeted, e.g. people with albinism, hunchbacks or bald people.
In some countries ambitious politicians tend to resort to these practices in the hope of increasing their political chances and success, resulting an increase in ritual murders during election campaigns. It’s a shocking reality – even though we don’t known the full scale of it.
‘Money rituals’ in Nigeria show another characteristic: some people consider it a business model, which enables them to ‘earn’ money from superstitious people who believe that by using another man’s organs or other body parts, ‘juju’ will be created, to their personal benefit.
Victor Ayeni explains well how this works in Nigeria. A very informative article which ends with the question ‘Are money rituals real or a fiction?’
The reader may answer this question for him- or herself after reading Ayeni’s valuable article. (webmaster FVDK)
Money ritual seekers’ dark walk into deceit, misery
VICTOR AYENI explores the subject of money ritual in popular culture, religious houses, and Nollywood movies, why the purveyors of the belief succeed in deceiving youths, and its implications on the public
The apprehension in the air was so thick that one could cut through it with a knife as Olajide (surname withheld) narrated his journey through a maze of confusion.
The 27-year-old graduate was helping a friend manage a pig farm in Osogbo, Osun State, when another friend introduced him to Internet scam, which in Nigerian lingo is called Yahoo Yahoo.
But his experience shocked the wits out of him.
“I was being paid N10,000 per month at the farm, but the money couldn’t meet my needs as time went on, so a friend of mine bought me an iPhone and from there, I was introduced to Yahoo Yahoo.
“I started off on a neutral ground and I was getting little money from my clients (victims), but after like three months into it, things became so tough that I couldn’t fend for myself again. I explained my situation to a friend and he took me to an Alfa (cleric),” Olajide recalls, shaking his head in disbelief.
This Alfa was known in Yahoo boys’ circles to be adept in the art of money magic – an occult economy that involves the performance of rituals to supernaturally conjure money.
Abode of fear
When Olajide described his financial difficulties to the Alfa, he was given two options.
“Alfa said he would help me out with small osole. I asked what he meant by that and he explained that osole (spiritual assistance) is different from oso (human body parts).
“Alfa told me oso required the use of human parts for material wealth with repercussions such as untimely death or insanity, whereas osole required the use of plants and animals for the same purpose but with lesser repercussions like being poor. I opted for osole,” he added.
Olajide was instructed to pay a sum of N12,000 into the cleric’s bank account for the materials and return in four days.
Five days later, when Olajide put a call through to the Alfa, he was asked to return for the materials.
He said, “When I got there, he gave me a small black soap and told me to find small palm oil and go to a flowing river to bathe that I had to cleanse myself first before I would use the materials.
“He explained to me that the soap was made with pepper mixed with some herbs and directed me to rub the palm oil on my body first before bathing with the soap. He warned that if I didn’t use the palm oil first, I was going to disappear and I would not be seen again. So, I did as I was told.”
Olajide said he complied with all the instructions.
“When I went back to him, he gave me three different materials: a soap to bath with every morning by 4am, a potion which I must swallow daily after taking my bath, and a powdery mixture to be licked every night before I go to bed.
“He said the herbal concoction was made from animals like crow, chameleon, cat, pigeon, and some leaves. He also told me that I would experience more hardship during the first two or three months of using the ritual materials, but I should endure it because after that, the tide will turn and money will be flowing in from my clients,” he added.
The idea of recipients conjuring money through magic is a familiar theme in many Nigerian films and religious houses.
Whether through animal sacrifices or trafficking in human parts, it is erroneously believed that these rites bring stupendous wealth to those who practice them.
When our correspondent inquired from Olajide if the magic worked, and in what specific ways the money came to him, he was silent.
When he spoke, he recalled faithfully following all the instructions given to him, but for the next two months, as the cleric predicted, he experienced serious financial hardship.
At this point, he said his friend introduced him to a client (victim), who had been defrauded several times.
Olajide then began to siphon money from the victim.
The inexplicable ease with which his ‘client’ gave him money implied that he (client) had been hypnotised.
“I ended up getting plenty money from this client. The cleric had assured me of having lots of money from osole, but he advised me to return to him for an upgrade of the ritual by paying N450,000, saying I would be making millions of naira after using the alleged ‘upgraded’ soap.
“But I didn’t go back because I asked my friend who took me there about what the new upgrade entails since that was what he did, and he warned me sternly against it because of the repercussions behind it.
“He said once I bathe with the ‘upgraded’ soap the cleric would prescribe, I could only wear the clothes and shoes I had and I must not change them for the next two years,” he added.
Four months after he dabbled in osole, Olajide realised that his fortunes began to dwindle as reality pulled the plug on his gravy train.
He said, “Things suddenly turned sour after four months. The client I was getting money from was arrested and ended up in jail and I no longer had any financial link. I ended up becoming more broke than before.
“My friend found me another client but I ended up wasting money rather than gaining some. Then, I was taken to another voodoo practitioner. This one said he would perform a ritual for me but one of its conditions was that I must never have sex with more than one girlfriend for the next three years and if I did otherwise, I would run mad.
“It was then I decided to withdraw from this stuff and went back into teaching for some time. Later on, I was introduced to the crypto business that I now do.”
The poverty factor
The belief in gaining wealth through mystical practices has gained much appeal over the decades in Nigeria with the exponential rise in poverty and lack of equal economic opportunities, especially for young people.
According to the 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index Survey released by the National Bureau of Statistics, 63 per cent of Nigerians, which account for 133 million citizens, are multi-dimensionally poor due to a lack of access to health, education, living standards, employment, and security.
The unemployment rate in Nigeria has not only increased constantly in the past years, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group has also projected that the country’s unemployment rate will hit 37 per cent in 2023.
However, investigations by Saturday PUNCH showed that many Nigerians fervently believe that they can make a lot of money regardless of the dire economic situations in the country through a supernatural supply of money.
In Nigeria, there are various tales around wealth creation that foster the concept of one becoming rich through the manipulation of metaphysical forces in nature.
Among the Yoruba, South-West Nigeria, there is the aworo phenomenon that is believed to draw large patronage to a trader in a marketplace.
There is also awure (wealth booster) which can be prepared as a traditional soap or concoction.
Research shows that many Nigerians plank their belief in money rituals on mostly unverified reports.
This has drawn many into desperate measures, including taking the lives of close family members and friends.
In December 2021, a suspected Internet fraudster from Edo State, identified only as Osas, allegedly murdered his girlfriend, Elohor Oniorosa, for ritual purposes.
In November 2022, another Yahoo boy, alongside his herbalist, one Ike, aka Ogenesu, was arrested after policemen recovered suspected human parts at the herbalist’s place in Obiaruku, in the Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State.
But Ogun State appeared to have the highest number of reported incidents of such killings.
For instance, the state recorded at least 15 cases of ritual killings between January 2022 and 2023.
In January, the Ogun State Police Command arrested a 36-year-old herbalist, Taiwo Ajalorun, who reportedly confessed to the gruesome killing of a 26-year-old mother of two and two others in the Ijebu Ode area of the state.
On December 28, 2022, in the Ijebu-Ode area of the state, a gang reportedly killed three women, including a girlfriend of one of them, after sleeping with her.
In February 2022, two suspected criminals who were alleged to be ritualists were set ablaze by an angry mob for being in possession of human parts in Oja-Odan in the Yewa-North Local Government Area of the state.
Also, in October 2022, two suspected Internet fraudsters allegedly killed a 40-year-old man, Abdullahi Azeez, in Owode-Egba.
But probably the most pathetic was that of some teenagers who were caught burning the head of a female, Sofia, whom they killed for money ritual in the Oke Aregba area of Abeokuta.
One of the teenagers, Soliu Majekodunmi, who was Sofia’s boyfriend, said in January 2022 that he learnt the practice through Facebook.
Majekodunmi said he typed, ‘How to make money ritual’ on Facebook and got the details, adding that the link instructed him to behead and burn a female skull in a local pot.
Shaman or sham man?
Our correspondent found many Facebook accounts and groups created for seekers of money rituals.
Most of the social media pages had photographs of new naira notes placed in African traditional pots, calabashes, and cowrie-strewn bags, and some showed animal blood splattered on the ground around them.
Posing as a school teacher, our correspondent reached out to one of the acclaimed shamans, Babatunde (surname withheld), who resided in Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State.
In his response, he introduced his shrine as the ‘Arab Money Family’ and sent his phone number to our correspondent.
In a rather confident tone, Babatunde said, “If you are ready, even if it is this night, you will pay me and I will get the materials ready to start the ritual work for you. Most of my ritual work is done overnight and by tomorrow, it will be completed and your money will come out.
“You will send me your bank account, photograph, and full name, and you will be receiving money in your account. You will be receiving cash thrice every two weeks.”
When our correspondent inquired whether it is spirits that would be sending the money, he interjected in a mildly exasperated tone, “Listen, I will prepare the money here in my shrine and the money will be entering your account.”
He sent his ritual material price list and asked our correspondent to select the amount of money he wishes to receive in his bank account.
The list says, “N15,500 for N200,000; N20,000 for N300,000; N30,500 for N500,000; N50,000 for N1million; N75,000 for N5million; N90,000 for N20million; and N120,000 for N50 million.”
When our correspondent selected “N20,000 for N300,000,” he reiterated that his brand of ‘money magic’ utilises native materials instead of human blood.
“I make money without human blood and I only make use of native materials. I only make use of materials called ‘Cash of Hope’ and the ‘Money Drawer Oil.’
“Mind you, my work does not require any side effects or human being blood for sacrifice or repercussions, okay? Never say never to the high spirit.
“You don’t need to travel down for the ritual; I will just send them to you and you will get your money, but you must come down to my shrine with a token of appreciation for my work, any amount your heart chooses,” Babatunde added.
When the reporter complained about being unable to afford the cost of the ritual material, the magician urged him to find the money by any means possible and contact him when ready.
Babatunde was also observed to regularly post videos on his Facebook and WhatsApp statuses featuring ‘clients’ who claim to have acquired money through his rituals but the veracity of their claims could not be confirmed.
The second acclaimed money magician, who resides in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, goes by the Facebook name, Iya Ifa Bomi.
In this case, our correspondent posed as a greenhorn ‘Yahoo boy’ and asked her for spiritual assistance in order to obtain money from his ‘clients.’
She said, “You mean you are talking to your clients and they are not giving you money? I can perform a ritual for you and it will involve the use of big Titus fish, pepper, and some fresh leaves, but it will cost you N25,000.
“When you have the money, you can come to Ogbomoso and pick up the materials. I will prepare them for you. I have done this for many Yahoo boys like you and they all come back to testify that their clients are cooperating although some of them are ingrates. We also have some of us who do this work who are scammers and have made people not trust our works.”
Another cleric contacted by our correspondent, Alfa Abdulmumeen Aremu, advertised himself as a practitioner of “money rituals for engineers, contractors, business owners and ‘Yahooboys.’”
He first demanded a sum of N2,000 and told our correspondent to send his full name and his mother’s name for spiritual consultation before he could recommend osole to him.
In a voice note, he explained, “There are different types of osole and I perform them for people like you, so don’t worry, I am adept in this work. Send me those things first and I will do some consultations to know your destiny in five minutes and I will revert to you.”
Our correspondent sent him a pseudonym along with the name of his late grandmother.
After some minutes, Aremu sent a voice note saying, “I can see you have a very bright destiny but you have some enemies. They are divided into two: some from your family and others from your workplace.
“You will cook ritual meals like rice and semo with tasty stew and give them to the children in your community. They will eat it with relish, and some of them will go to sleep. After you do that, you will be spiritually clean and we can proceed to the next stage.”
A student of Business Administration, Kazeem Akinpelu, says money rituals are real.
“If they have not been working, people will no longer be practicing them. I grew up in Ibadan, Oyo State, and I know of a market where they sell human parts at night.
“The people selling in this particular market practice voodoo and they are patronised by those who perform money rituals. There was also one time the body parts of a lynched motorcyclist here in Ibadan were used by ritualists,” he added.
However, a civil servant, Nnamdi Okeke, dismissed money rituals as a fantasy that existed only in the realm of make-believe.
“Well, I have not come across any money rituals and I haven’t thought of doing such either. I don’t believe there is anything like ‘blood money.’
“Someone can watch a film and tell you the story, but no cult will tell you what to bring if you have not passed through their ranks, and that is if such things exist, because I don’t believe in them. The question is, the person who wants to make you rich, why is he poor and even why are their children not rich?” he asked.
Similarly, a medical scientist, Mike Okechukwu, said the whole concept of ritual killing boiled down to superstition.
“People would believe what they want to believe to obtain money. Desperate people will employ desperate measures. For me though, I don’t think ritual killings are effective; I have not seen any proof to make me believe so. It all boils down to superstition,” he stated.
But a sales representative, who gave her name as Judith for security reasons, said she once dated a man whom she believed was involved in such rituals.
She said, “I was dating this Yahoo-Yahoo guy and one day, I visited him unannounced and found that he didn’t want me to go inside his room. He was just acting weird that day.
“But while I stood at the door, he didn’t know I saw a native pot placed on the floor. From that day on, I began to suspect him and that was what made me leave him eventually because I don’t want anybody to use me for money rituals.”
Money ritual mirage
Commenting on popular beliefs about money rituals, a Professor of Philosophy of Religion at the Lagos State University, Danoye Oguntola-Laguda, said herbalists appeal to Internet scammers for pecuniary gain.
He said, “My experience is that there is nothing called money rituals. What many people mistake for money rituals is the prayer for getting rich. That could definitely involve some sacrifices of animals or birds or cooking for the whole community (saara) which brings the blessing of feeding multitudes and people may not be able to determine how you become rich.
“I don’t want to say that those who believe in osole or perform oso are wrong because there are a lot of myths that point in that direction, but if you ask many of them to tell you or show you the real thing, you will see that they have nothing to show.
“I want to say that most of these traditionalists do not even know that those who consult them are ‘Yahoo boys.’ They just see them as people seeking a way to be rich and they do a ritual, pray for them and tell them to go and kill one goat. The babalawos are also human beings who have families to feed so when they see a victim with such a proposal, they grab it with both hands.”
Oguntola-Laguda also explained the difference between religious practice and occultism.
“Religion is experiential; it is about your experience. If I tell you that prayer doesn’t work, it’s because I tried it and it didn’t work and if I tell you that it works, it’s because I tried it and it worked for me.
“There is a need to separate occultism from religious practices. Occultism is the appropriation of spiritual agents, who in most cases are negative, and it’s not limited to African traditional religion; it is something that cuts across the board.
“Many religious people appropriate these negative spiritual agents for these money rituals and power to be able to do things that are extraordinary, like the power to be able to tell the sun to go down or to tell the rain to stop.
“So, it is occult people that will tell you that they will make you rich and invite a spiritual agent to do that for you but they always come with a price and that is what many people have come to call oso or osole.
“In the past, in Yoruba traditional society, the wizard who is called oso doesn’t mean he is rich but has power appropriated through spiritual agents that he deploys for good or evil of society,” he added.
Nollywood magical realism
The scenarios of materially wealthy people enmeshed in sinister rituals and pacts with spirits, is a recurring theme in Nollywood plots.
Findings by Saturday PUNCH revealed that whether in the predominantly Muslim North or the largely Christian South, many religious Nigerians believe in the reality of an unseen world, and the fictive representations from Nollywood plots have heavily shaped their perceptions of reality.
A Nollywood screenwriter, Mr Abiola Omolokun, argued that the depictions of money rituals in films are a true representation of Yoruba culture.
He said, “First, I don’t write such stories, but they are true representations of reality. Money rituals are real and are reflected in our cultural beliefs; they are not fiction.
“We tell a story just to teach morals and make people see things differently. Our stories make them know that for every action, there are consequences.
“Through our movies, we teach that patience is a virtue that youths need to walk on the right path, and in due time, with hard work and perseverance, everything will lead to success.”
However, a researcher in African Studies, Akin Faleye, contended that such stories lack historical precedent and are fraudulent.
“As a student of global history, I will say that there is no evidence that the Yoruba practised money rituals in the pre-colonial time. All these stories of money rituals are fraudulent and emanated from psychopaths rather than people with some actual spiritual knowledge of how to make money,” he stated.
Money rituals in other cultures
In some other cultures, what could be termed as money rituals are often symbolic acts or dramas that appeal to psychological and cosmic powers through an application of symbolic structures.
In Ireland, there is a tradition of taking a piece of straw from the nativity scene/crib in the church at Christmas and keeping it in your purse or wallet, which is believed to bring financial prosperity throughout the year.
An Indian author, Suresh Padmanabhan, in his work, I Love Money, devoted a chapter to ‘Money rituals’ and wrote, “Take a currency note in your hand and wish it ‘Good morning.’ “Express gratitude to your wallet, accounts book, cash box, bank passbook, or any other tools connected directly to money. Smile at yourself in the mirror and pat yourself when you perform a task well.”
Some practitioners in western traditions also perform what they define as money spells/rites, which involve the invocation of spirits and archangels, drawing ritual circles, erecting a temple and an altar, and presenting offerings to ancient deities.
However, these rituals are often believed and practiced by religious groups on the fringes and are based on cultural paradigms that only allow clearly defined routes of financial access through hard work, lucrative business, and clever exploitation of market gaps.
Lamenting the lack of profitable skills available to Nigerian youths, a United Kingdom-based personal development coach, Mr Toyyib Adelodun, highlighted the need for popular magical ideas about money to be refuted.
“Nigerian youths need to understand that money is a unit of account to measure, therefore the more value you produce for the community, the richer you are supposed to be. So, the first thing a young person should seek is education and skills to earn money.
“Money is always circulating in an economy. It is the Central Bank of Nigeria that prints money, it doesn’t come from anywhere else. We saw a practical example of this recently when the CBN embarked on the naira redesign and there wasn’t enough money in circulation. So, there is no magic that is going to bring money from anywhere unless you offer your skills as a person of value.
“I have been to several countries in the world and I can see that money only comes from value creation. Unfortunately, Nigerian youths are not equipped with the relevant skills; we just go to religious houses to pray and sit back at home and don’t market skills or deliver an excellent service in order to generate wealth. We don’t have to resort to crimes,” he said.
Clerics urge re-orientation
A Senior Pastor at Christ Life Church, Ibadan, Prof. Wale Coker, told Saturday PUNCH the youth need a re-orientation that would see them embrace a new value system other than the present mad rush to become wealthy overnight.
“The scriptures state that ‘wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished, but he that gathers by labour shall increase’. Youths should be encouraged to walk in the fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom,” he added.
The National Missioner of the Ansar-ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Shiekh, Abdur-Rahman Ahmad, stated, “All those who claim to be Muslims and Alfas that are involved in money rituals know within their hearts that they are doing something wrong and deceiving people.
“The reality is that there is no money ritual. It is not only against the letter and spirit of the laws of Islam but also against human conscience. Islam recognises only three sources of legitimate wealth: direct labour or hard work, inheritance, and a legitimate gift and this doesn’t mean a Greek gift or bribe or something induced.”
On her part, a traditionalist, Omitonade Ifawemimo, said, “There is no shortcut in Isese (traditional spirituality). If you don’t work, you won’t be wealthy. Nollywood and the fantasy it creates bears responsibility for the concept of money rituals.
“Human sacrifice for money rituals does not exist in Isese. It is fake, madness, and a scam! It’s tragic that Yoruba movies have messed up people’s thinking into believing all these lies.”
Warning: the following article contains graphic details and may shock readers (webmaster FVDK)
Missing 4 Year Old Found Dead With Missing Body Parts
Published: March 9, 2023 By: UniqueGracee – Opera News, Nigeria
The dead body of a 4 year old boy identified as Eleazar Ishiya, was found in a Manhole in Jabi area, Abuja. It was reported that he was declared missing three days ago at Filing Ball, Jabi Daki Biyu.
According to an eye witness identified as Joel Joseph, Eleazar’s grandmother attempted to jump into the hole when she found out her grandson’s body was inside. Luckily she was held and pushed out of the hole, it was Joseph that jumped into the hole and brought out the boys corpse.
When the little boy was brought out of the hole, his body was already rotten. It was also discovered that he was missing some vital organs, his genitals and tongue were cut off while his eyes were plugged out.
From the state of the young boy’s body, it was evident that it was a ritual killing and the killers had dumped his body in the pit after killing him at night.
Mrs Precious Ishaya who is the boy’s Mother described the little boy as being smart, he was also the only child of his parents. She explained that the day he went missing, he was about to bath but instead he decided to go out to by sweets from their neighbors shop and he went missing.
The Mother explained that it was not the death of her son that hurt her the most, but it was the horrible way he died that hurt her the most. She said that she doesn’t know who did such a thing to her child but she rests the case to God.
She also said she did not have the courage to look at the body of her son when he was found dead, it was later that she managed to look at his dead body in pictures.
Source: Daily Trust
Content created and supplied by: UniqueGracee (via Opera News )
Leo Igwe does not need any introduction. Multiple times I have posted articles on this indefatigable human rights champion. See e.g. my October 25, 2021 posting.
The belief in witchcraft and the weak rule of law in many African countries contribute to mob justice (or ‘jungle justice’ as this popular act is also called) and lynchings of perceived witches. In Kenya e.g., as in many other African countries, mob justice is criminal. Nevertheless, up to five incidents are reported (!) weekly in this East African country. The reader may guess what happens in other African countries… (FVDK).
Witchcraft Persecution and Advocacy without Borders in Africa
Published: March 3, 2023 By: This Day – Nigeria
The Advocacy for Alleged Witches urges Africans to campaign against abuses linked to witchcraft beliefs everywhere. This call follows the rescue of Nigerian nationals, who were accused of witchcraft in Kenya. As reported, the police rescued these Nigerians in Thika Town in Kiambu County. It was stated that an angry mob beat and almost lynched them while they were performing some rituals. These Nigerians claimed that they were conducting some prayers. It was not stated the kind of prayers that they were conducting. The police intervened, resisted the mob, and took these nationals, who sustained some injuries, to a nearby hospital.
The Advocacy for Alleged Witches commends the Kenya police for intervening and rescuing these foreign nationals. As in many parts of Africa, witchcraft accusation is a killer phenomenon, and a death sentence. These foreign nationals were fortunate. Police rescued them. In many instances, the police arrive late, after the damage has been done.
Recently, Kenya recorded incidents of witch persecution and killing. Last week, two elderly women, accused of witchcraft, were lynched in Murang’a County. There is still no information regarding the arrest and prosecution of suspected perpetrators of this heinous crime. In other African countries, such as Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, accusations of witchcraft and witch persecution take place. Alleged witches have been attacked, killed, or banished. However, in most cases, locals are the target.
People often accuse members of their neighbors, members of their family or community. This incident draws attention to the fact that foreigners are also at risk of being accused. Africans should look beyond their borders in advocating against witchcraft-linked violations. People often demonize strange and unfamiliar prayer and ritual forms. They regard them as evil, as invocations of occult harm. African Christians and Muslims have been indoctrinated to demonize, occultize and witchcraftize religious others, especially traditional religions or any ritual forms that deviate from religion, as they know it.
As this incident has illustrated, those who conduct prayers and rituals that depart from local norms are at risk of being accused of witchcraft and evil magic. Witchcraft accusation is a threat to the lives of Africans everywhere. Africans should not look the other way as alleged witches are attacked and killed in other countries. They should know that everyone is at risk of being accused or killed for witchcraft, whether you are a local or a foreigner. Africans should strive to advocate against witchcraft accusations and witch persecution without borders.
“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.
It’s shocking news. Police officers who are supposed to contribute to the rule of law and protect people may have been involved in criminal activities which demand human organs. Fortunately, they have been arrested and are in detention right now, awaiting the outcome of further investigations. If confirmed, they wil appear in court.
Ritual murders are crimes and ritual murderers are hence subject to prosecution. But not all ritualistic murders and ritual murderers are the same. What all ritual murderers may have in common is that they are driven by greed. In the case of the arrested police officers – if the allegations are true – they were driven by the greed for (more) money, and they were willing to kill innocent people and harvest their organs to sell them to superstitious people who believe that the use of these harvested organs will bring them luck, more wealth, power and/or prestige. This (partly) explains why ritual murders are referred to as ‘money rituals’ in Africa’s most populated country. (webmaster FVDK)
Anambra Officers In Alleged Ritual Killing, Organ Harvesting Ring Now In Detention
SP Nwode Nkeiruka, and Inspector Harrison Akama who were named in an alleged Anambra ritual killing and organ trafficking mess are now in detention, Police confirms.
The Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba has now set up a special investigation panel under the IGP Monitoring and Mentoring Unit to open investigations into the weighty allegations brought upon the aforementioned officers.
In a statement released and signed by the Police Force Spokesperson, CSP Olumuyiwa Akinjobi, he noted that “in light of the serious allegations leveled against the officers – CSP Patrick Agbazue, officer-in-charge of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Anambra State Command; SP Nwode Nkeiruka, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Zone 13 Headquarters, Ukpo-Dunukofia, and Inspector Harrison Akama attached to the RRS, they reported at the Force Headquarters, Louis Edet House, Abuja today Friday 17th February, 2023, on the directives of the IGP for commencement of investigations to ascertain the veracity of the allegations for further necessary action, while the panel has been given a period of two weeks to come up with a report of investigations”.
The statement reads: Quote“The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc(+), NPM, NEAPS, fdc, CFR, has set up a special investigation panel under the IGP Monitoring and Mentoring Unit to commence investigations into some weighty allegations of unprofessionalism, high-handedness, and extra-judicial killings leveled against its officers serving at the Zone 13 Command, Ukpo-Dunukofia, and the Anambra State Command on social media platforms.
In light of the serious allegations leveled against the officers – CSP Patrick Agbazue, officer-in-charge of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Anambra State Command; SP Nwode Nkeiruka, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Zone 13 Headquarters, Ukpo-Dunukofia, and Inspector Harrison Akama attached to the RRS, they reported at the Force Headquarters, Louis Edet House, Abuja today Friday 17th February, 2023, on the directives of the IGP for commencement of investigations to ascertain the veracity of the allegations for further necessary action, while the panel has been given a period of two weeks to come up with a report of investigations.
The Force enjoins any member of the public who has had experiences or information on acts of high-handedness, extortion, or extra-judicial killings by the officers in question, to forward same with detailed information via mobile number 08036242591, or by email via email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org to enable the panel achieve a wholistic investigation.
The Inspector-General of Police has assured that the findings of the investigations will determine the next line of action, even as he promises that the Force will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that justice is done in the case and sanctions meted to any officers found guilty accordingly”. Quote ended.
In Nigeria a public discussion has started on banning a song allegedly inciting young people to commit ritual murders. If ever existed a reason to demonstrate the widespread occurrence of ritualistic murders in Africa’s most populated country then it’s no longer the case with the nation-wide debate on Yahoo Yahoo and ritual killings, locally called ‘money rituals’ – get-rich-quick’.
The despised song and related rage over the alleged incitement to commit murder once more demonstrates that the type of ritual murders which are being committed in Nigeria, presumably all over the country, is different form the ‘traditional’, may I call it the ‘classical’ human sacrifice which once was part of African culture, as it also was in Latin America (Incas, Mayas) and Asia (nowadays India, China) and Europe. Unfortunately, speaking of these ritualistic acts in the past tense is not correct as up till the present day ritual murders or Satanic murders are being reported from the regions mentioned including North America.
In ancient times human sacrifices were performed in various forms and for various reasons varying from sacrificing a member of one’s tribe for the benefit of the whole community, or for purposes of accompanying the soul of a departed chief or loved one to the ancestors (‘The Great Beyond’). The victim of the sacred ceremony was chosen by the priests or elders of the community and sometimes the parents of the victim would consider it a source of pride to contribute to the welfare of the community or the eternal rest of a chief by ‘sacrificing’ their son or daughter.
Nowadays, however, ritual murders are being committed for the well-being of an individual who desires to increase his wealth, power or reputation, and who believes in the supernatural power of specific body parts of the victim, whereas the victims are increasingly picked at random. This ‘criminalization’ of a hitherto cultural phenomenon is the main characteristic of most ritual murders being committed nowadays in African countries. What makes it sometimes even worse is that the perpetrators are protected by powerful people who at times are themselves involved in these barbaric acts. Th fact that in several countries ritual murders are on the increase during elections campaigns is a bitter illustration of this reality. (Webmaster FVDK).
It’ll encourage ritual killing – MURIC begs NBC, others to ban Portable’s new album
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned sensational musician, Portable’s new album titled, ‘Kuku Do Ritual’, urging authorities to ban it.
According to the Islamic human rights organisation, the album is a brazen assault on Nigerian and African values and has the potential to encourage ritual killing and mislead Nigerian youth.
MURIC made this known in a Monday statement signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The organisation called on the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and the Performing Musicians’ Association of Nigeria (PMAN) to take necessary action with military dispatch to stop the circulation of the album.
The statement reads, “Popular pop singer, Habeeb Okikiola (Portable) has released a new album under the title ‘Kuku Do Ritual’ in which part of the lyrics say, ‘Kuku do ritual. If you do ritual you go die. If you no do ritual you go die. Kuku do ritual’.
“We find this song disgusting, detestable and egregious. It is a brazen assault on Nigerian and African values. Portable’s latest song has reduced human life to the level of ordinary ants that can be stamped out under human feet without qualms and without consequences. It is an open invitation to criminality. It makes mockery of law and order. It is an open disrespect for human life.
“This song has the capacity to influence our young ones in a negative manner. It is also capable of destroying the future of the youth. Something must be done urgently. Already, there are several reports of young ones engaging in the shameful act for the purpose of getting rich in their tender ages.
“Three teenagers were caughtattempting to kill a 13-year-old girl for money ritual in Bayelsa State in January 2022.
“Four teenagers living in Abeokuta, Ogun State, killed the girlfriend of one of them for money ritual. In fact, there is a plethora of ritual killings among young Yahoo practitioners in the country.
“MURIC calls on all men of goodwill, all mothers in Nigeria, Muslim and Christian leaders to rise against the madness called Yahoo Yahoo and ritual killings among young ones whose ambassador has just released this horrendous song in their praise. ‘Kuku Do Ritual’ is nothing but a eulogy to glorify and elevate the names of ritual killers to high heaven.
“This album calls for immediate action from Nigeria’s traditional rulers. They are the custodians of our tradition. We therefore take our cry for help to these royal fathers to speak up on this sacrilegious song released by ‘Portable’. They must put pressure on the authorities to stop the circulation and broadcast of this album on any radio or television station and through any medium whatsoever.
“We invite the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and the Performing Musicians’ Association of Nigeria (PMAN) to take necessary action with military dispatch.
“We see no reason why the security agencies should not investigate the author of this most embarrassing and irrational song to explain the number of rituals in which he has indulged. A scape goat must be made of this album and its artist before the trend escalates.
“Nobody should hide behind artistic priviledge, poetic licence or freedom of expression to launch such barbaric offensive on our culture, our norms and our values. This is beyond free speech. It is criminal speech. It is incitement to commit murder. It is instigation to criminality. It is a bestial invasion on decency and good manners. It is Bohemian.”
“This song has the capacity to influence our young ones in a negative manner. It is also capable of destroying the future of the youth. Something must be done urgently. Already, there are several reports of young ones engaging in the shameful act for the purpose of getting rich in their tender ages.
On Wednesday, January 11, the people of Arondizuogu in Imo State, In Nigeria’s delta region, took to the streets to protest over a number of unexplained killings in their communities. The killings were described as ‘strange happenings’ and linked to politics. One does not need much imagination to associate these killings with ritualistic murders.
Imo State is located in the country’s south-east, is the third smallest in area of Nigeria’s 36 states and has a population of about 6 – 7 million people. It is not the first time the people in Imo State are confronted with deadly ritualistic activities in their communities. In 2009, a large group of women from Ndiakunwata and Arondizuogu, Ideato North, a Local Government Area of Imo State, stormed the state capital Owerri to stage a peaceful protest over a wave of ritual killings in their area. See the second article presented below for more details.
The third article below describes another horrible ritual murder which occurred in 2009. The mentioning of Otokoto in the 2009 article refers to the 1996 Otokoto riots which happened in the aftermath of another ritual murder in Imo State in that year (of an 11-year-old schoolboy boy, Anthony Ikechukwu Okoronkwo, though the uprising was also caused by the rampant corruption in the state). Readers are warned that the described murder cases contain graphic details.
Finally, for shortness sake I refer to my previous postings for more ritual murder cases in Imo State. To access these postings, click on ‘African countries’ in the dropdown menu and select: Nigeria (webmaster FVDK).
Villagers protest ritual killings, burning of vehicles in Imo State
Published: January 11, 2023 By: Chinonso Alozie – Vanguard, Nigeria
Elderly men, women and Youths of Arondizugo, Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo state, on Wednesday continued to protest over the alleged killings and burning of vehicles by suspected hoodlums in their communities.
The youths were seen on a video that went viral on social media, they marched around the Ideato North communities demanding no further delay for government to intervene in their situation.
At the time of filing this report, some of the villagers who could not give reasons for the attacks described some of the killings as “strange happenings” and linked to politics.
The latest was the alleged killing of a young man and a tricycle rider whose names were withheld. It happened Tuesday night at Ndiejezie Izuogu in Ideato’s local government area of Imo State.
They lamented the burning of about three vehicles one of the vehicle’s plate numbers was given as a YAB-225DY Range rover vehicle.
One of the villagers who preferred not to mention his name said: “My brother these killings have been happening for some time. We have cried for help nothing is happening. Even sometime last year, our royal fathers from Arondizugo came out and protested. I saw you were among the journalists that they addressed and pleaded for government intervention because this is too much.
“We want the government to come and save us. We don’t need much delay again. We are in pain now. We want an end to these killings and burning of vehicles.
“Many of roads are not safe now. this is bad we want help. let us end this killings. We are tired. Why the killings? why these troubles. We want government to end it.”
However, at the time of filing this report, the elders in the various villages were still having strategic meetings to see how to end the reported killings and burning of vehicles.
When the Imo state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Micheal Abattam, was contacted he was yet to respond.
Published: November 12, 2009 By: Chidi Nkwopara – Vanguard, Nigeria
OWERRI – Scores of women from Ndiakunwata, Arondizuogu, Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State, stormed Owerri to stage a peaceful protest over recent ritual killings in their area.
Vanguard gathered that unidentified ritualists killed an octogenarian, Mrs. Beatrice Asoanya, and her granddaughter, Miss Chinaza Okereke, while they were sleeping in their home.
The women displayed placards with varying inscriptions, which included “Our lives are in serious danger”, “We are no longer safe in our community”, “We need government’s intervention” and “Ohakim save us”.
Speaking to newsmen amidst sobs, Lady Patricia Okereke, the mother of the slain Chinaza, said the suspected ritualists cut off the breast of her mother, Mrs. Asoanya, and drained her blood.
Lady Okereke said the women were angered that the suspected killer of the two citizens have been released, adding that the released suspects had since been moved to Abuja by his masters.
Okereke wondered why her daughter and mother would be murdered in such a gruesome manner, while the alleged culprits were left off the hook because of alleged influence of those backing him.
I demand that the perpetrators be brought to face the full weight of the law with a view to serving as a deterrence to others, she pleaded.
Otokoto again in Imo! Girl, 18, beheaded for rituals
Published: November 5, 2009 (headlines: August 19, 2009) By: Chidi Nkwopara – Nairaland, Nigeria
Residents of Owerri were Wednesday morning treated to a morbid spectacle as the police command paraded four suspects and the decomposing head of an 18-year old Chinwe Doris Perpetua Obieri, who was murdered for ritual purposes.
The bizarre scene, which was a replica of the infamous Otokoto saga of September 1996, had the prime suspect, 24-year old Emeka Uwakwe, from Ndiakunwata, Arondizuogu, Ideato North local government area of the state, clutching the decapitated head of his girl friend, Chinwe.
Speaking to newsmen, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Aloy Okorie, gave the names of the other suspects as Chigamezu Anyaoha from Orodo, Mbaitoli local council area, Anthony Obioha from Lude, Ahiazu Mbaise local government area, and the medicine man, Damian Joseph from Obot Akara, Akwa Ibom State.
Mr. Okorie gave a graphic account of how the sordid crime was committed and the efforts made by the state police command to apprehend the suspects in far away Lagos State.
“You can see we have a case of murder for ritual murder. What happened was that on Sunday, July 26, 2009, the young lady whose head you are seeing (pointing at the decapitated head of Chinwe) left her Akokwa home, Ideato North local government area of Imo State. You can see the head without the body.
Late Chinwe before her death “The young man, Emeka Uwakwe, is the boy friend of this girl and he came all the way from Lagos and lured her to his house in the village. He murdered the girl, cut off her head for ritual purpose and dumped the headless body in a bush. Apparently, the girl had told her parents that she was going to visit her maternal uncle in another village.
“As at 7.04pm on that same Sunday, she called her parents and informed them she was already in her maternal uncle’s compound and they believed her. Later, her parents made a call to her and the call was not pulling through up till the next morning and by Monday when it was obvious that she was not coming back, they made a report to the police that their daughter was missing.
“The names of the parents are Mr. Nicholas and Mrs. Theresa Obieri from Umuezeala, Umueziama Kindred in Akokwa. It was after they made the report to the police that some vigilante people on the same date, came around and said they saw a headless body in the bush. The police invited the girl’s parents and they identified the headless body to be that of their daughter.
“It was at that point that the police swung into action and started making investigations. From information, we got to know that she had a boy friend who is resident in Lagos and who was seen around home within that period. So, we went to Lagos and we were able to arrest Emeka Uwakwe. You can see him now with the head of the slain girl (pointing at Emeka).
“When we now got him, he made a confession that Mr. Damian Joseph of Obot Akara in Akwa Ibom State, though he is based in Lagos also, was the one who made the charm with which, if he got the head of this girl, mix it with the charm and bury it, money will start flowing, he will start plucking money as if he was plucking fruits from the tree. That was exactly what the man did. He (Emeka) got the concoction, mixed it with the head and buried it in his room.
“We also went for the Native Doctor and got him. Meanwhile, Emeka made a confession too that it was his friends, Chigaemezu Anyaoha and Anthony Obioha, that introduced him to the Native Doctor and that he was capable of making medicine for money. They also confirmed that they had done such a medicine before with human scrotum. We do not know whether it their own scrotum or other people’s scrotum. We will surely find out in due.
“You can see the pretty 18-year old girl (displaying her photograph). I am sure if you had seen this girl when she was alive, you will weep. You will certainly weep because I have never seen a thing like that in my life. I just imagine my own daughter of that age being slaughtered for ritual purposes.
“Well, in an era where we talking about people going to live in the moon, that is the age we are in, 21st century, and people are still being fooled that they can use human head to make money. It is very unfortunate.
“Emeka Uwakwe was arrested on Wednesday last week (August 12, 2009) and when he gave us the information on how he got about the whole show, our men left for Lagos on Sunday and we were able to arrest both the Native Doctor and the other two boys. The next line of action is that they will pay the price prescribed by the laws of the land. We all know the price for somebody who has committed murder. He will pay with his own life. There is no duplicate for life. If he had the courage to kill somebody, he should also be prepared to face the consequence. He should be in a position to say if he killed her with a knife or first strangulated her before he cut off the neck.
“It is very clear that the girl deceived her parents. My advice is simple. I have a daughter of that age. I know how we monitor her. Most times, especially in this era, if she has to go out, we must let go with somebody because you never can tell. That age is a critical period in the training of children. Parents should monitor their daughters closely. It is easy to make contacts in this GSM era. I am sure that if the parents had raised alarm that very night they did not see her, may be things would have come out differently.