After two suspected ritual murders, in Nimba County, Liberia, tribal devils become detectives

Unfortunately, ritual murder are no exception in Africa’s oldest republic. Experience teaches us that ritualistic murders in Liberia are on the increase during elections campaigns and when important political appointments are expected – which though does not exclude other circumstances explaining a rise in ritual killings. In the past four to five years, ritual murders have been reported in at least seven of Liberia’s fifteen counties including Montserrado, Bomi, Bong, Nimba, Grand Bassa, Grand Kru and Maryland counties. However, the absence of discoveries of mutilated bodies or reports of ritual murders should not be interpreted as the absence of these criminal and outdated superstitious practices. By definition, occult practices and ritualistic murders take place in secret.

In the article below reference is made to a prominent person who held a very senior position in the Weah Administration and who allegedly is said to be implied in the reported case of two young boys who were murdered for ritual activities. It should be underlined here that this is not the position of the webmaster of this site (FVDK). Moreover, I uphold the principle that no one is guilty unless found guilty by an independent judge after an impartial, public trial.

The original article shown here includes a number of links referring to other, previously published articles containing relevant and related information. I have decided to also include these articles in this posting in order to avoid the (future) situation that the original articles are no longer available or accessible after they have lost been lost in cyberspace, unfortunately not an uncommon phenomenon.

All articles together sketch a reality in Liberia which is rarely shown but which exists. No use to deny or to ignore it. A reality of traditional practices and beliefs, a reality of cultural history including respect for the ancestors. Notwithstanding the foregoing, it goes without saying that a ‘war on ignorance and superstition’ is a must in Africa’s oldest republic, which was created in 1847 by African Americans.

Finally, my June 25 posting, Liberia: Traditional devils arrest six men for allegedly killing two children for rituals, refers to the same case.
(webmaster FVDK)

Liberia: In Nimba, Tribal Devils Become Detectives

The suspects in the deaths of two children in Boe Bonlay Town, District #6, Nimba County.  

Published: October 4, 2022
By: Ishmael F. Menkor – Daily Observer, Liberia

…. When the National Police could not solve a double homicide in their rural community, the people of Beo Bonlay Town, Nimba County, employed the most unconventional means.

It was a breakthrough in a double-murder case that would have been written off as an anomaly except that, in the context of numerous unsolved gruesome murders across Liberia in recent years, police investigations have consistently come up with the same results as they did in this one — “no evidence” or “no foul play” — case closed. 

But the people of Beo Bonlay Town, District # 6, Nimba County, would not take ‘no’ for an answer. In an unprecedented move, they summoned their tribal devils to confirm their hunch and solve what they believed were the murders of two innocent boys who had gone missing and later turned up dead in separate locations. 

It all started on June 9, when the two boys, Handsome-boy Mahn, 9 and Zayglay David, 4, went missing after they returned from the farm in the afternoon.

Hours after their disappearance, the community launched an immediate manhunt for the children. Unfortunately they were found dead with their bodies dumped in two separate wells about 20 minutes apart. 

The deaths of the two children sent shockwaves of fear and  concern among citizens of the district, especially when the first batch of investigators from the Tappita Police Detail, led by the detail commander and the 15-man coroner jury, ruled that there was no foul-play. 

But reports reaching the Daily Observer said an initial examination of the corpses showed that the boys’ necks had been broken. There was also an alleged ‘erasing mark’ on the coroner jury’s report, but this is yet to be verified. 

“The devil”, it is said, “is in the details.” Or is it? 

Unconvinced by the “no foul-play” conclusions of the coroner jury and the police, the citizens this time brought out their tribal devils to search for the perpetrators. It was during the search that seven men were arrested on July 16,  and turned over to police in Sanniquellie for interrogation.

Even after the tribal devils arrested the suspects, the police (again) claimed that due to lack of scientific evidence, they could not charge the alleged perpetrators. This caused the case to drag on until September, when the Crime Services Department (CSD) sent another batch of officers, backed by former Ganta Police Commander, Adolphus Zorh, to conduct the investigation.

Commander Zorh’s team was able to establish the facts and determine that two of the seven men be released because police could not find any evidence to charge them. The other five men arrested by tribal devils were charged by police and sent to court.

According to the CSD, Sanniquellie Detachment, Liberia National Police, the five men were charged with “murder, criminal facilitation and criminal conspiracy” and sent to the Sanniquellie Magisterial Court for preliminary investigation.

Initial confessions

Following their arrest by the tribal devils in the beginning, one of the suspects, Prince Karney, age 41, immediately confessed that they were given the amount of US$1,200 for the murderous operation.

He said he then hired one Zayee Winpea, 43, to kill the two children for the amount of US$300 and gave US$150 to Nenkerwon Mahn, an 18-year-old uncle of the kids, to serve as a watchman while the killing was carried out.

The oldest among the suspects, 45-year-old Morris Gonwon, was also promised US$150 for his role in the killing, which was not spelled out.  Two of the seven suspects, George Sumah and Lawrence Sumah, were hired to take the victims’ blood to Monrovia, while another suspect, Harrison Sumah, was the one who lured the kids with candy before grabbing them. 

During the CSD final investigation, Morris Gonwon and George Sumah were released on grounds that there was not enough evidence to prosecute them. The five persons charged and sent to court are Prince Karney, Harrison Sumah, Lawrence Freeman, Nenkerwon Mahn, and Zayee Winpea.

Prince Karney is said to be the Youth leader of Boe Bonlay and coordinator for the “Friends of Jackson Paye”, a political canvassing group. Jackson Paye is a former Deputy Minister of National Defense who has expressed his desire to contest for the Nimba County District #6 representative seat in 2023.

The murder suspects alleged that the former deputy minister facilitated the killing by giving them the US$1,200 for the operation — to get the children’s blood, allegedly for ritual purposes.

However, Jackson Paye on Truth FM on Thursday, June 22, 2022 denied having any connection to the killings, describing the acts as barbaric, inhumane and uncivilized. He explained that the “Friends of Paye” want the law to take its course, ensuring the alleged perpetrators face the full weight of the law. 

Traditional justice 

It is not clear whether the tribal devils ever got to the heart of the matter to determine exactly who ordered the men to kill the two children.  We may never know. 

However, in cases where communities in Liberia have invoked tribal justice systems to supersede statutory law — especially in the absence of forensic evidence — statutory systems tend to give way. Especially in rural communities, law enforcement personnel dare not interfere with matters involving tribal devils. 

In the recent past, such has been the case in instances where communities have risen up to express their dissatisfaction when their expectations of government have been egregiously dashed. 

In November 2021, Lofa County, a powerful sect of the Poro Society, the Ngaimu, staged a protest, blocking the bridge that connects Bong and Lofa counties, to oppose the delay by the Supreme Court to decide whether Senator-elect Brownie Samukai should take his Lofa County senatorial seat, which had been unoccupied due to a disability imposed on him by the Court for nearly a year.

In response, the Deputy Inspector General for Operations of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Marvin Sackor, threatened necessary actions against any country devil protest. Yet, no move was made on the part of the police.  

A month earlier, October 18, 2021, members of the secret Poro Society shut down ArcelorMittal Liberia’s operations in Yekepa, Nimba County for more than 48 hours at both Mount Tokadeh and Mount Gangra, over claims that AML failed to live up to its previous amended mineral development agreement (MDA) with the government.  

For ArcelorMittal Liberia, this was not the first time.  Barely six weeks earlier, on September 27, 2021, the Poro masters temporarily besieged the operation areas of AML, halting operations for 8 hours. 

But tribal or traditional devils are only one extreme of traditional justice systems. Liberia recognizes a whole regime of what it calls “trial by ordeal”, a method by which suspects are made to undergo an often dangerous test to determine their innocence or guilt. However, while the United Nations has called on Liberia to abolish all forms of trial by ordeal, only the most harmful aspects of this system of justice have been abolished.

Source: Liberia: In Nimba, Tribal Devils Become Detectives

Also:

Lofa County locked down by “Country Devil”

(L-r)  Cars forcefully stopped at the crossing point between Bong and Lofa Counties – leaving several business people stranded along the way.  

Published: November 26, 2021
By: Marcus Malaya – Daily Observer, Liberia

A protest against the Supreme Court of Liberia has resulted in the shut-down of the border crossing point between Bong and Lofa Counties – leaving several business people stranded along the way.

The protest, which is being led by the powerful sect of the Poro Society, the Ngaimu, is intended to oppose the delay by the Supreme Court to decide the fate of the Lofa County senatorial seat, which has been unoccupied due to the disability imposed on Senator-elect Brownie Samukai by the Court.

The protesters, who are all men and led by the fearsome, Ngaimu – the traditional name of head of the Poro Society in that part of Liberia – have blocked the road, halting the movement of people and goods between the two counties, while those who are not members of the society have remained indoors since the morning hours of Thursday, November 25.

“Ngaimu has set a roadblock in the village of Beyan Town on the Lofa side of the border.  The action of Ngaimu is in protest of the Court and the Government of Liberia’s failure to announce the Senate seat of Lofa County vacant since the Senator-elect Samukai has not been able to take the seat due to his disability by the Supreme Court,” disclosed eyewitnesses at the scene of the protest.

The protesters, however, vowed to keep the road closed until the Court ruled on the matter – deciding if the senate will be declared vacant or not. And security personnel, some of whom are not members of the society, have also been dared to remove the roadblock, setup by Ngaimu.

The fear of the Ngaimu has also prevented the women from going out to tend to their farms, since it is forbidden for a woman to lay eyes on it – as doing so comes with consequences, traditionalists claim.

The eyewitness accounts revealed that there are more than three “Ngaimus” currently at the St. Paul Bridge in Beyan Town and there are more “Ngaimus” coming to join the others currently at the bridge.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court months ago denied Samukai’s request for the high court to reverse the judgment of the Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice, which found him and two others guilty of misapplying over US$1 million in pension funds stored up in a bank account for members of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) when he served as Defense Minister. 

The disability includes the payment of US$173,276.05 as some portion of his share of money illegally withdrawn from the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) pension funds, for which he was found guilty of misapplication of entrusted property, theft of property, and other criminal offenses by Criminal Court ‘C’ with such ruling confirmed by the Supreme.

While Samukai made a payment of US$173,276.05, his two deputies Joseph F. Johnson, former Deputy Minister for Administration, and J. Nyumah Dorkor, former Comptroller, did not despite being found guilty jointly.

Samukai, together with Johnson and Dorkor, were to pay the amount of US$573,832.68 within a six-month period to avoid imprisonment, according to the Supreme Court mandate to the Criminal Court ‘C’.  It was out of the amount of US$573,832.68 that Samukai alone managed to pay the US$173,276.05, which his followers believed is the portion of his share of the money.

The Court then ordered the National Election Commission not to certify him until the disability imposed on him as a result of his conviction for felony is removed. The Court argued that from a review of the records, Samukai and his two deputies were jointly charged with the commission of the crimes for which they were brought down guilty.

The Supreme Court added that the restitution is a part of the sentence, as such; Samukai and the two others are to restitute the amount withdrawn from the AFL Pension Account without the permission or authorization of the soldiers.

History of the case

Samukai, then former Defense Minister, together with Johnson and Dorkor without any authorization, withdrew the amount US$1,147,665.35 from the pension fund belonging to soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).

The three men were later declared guilty of multiple crimes including misuse of private funds and subsequently sentenced to two years in prison each, and also ordered to restitute the money within a year by the Criminal Court ‘C’. The judgment was later modified by the Supreme Court after Samukai and the others appealed against it to the high court.

In the modification, the Supreme Court said it was suspending their prison term on grounds that, if they were to pay fifty percent (50) of the judgment amount of the US$1,147,665.35, which is $573,832.68, within six months period, which expired by August, 26, they would avoid Imprisonment.

Source: Liberia: Lofa Locked Down by “Country Devil”

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Liberia National Police warns against ‘Country Devil’ protests

Headquarters of the Liberia National Police (LNP)

Published: December 10, 2021
By: Tina S. Mehnpaine – Daily Observer, Liberia

The Deputy  Inspector General for Operations of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Marvin Sackor has threatened necessary actions against any country devil protest.

He said if people are disenchanted, they should make use of the legal means rather than staying in protest to undermine the peace of the country.

“It is unfortunate and unfair that some of our people are using the tradition to undermine the peace and security of this country. Let me say this, article 17 of our constitution gives citizens the right to peacefully assemble and petition their government. So if you, as a citizen of this country, will use whatever political means or any disenchantment to undermine the peace of this country, I can assure the public that the Liberia National Police will use whatever force necessary to contain that situation,” he warned.

Since the staging of a protest by members of the poro society in Lofa county to call on the attention of the Supreme Court to decide the fate of Senator-elect Brownie Samukai, traditional leaders have been accused of allowing politicians to influence them.

The group of men led by their powerful poro master, Ngainmu, on November 30, blocked the entrance of the St. Paul bridge that connects Bomi and Lofa counties to pressure the court to reopen the case of Senator-elect Samukai.

Sackor added that if traditional people have any disenchantment in the country, they should use legal means to get redress instead of blocking roads to cause chaos among citizens.

“There is no exception to the rule of law; our traditional people need to understand that this country is governed by law,” Sackor declared. “ Anyone – I am very clear here – that thinks that they have any other power to undermine the Constitution, trust me, the Liberia National Police will use every legal means to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law. So, I am appealing to our traditional people in Lofa. Handle your situation through the legal means. Any attempt to block the St. Paul Bridge, we are under obligation to make sure that the Constitution is intact.”

Nathaniel F. McGill, Minister of State, also accused politicians of masterminding the protest and branding it as a disgrace to Liberian culture.

“I was watching Facebook live and I saw a country devil protesting. This has never happened in our country, it is a shame and whoever did that must be disgraceful,” said Minister McGill.

Addressing the Ministry of information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) regular press briefing in Monrovia, Sackor reminded traditional leaders that they are not above the law and, therefore, any attempt to block roads, the police will not hesitate to act.

Meanwhile, the deputy inspector general has revealed that due to the increasing wave of criminal activities in the country, there will be restrictions imposed on motorcyclists. 

He said a police investigation has shown that criminals are transported by motorcyclists so the Police have commenced the implementation of the no-go-zones for motorcyclists ahead of the festive season in Liberia, to avoid the transportation of criminals.

Source: Liberia: LNP Warns Against ‘Country Devil’ Protests

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Poro Society halts ArcelorMittal’s operations in Yekepa

AML train in motion in Liberia

Published: October 19, 2021
By: Ishmael F. Menkor – Daily Observer, Liberia

Steel giant ArcelorMittal was forced yesterday to shut down its Yekepa operations after members of the secret poro society made an unannounced visit to protest against alleged neglect by the company.

The strike action, which is highly unprecedented for members of the highly respected Poro Society in Liberia, comes amid rising tension in the company’s operating areas weeks after it had signed an amended mineral development agreement with the government of Liberia.

The agreement, which now awaits ratification from lawmakers, has been met with rejection by mines communities in Nimba County, where the company operates, over claims that AML failed to live up to its previous amended mineral development agreement (MDA) with the government. 

Poro Society members, led by the Poro Master,  shut down AML operations for more than  48 hours  at both Mount Tokadeh and Mount Gangra and might likely last for 14 days, according to an insider close to the Poro masters. 

The protest, which is the second in a month, is happening as county officials remain mute on the matter while they negotiate behind closed doors.

However, an elderly resident of one of mine communities has disclosed that the company, through its’ Community liaison manager, has begun negotiating with society members to cancel their protest and meet on the round table to discuss issues relating to their concerns.

In a statement, the  AML confirmed the incident, saying, “on early Saturday morning, October 16, 2021, some individuals wearing ceremonial traditional costumes blocked the main access road to the mining site of ArcelorMittal Liberia in Yekepa, disrupting business operations of the company.” 

“As a company that prioritizes safety and security, ArcelorMittal Liberia warns of the associated risks of unauthorized entry of individuals into an industrial environment and condemns such illegal action, said the statement from AML. “AML reaffirms its commitment to community engagement on issues around its operations as a means of finding a common ground.”

Meanwhile, AML said while they respect and continue to support traditional and cultural activities especially in their operational areas, they disagreed with disruptions and acts aimed at causing fear among its workforce are unwarranted and undermine close working relations.

On September 27, 2021 the Poro masters temporarily sieged the operation areas of AML, halting operation of 8 hours.

There has been tension in Nimba County since the Government and AML reached a new Mineral Development Agreement to extend the operation to 2036, where AML stands to invest about UD$ 800 million.

The deal has so far been rejected by mining communities due to claims of past abandonment and negligence of previous MDA.

Source: Poro Society Masters Halt AML Operations in Yekepa

Also:

The following article was originally published on November 1, 2007. It contains highly recommended reading for the readers of this site. It was decided to include it in this posting for two reasons. First, it was originally included in the Daily Observer article on the two slain boys in Nimba County (on top) and secondly, because it contains relevant background information on traditional beliefs and practices which still exist in Liberia despite being outlawed for reasons which will be clear after having read the article.

Liberia: Trial by ordeal makes the guilty burn but “undermines justice”

Sassywood and Witch Persecution in Liberia – by Leo Igwe. To access the article, please click here
Igwe’s article serves as illustration and is not related to the OCHA article below.

Published: November 1, 2007
By: OCHA Services – Relief Web

MONROVIA, 1 November 2007 (IRIN)

  • About 50 people in the village of Klay, northwestern Liberia, recently gathered to watch a man apply red-hot metal to the limbs of four youths accused of robbery.

The man dipped a machete in a concoction of water, palm oil and kola nuts, held it in fire for several minutes, and then placed it on the right legs of the four suspects. None of the youths – ages 16 to 26 – appeared to flinch. They were deemed not guilty.

This practice known as ‘sassywood’ is banned under national law, but is still regarded as a legitimate form of justice by many Liberians. A suspect is subjected to intense pain and judged on his or her reaction – if the hot metal burns the person’s leg, he or she is found guilty.

The UN has repeatedly warned that the practice is undermining efforts to improve human rights in Liberia as the country attempts to recover from 14 years of war.

Many legal specialists and human rights activists say relying on customs such as trial by ordeal – often harmful and even deadly – is down to the decrepit state of Liberia’s judicial system. And many say not enough is being done to restore the sector, left in tatters by the war.

Four years after the fighting ended, progress in rebuilding the judicial and corrections system is “very slow”, according to an August report by the UN Security Council. “The judicial system is constrained by limited infrastructure, shortage of qualified personnel, lack of capacity to process cases, poor management and lack of the necessary will to institute reforms.” The report said most people do not have access to legal counsel.

Legal advisers in Liberia say the absence of functioning courts in most rural areas is due in large part to lawyers’ reluctance to take judgeships there, as well as the lack of infrastructure for courts.

In the central Liberian town of Gbarnga in Bong County, 150km north of the capital Monrovia, residents told IRIN that trial by ordeal is the only means to adjudicate alleged crimes.

“If somebody is accused of stealing money, clothes, jewellery, food or other items, the best [way] to know who committed the act is to administer sassywood, which is fast – it takes less than 30 minutes to know who did the act,” Gbarnga resident Johnny Bono said.

Users of sassywood believe the person administering it and the instruments used have mystical powers. Practitioners are paid in money or goods – up to 2000 Liberian dollars (US$32) per ‘trial’ in the capital and about a third of that in rural areas. Sometimes payment is kola nuts and a pure-white chicken.

According to a rights activist in Nimba County, the problem is that many people will submit to sassywood because they do not know it has been outlawed.

“Sassywood is very common here and most people believe that it is the only means of knowing a guilty person,” said Dualo Lor of the church-based NGO Equip-Liberia in Nimba, 300km from Monrovia. “They are not even aware the practice is outlawed.”

He group recently prevented the application of sassywood on a 32-year-old man accused of theft. “We have been trying very hard [to educate] the people about the danger of sassywood, but they just have not stopped it.”

Some legal experts say it will be tough to stop if citizens do not feel they have a reliable justice system to take its place.

“The trial by ordeal in most parts of the country clearly shows that most people do not have confidence in the court system,” Anthony Valcke, Liberia country director of the American Bar Association in Africa, told IRIN. “If people had such confidence, they would not resort to trial by ordeal.”

Tradition

“No amount of laws or government order can stop sassywood,” Yerkula Zaizay, a resident of Gbarnga, told IRIN. “It is a tradition that our forefathers left with us. This is better than going to court. My late grandfather taught me how to apply sassywood and it is part of my culture so it cannot be easily stopped.”

Gbarnga resident Bono said, “We cannot waste our time going to court. The sassywood is our courtroom. This is what our forefathers have been practising in the past and it has been working.”

Lawyer Augustine Toe, head of the Justice and Peace Commission, a Catholic human rights group, said: “Sassywood undermines the justice system of this country and the rights of an accused are not protected. Our constitution provides that anyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a [court of law].”

Liberia’s chief prosecutor, Tiawon Gongloe, told IRIN he had instructed all county prosecuting officers to arrest anyone carrying out trial by ordeal.

“We are aware sassywood is going on and this act is not only unlawful, but unconstitutional,” he said, noting that 12 people were arrested earlier this year in southeastern Liberia for having administered sassywood.

UN independent human rights expert, Charlotte Abaka, said the government had to do more. “The Liberian government should take concrete steps to enforce the ban on trial by ordeal,” she said, calling the practice a “grave” breach of human rights.

ak/np/mw

Source: Liberia: Trial by ordeal makes the guilty burn but “undermines justice”

Nigeria: February 9, 2022: House of Representatives asks Federal Government to declare state of emergency on ritual killings

As far as I know it is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria: lawmakers have urged the government of president Buhari to declare a state of emergency on ritual killings in the country. Even continent-wise, it is a novelty, to my knowledge. It is symptomatic for the widespread occurrence of ‘money rituals’ in the country, as I have repeatedly stated here. 

No need to elaborate now on the details of the various (read: many) cases of ritualistic murders which motivated the House of Representatives of Africa’s most populated country to take this bold step. The news had a nation-wide coverage as is amply demonstrated by the nearly 30 newspaper articles cited (and partly reproduced) below – far from all publications on this historic decision. 

Warning:  some readers may find (some of) the following articles disturbing because of the graphic description of ritualistic activities. (FVDK)

Declare state of emergency on ritual killings —Reps to FG

Members of the House of Representatives during plenary

Published: February 9, 2022
By: Segun Adewole – Punch, Nigeria

The House of Representatives on Wednesday said a state of emergency on ritual killings in the country should be declared by the Federal Government.

The lawmakers also called for a campaign against the menace, saying the effort of parents, schools, religious leaders and the media is needed.

This is following a motion sponsored by Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Toby Okechukwu, who lamented that ritual killings have taken a new dimension in recent times.

He said, “There’s an upsurge of reported ritual killings with increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country, which in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and obtain sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

“Merchants of such wicked acts often use social media as a ready tool to advertise their evil behaviour. Ritual killing has become a predominant theme in most homemade movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view as an acceptable norm.

“There are several reports where law enforcement agents arrested and paraded suspects of ritual killings with gory pictures of human skulls and dismembered bodies.

“Fake clerics, imams, herbalists and native doctors are often complicit in the heinous practices. Although our communities are getting more religious with the proliferation of churches and mosques, the ugly trend of ritual killing is on the rise as the quest for wealth at all costs pervades our society.

“Youths in other climes are embracing science and technology as a way of maintaining pace with our dynamic world while some of our youths seem stuck in the mistaken belief that sacrificing human blood is the surest route to wealth, safety and protection.

“Such cruel and barbaric acts should no longer be promoted in our society given the demands of today’s world.”

The motion was unanimously adopted by the House which called on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba to “take urgent steps to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering with a view to apprehend and prosecute all perpetrators of ritual killings in Nigeria”.

Copyright PUNCH.

Source: Declare state of emergency on ritual killings —Reps to FG

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Reps task IG on ritual killings

The House of Representatives – Photo Facebook / Speaker Gbaja

Published: February 9, 2022
By: NAN – The Guardian, Nigeria

The House of Representatives has charged the Inspector General of Police (I-G) to take urgent steps towards tacking ritual killings in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by Rep Toby Okechukwu, the Deputy Minority Leader, at the plenary on Wednesday in Abuja.

Presenting the motion, Okechukwu said that incidents of ritual killings had assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria while decrying the upsurge of reported ritual killings with increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country.

He added that in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and cut out sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

He said that the Red Cross Society in 2017 reported that it received 10,480 reports of missing persons in Nigeria.
“On Jan. 22, three teenage suspects and a 21-year-old reportedly killed one Sofiat Kehinde and severed her head and burnt in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun.

”The police command in Ogun on Feb. 7, reported that one of the suspects confessed that he learned the act of ritual killing from a video he watched on Facebook,” he stated.

He said that the death of Sofiat attracted national outrage and condemnation considering the age of the suspected killers.

The lawmaker said that merchants of such wicked acts often use the social media as a tool to advertise their evil acts.

He also mentioned the grievous killing of Iniobong Umoren, a young woman in her 20s; who was lured to a particular location in Uyo, Akwa Ibom for a job interview, as widely reported in the national dailies.

He also cited the gruesome killings and heinous activities of Badoo Boys in Lagos State, which was also reported in the national dailies.

“Ritual killing had become a predominant theme in most homemade movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm,” he said.

The House thereafter declared a national emergency on ritual killings and urged National Orientation Agency (NOA), stakeholders and the media to initiate a campaign towards changing the situation in the country.

The House tasked the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency as the clearinghouse for all movies produced in the country.

Source: Reps task IG on ritual killings

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Reps Ask FG To Declare National Emergency On Ritual Killings

Screenshot – click on image in original to watch the video

Published: February 9, 2022
By: Terry Ikumi – Channels TV, Nigeria

The House of Representatives has called for the declaration of a national emergency on ritual killings across the country.

This formed part of the resolutions reached by the lawmakers on a motion of urgent public importance entitled ‘Need to Curb the Rising Trend of Ritual Killings in Nigeria’.

Mr Toby Okechukwu, the Minority Leader of the House, moved the motion during Wednesday’s plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

The motion comes amid the incessant killing of innocent Nigerians for ritual purposes, with one of the latest being the murder of Sofiat Okeowo in Ogun State.

Worried about the trend, the lawmakers called on the National Orientation Agency (NOA), as well as parents, heads of schools, religious leaders, and the media to undertake a campaign to change the negative narrative bedevilling the society.

They resolved to call on the Executive Director of the National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency, as the clearinghouse for all movies produced in the country.

While moving the motion, Okechukwu called the attention of the House to the recent incidents of ritual killings which he said have assumed an alarming rate.

He condemned the upsurge of reported ritual killings with increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country, saying the culprits in most cases rape, maim, kill and obtain sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

The Red Cross Society, according to him, reported that it received 10,480 reports of missing persons in Nigeria in 2017, and three teenage suspects and a 20-year-old were accused of killing Sofiat.

The lawmaker told his colleagues that the Ogun State Police Command later reported on Monday that one of the suspects confessed that he learned the act of ritual killing from a video he watched on Facebook.

He also condemned the killing of Iniobong Umoren, a woman in her 20s, after being lured to a location in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State for a job interview.

Okechukwu stressed the need to be mindful of the role of the Nigerian movie industry in moulding the behavioural patterns in the society, as well as the mandate of NFVCB and others.

The lawmakers mandated the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics, and Values to report back to the House within four weeks.

According to them, the Inspector General of Police should take urgent steps to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering, with a view to apprehend and prosecute all perpetrators of ritual killings in Nigeria.

Similarly, the House Committee on Police Affairs was mandated to report back to the lawmakers within four weeks.

Source: Reps Ask FG To Declare National Emergency On Ritual Killings

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Reps ask FG to declare state of emergency on ritual killings

Nigeria’s House of Representatives in session. Photo used for illustrative purposes.

Published: February 9, 2022
By: Vincent Ufuoma – ICIR, International Centre for Investigative Reporting

THE House of Representatives has asked the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on ritual killings in the country.

This followed a motion moved by the House Deputy Minority Leader Toby Okechukwu during Wednesday’s plenary.

Okechukwu, who noted that ritual killings have assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria in recent times, lamented the increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country.

He said in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and obtain sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

The lawmaker also decried the roles of various social groups, especially the entertainment industry, in reinforcing ritual killings among young people.

Okechukwu said, “Ritual killing has become a predominant theme in most home made movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm.

“There are several reports where law enforcement agents arrested and paraded suspects of ritual killings with gory pictures of human skulls and dismembered bodies.

“Fake clerics, imams, herbalists and native doctors are often complicit in the heinous practices.

“Although our communities are getting more religious with the proliferation of churches and mosques, the ugly trend of ritual killing is on the rise as the quest for wealth at all cost pervades our society.”

The lawmaker expressed worry that while youths in other climes were embracing science and technology as a way of maintaining pace with the world, some Nigerian youths were enmeshed in the belief that human sacrifice would bring them wealth, protection and security.

Adopting the motion, the House of Representatives asked the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba Alkali to take urgent steps to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering with a view to fishing out, arresting and prosecuting the perpetrators of the ritual killings.

The House called on the National Orientation Agency (NOA), parents, heads of schools, religious leaders and the media to undertake a campaign to change the negative narrative that is bedeviling the society.

Subsequently, the House mandated its Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values to ensure compliance of the resolution and report back within weeks.

Last month, a 20-year-old lady, Sofiat Kehinde was gruesomely murdered in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital by four teenage boys aged 17, 18, 19 and 20.

Sofiat’s head was severed by the boys and they were burning it in a pot for money ritual before they were apprehended.

The four teenage suspects arrested by the police are Soliu Majekodunmi, Wariz Oladehinde, Abdulgafar Lukman, and Balogun Mustaqeem.

They confessed to have conspired to kill Sofiat and played different roles in her murder.

One of the suspects, Mustaqeem, confessed that he was motivated by a post he saw on Facebook to murder Kehinde for money ritual.

He said, “I saw a post on Facebook that explained how to get rich quickly. I downloaded the video because I had interest in getting wealthy at an early stage. I wanted to get rich and lead a luxurious life.

“The video was what prompted me to tell Soliu about getting rich quickly at our early age. He was interested after I showed him the video on my phone and asked where we would get the materials we needed.”

Source: Reps ask FG to declare state of emergency on ritual killings

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Reps to FG: Declare national emergency on ritual killings in Nigeria

…ask IGP to arrest, prosecute perpetrators

…prompt NOA, parents, heads of schools, religious leaders, media to lead campaign against killings

Published: February 9, 2022
By: Levinus Nwabughiou, Abuja – Vanguard, Nigeria   

Jolted by the reports of incessant ritual killings across the country, the House of Representatives, Wednesday, asked the federal government to declare a national emergency on the social vice.

The House also asked the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Usman Baba Alkali to take urgent steps to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering with a view to fishing out, arresting and prosecuting the perpetrators of the killings.

The parliament also called on the National Orientation Agency, parents, heads of schools, religious leaders and the media to undertake a campaign to change the negative narrative that bedeviling the society.

The resolutions of the House came after it considered a motion titled “Need to Curb the Rising Trend of Ritual Killings in Nigeria”, presented at the plenary by the deputy minority leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu under matters of urgent public importance.

Presenting the motion, Okechukwu noted that the incidents of ritual killings have assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria in recent times.

He said there was an upsurge of reported ritual killings with increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country, which in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and obtain sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

He said: “The Red Cross Society in 2017 reported that it received 10,480 reports of missing persons in Nigeria.

“On January 22, 2022, three teenage suspects and a twenty year old reportedly killed one Sofiat Kehinde and had her head severed and burnt in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

“Ogun State Police Command on Monday, February 7, 2022 reported that one of the suspects confessed that he learned the act of ritual killing from a video he watched on Facebook.”

The lawmaker recalled that the death of Sofiat has attracted national outrage and condemnation considering the ages of her killers.

“Merchants of such wicked acts often use the social media as a ready tool to advertise their evil behaviours.

“The grievous killing of Iniobong Umoren, a young woman in her 20s; after being lured to a particular location in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State for a job interview, as widely reported in the national dailies.

“The gruesome killings and heinous activities of Badoo Boys in Lagos State, which was also reported in the national dailies.

“Ritual killing has become a predominant theme in most home made movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm.

“Several reports where law enforcement agents arrested and paraded suspects of ritual killings with gory pictures of human skulls and dismembered bodies.

“Fake clerics, imams, herbalists and native doctors are often complicit in the heinous practices.

“Although our communities are getting more religious with the proliferation of churches and mosques, the ugly trend of ritual killing is on the rise as the quest for wealth at all cost pervades our society.”

Okechukwu expressed worry that while youths in other climes are embracing science and technology as a way of maintaining pace with our dynamic world, some of our youths seem stuck in the mistaken belief that sacrificing human blood is the surest route to wealth, safety and protection.

“Such cruel and barbaric acts should no longer be promoted in our society given the demands of today’s world.

“The growing rate of unemployment in the country.

“The moral decadence in our society, a trend that has promoted the get-rich-quick syndrome among our youths.

“The role of the Nigerian movie industry in moulding behavioral patterns in our society vis-a-vis the mandate of the National Film and Video Censors Board as a clearing house for movies produced in the country.

“A lot needs to be done by the Police and other law enforcement agencies to checkmate this ugly trend.

“The roles of parents, schools, religious leaders, and the urgent need to curb the increasing rate of ritual killings and other related vices.

“The House is mindful of the role of media as a tool to change this wrong narrative among our youths”, he said.

Adopting the motion, the House called on the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency as the clearing house for all movies produced in the country.

It therefore mandated its Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values ensure compliance of the resolution and report back to the House within weeks.

Source: Reps to FG: Declare national emergency on ritual killings in Nigeria

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Lawmakers blame Nigerian movies for surge in ritual killings, declare national emergency

Teens arrested in Abeokuta, Ogun State over murder of a teenager girl

Published: February 9, 2022
By: Business Hallmark News, Nigeria

Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Wednesday declared a national emergency amid rise in cases of ritual killings across the country.

The lawmakers also urged the National Orientation Agency (NOA), stakeholders, and the media to initiate a campaign towards changing the situation in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by Toby Okechukwu, the deputy minority leader, at the plenary in Abuja, NAN reported.

Presenting the motion, Mr Okechukwu said that incidents of ritual killings had assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria while decrying the upsurge of reported ritual killings, and abductions in different parts of the country.

He blamed the increase on Nollywood, the country’s movie industry, arguing that younger generations may see ritual killing as a norm.

“Ritual killing had become a predominant theme in most homemade movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm,” he said.

Mr Okechukwu added that in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and cut out sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

Citing the killing of Iniobong Umoren in Akwa Ibom and the recent incident of 21-year-old Sofiat Kehinde who was killed and had her head burnt in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun, the lawmaker said the news triggered condemnation considering the age of the suspected killers.

The House thereafter charged the Inspector General of Police to take urgent steps towards tacking ritual killings in the country.

The lawmakers also tasked the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency as the clearing house for all movies produced in the country.

Source: Lawmakers blame Nigerian movies for surge in ritual killings, declare national emergency

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Reps ask Buhari to declare national emergency over ritual killings

Published: February 9, 2022
By: Ochogwu Sunday – Daily Post, Nigeria

The House of Representatives on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to declare a national emergency on ritual killings across the country.

The development followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by Toby Okechukwu, the Deputy Minority Leader, at the plenary on Wednesday in Abuja.

Presenting the motion, Okechukwu said incidents of ritual killings had assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria while decrying the upsurge of reported ritual killings with increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country.

He added that in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and cut out sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

He said the Red Cross Society in 2017 said it received 10,480 reports of missing persons in Nigeria.

“On January 22, three teenage suspects and a 21-year-old reportedly killed one Sofiat Kehinde, severed her head and burnt it in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun.

”The police command in Ogun on Feb. 7, reported that one of the suspects confessed that he learned the act of ritual killing from a video he watched on Facebook,” he stated.

He said the death of Sofiat attracted national outrage and condemnation considering the age of the suspected killers.

The lawmaker said merchants of such wicked acts often use social media as a tool to advertise their evil acts.

He also mentioned the grievous killing of Iniobong Umoren, a young woman in her 20s, who was lured to a particular location in Uyo, Akwa Ibom for a job interview, as widely reported in the national dailies.

He also cited the gruesome killings and heinous activities of Badoo Boys in Lagos State, which was also reported in the national dailies.

“Ritual killing had become a predominant theme in most homemade movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm,” he said.

The House thereafter declared a national emergency on ritual killings and urged the National Orientation Agency (NOA), stakeholders and the media to initiate a campaign towards changing the situation in the country.

The House tasked the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency as the clearinghouse for all movies produced in the country.

DAILY POST reports that ritual killing has recently become a trend across the country as videos clips of such activities involving adults and even teenagers continue to emerge online.

Source: Reps ask Buhari to declare national emergency over ritual killings

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Declare emergency on ritual killings, Reps tell FG

Published: February 10, 2022
By: Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja – The Sun, Nigeria

House of Representatives, yesterday, called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba Aikali, to step up intelligence, with a view to arrest and prosecute ritual killers across the country.

The House, which also called on the government to declare a national emergency on ritual killings, urged the National Orientation Agency, parents, heads of schools, religious leaders and the media to undertake a campaign against the menace.

Similarly, the Green Chamber charged the National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to its mandate as the clearing house for all movies produced in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion by the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, on the “need to curb the rising trend of ritual killings in the country.”

Okechukwu, while leading debate on the motion, said ritual killings have assumed an alarming rate in recent times. He said there have been an upsurge of reported cases of ritual killings with increasing cases of abductions and missing persons in different parts of the country.

According to him, in most cases, the culprits rape, maim, kill and obtain sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

“The Red Cross Society in 2017 reported that it received 10,480 reports of missing persons in Nigeria. On January 22, 2022, three teenage suspects and a 20-year-old reportedly killed one Sofiat Kehinde, severed her head and burnt the head in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

“Ogun State Police Command on Monday, February 7, reported that one of the suspects confessed he learned the act of ritual killing from a video he watched on Facebook. 

“Sofiat’s death has attracted national outrage and condemnation considering the ages of her killers,” he said.

He said it is worrisome that while youths in other climes are embracing science and technology, Nigerian youths “seem stuck in the mistaken belief that sacrificing human blood is the surest route to wealth, safety and protection.”

Okechukwu expressed dismay that ritual killings have “become a predominant theme in most home made movies,” and warned that if it is not checked, the younger generation may begin to see it as an acceptable norm.

He said a lot needs to be done by the police, other law enforcement agencies, as well as parents, religious institutions and schools to check the ugly development.

Source: Declare emergency on ritual killings, Reps tell FG

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Reps declare national emergency on ritual killings in Nigeria

Published: February 9, 2022
By: Bakare Majeeb – Premium Times, Nigeria

The House noted that while citizens of other countries are embracing science and technology, Nigerian youths are turning to ritual killings.

The House of Representatives has resolved to declare a national emergency on ritual killings in Nigeria.

It asked the National Orientation Agency (NOA), stakeholders and the media to initiate a campaign towards changing the situation in the country.

It also asked the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali, to take urgent steps towards tackling ritual killings in the country.

This followed a motion by the Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Toby Okechukwu (Enugu, PDP), who raised alarm over the surge in ritual related killings across the country.

Mr Okechukwu, in the motion of urgent public importance he moved on Wednesday, blamed Nigerian movies, popularly known as Nollywood, for the rising cases of ritual killings.

According to Mr Okechuckwu, while citizens of other countries are embracing science and technology, Nigerian youths are turning to ritual killings.

“While youths in other climes are embracing science and technology as a way of maintaining pace with our dynamic world, some of our youths seem stuck in the mistaken belief that sacrificing human blood is the surest route to wealth, safety and protection,” he said

Mr Okechukwu added that “ritual killing has become a predominant theme in most homemade movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm.

The killing of Sofia Kehinde 

He drew the attention of the House to the gruesome killing of me Sofiat Kehinde in Ogun State by some three teenagers in January for ritual related act sparked conversation on ritual.

Mr Okechukwu also condemned the use of social media “as a ready tool to advertise their evil behaviours.”

He also accused fake clerics, imams, herbalists and native doctors of being involved in promoting the get-rich-quick syndrome.

Following the presentation of the motion, the House resolved to declare a national emergency on ritual killings in Nigeria and called on National Orientation Agency, parents, heads of schools, religious leaders and the media to undertake a campaign to change the negative narrative that is bedevilling the society.

Also, it called on the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency as the clearing house for all movies produced in the country.

It, therefore, mandated the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values to ensure the agency complies with the directive and report back to the House within four weeks.

Furthermore, the House called on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Akali, to take urgent steps to increase surveillance and intelligence gathering with a view to apprehending and prosecuting all perpetrators of ritual killings in Nigeria.

It asked the House Committee on Police Affairs to ensure the compliance of the force and report back to the House within four weeks.

Source: Reps declare national emergency on ritual killings in Nigeria

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Reps blame Nigerian movies for surge in ritual killings; call for national emergency

House of Representatives, [PHOTO CREDIT: Official Twitter handle of Reps NGR]

Published: February 9, 2022
By: News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) – Peoples Gazette

The Nigerian lower legislative chamber attributed the increase in ritual killings to home videos depicting the gruesome acts in their productions.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday declared a national emergency following the rise in cases of ritual killings across Nigeria.

It also urged the National Orientation Agency (NOA), stakeholders, and the media to initiate a campaign towards changing the situation in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by Toby Okechukwu, the deputy minority leader, at the plenary in Abuja.

Presenting the motion, Mr Okechukwu said that incidents of ritual killings had assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria while decrying the upsurge of reported ritual killings, and abductions in different parts of the country.

He also attributed the increase in ritual killings to home videos in Nigeria, arguing that younger generations may see ritual killing as a norm.

“Ritual killing had become a predominant theme in most homemade movies which if not checked, our younger generation may begin to view it as an acceptable norm,” he said.

Mr Okechukwu added that in most cases, the culprits also rape, maim, kill and cut out sensitive body parts of unsuspecting victims for rituals.

Citing the killing of Iniobong Umoren in Akwa Ibom and the recent incident of 21-year-old Sofiat Kehinde who was killed and had her head burnt in a local pot in Abeokuta, Ogun, the lawmaker said the news triggered condemnation considering the age of the suspected killers.

The House thereafter charged the Inspector General of Police to take urgent steps towards tacking ritual killings in the country.

The lower chamber also tasked the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board to rise to the mandate of the agency as the clearing house for all movies produced in the country.

(NAN)

Source: Reps blame Nigerian movies for surge in ritual killings; call for national emergency

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JUST IN: Reps declare national emergency over ritual killings

Published: February 9, 2022
By: Tony Akowa, Abuja – The Nation newspaper, Nigeria

Femi Gbajabiamila

Source: JUST IN: Reps declare national emergency over ritual killings

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Reps call for state of emergency on ritual killings

Published: February 9, 2022
By: James Kwen – Business Day, Nigeria

Source: Reps call for state of emergency on ritual killings

More:

Ritual killing: National Assembly tell Nigeria goment to declare emergency on trend

Published: February 9, 2022
By: BBC

Source: Ritual killing: National Assembly tell Nigeria goment to declare emergency on trend

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Malawi: NGOs dismayed with executive silence on attacks and killings of persons with albinism

“Malawi is the worst case on the whole African continent as far as attacks, abductions and killings of persons with albinism is concerned.”

A never ending story?
Also see the comment(s) on the article below, follow the original link (webmaster FVDK)

Muhamba: We are challenging the police to ensure our total security from 2022 and beyond
Photo by Watipaso Mzungu – Nyasa Times

Published: December 20, 2021
By: Watipaso Mzungu –  Nyasa Times

Source: NGOs dismayed with executive silence on attacks and killings of persons with albinism

Rev. Daniel Jensen Seyenkulo, Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Liberia speaks out against ritualistic killings and accuses politicians

On October 21, 2021, Bishop Seyenkulo made strong statements condemning the lack of security following the current wave of ritualistic killings in the country and criticizing the Weah Administration for not doing enough to protect Liberian citizens. It is interesting to note that he accused ambitious politicians of being responsible for these murders. In his view the killing of innocent people is carried out by some people who are seeking political powers or have the power, but wish to be more powerful.

Wow, a very serious accusation! I wish to commend Bishop Seyenkulo for speaking out and daring to mention the involvement if not responsibility of ambitious politicians. Unfortunately, the link between ritualistic acts including murder and ambitious political careers is not a recent one on Liberia. I have referred to this connection already several times – both on the present site and elsewhere, on my website ‘Liberia: Past and Present of Africa’s Oldest Republic‘. 

Bishop Seyenkulo further explicitly mentioned a number of recent ritual murder cases. Indirectly, he thus criticized the Inspector General of the Liberian National Police, Patrick Sudue, who earlier this months had publicly denied the existence of a wave of ritualistic murders in the country.

Warning: the following article contains graphic details of ritual murders which may disturb some readers (webmaster FVDK).

‘We Will Never Develop Under Clouds of Fear’ –Rev. Daniel Jensen Seyenkulo, Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Liberia, warns, following reports of ritualistic killings

Rev. Daniel Jensen Seyenkulo, Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Liberia.

Published: October 22, 2021
By: David S. Menjor – Daily Observer, Liberia

Rev. Daniel Jensen Seyenkulo, Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Liberia, has expressed dismay over what he referred to as the President George Manneh Weah administration’s alleged failure to protect its citizens against ritualistic killings and many other security threats in the country.

“The Lutheran Church in Liberia (LCL) is troubled by the continuous allegations of disappearances and unexplained deaths of citizens within our borders,” Bishop Seyenkulo said at a press conference held at his office in Sinkor, Monrovia on Thursday, October 21. “We are further seriously disturbed that the state security actors have shown their inability to control the situation. The mysterious disappearances and the security actors’ inaction or inconclusive investigations destroy Liberia’s image abroad and undermine development.” 

He said as a church, his congregation dares to oppose anything that creates fear and deprives people of the land of their peaceful existence. He said the church will continue to make a public outcry against the loss of innocent lives. He added that the act of killing innocent people is carried out by some people who are seeking political powers or have the power, but wish to be more powerful and recognized differently among their colleagues.

Bishop Seyenkulo outlined cases of alleged ritualistic killings, kidnappings, to include the September 12, 2021 incident involving a young lady who reported to the Police that she was allegedly kidnapped and was nearly killed ritualistically by some unknown men.

“She narrated that a chemical was used on her and that rendered her unconscious while on a motorcycle. That was barbaric and totally cruel,” he said. “In addition, in the morning of September 14 in this same year (2021), a woman in her 40s was found dead by residents of 17th Street Community in Sinkor. Her body was found on the beach and without clothes on her. At the same time, on September 21, the gruesome murder of John Hilary Tubman at his home located in Sinkor, Monrovia, at night, was reported by community residents.”

The Lutheran Bishop continued that the lifeless body of a man in his 40s was found in Soul Clinic community with his penis, tongue, and eyes missing, while a lady in her 30s was also found dead in Samukai Town, Upper Caldwell, with parts missing too. He also recounted the 13-year-old girl named Fatu Kiazolu, whose living body was found on October 7, 2021, in Gbah, Bomi County tied at her hands and legs in an unfinished building by unknown men.

“A 21-year-old Annie Warmah, after going missing on October 11, was found dead near Taylor’s farm on October 13 with body parts missing. These gruesome, cruel acts done to appease the gods who supposedly have the power to reward the beneficiaries, are threatening our security and causing us to live in fear. It has been shown that the majority of our own population believes in one God Who lets the sunshine equally on the just and the unjust,” Bishop Seyenkulo said.

He noted that his Church strongly condemns the barbaric acts and calls on the government to provide security for all citizens and others in the borders of the country.

“We will never realize our development goals nor enjoy the freedom we have received from our Creator under the clouds of fear. These waves of senseless killings, based on unfounded beliefs that fresh human blood and twitching human body parts have magical powers, have instilled fear in the Liberian population and businesses are shutting down earlier, further tasking the already shaky economy,” he averred.

Bishop Seyenkulo called on all other Churches of the Body of Christ to unite and seek God’s forgiveness and healing for Liberia from its bondages of low life expectancy, many strange illnesses, economic downturn, bloodshed, devastations, among others.

He said poverty has caused Liberia to be extremely polarized and also called on all families who have lost their loved ones to take solace in God, as He alone will judge the evildoers and reward them according to their deeds.

Meanwhile, Patrick Sudue, Inspector General of Police, recently said that there are no ritualistic killings in the country as claimed and propagated on social media by some people. His men and women in uniform have arrested a few persons in recent days for posting images of dead bodies and attributing them to Liberia.

Source: ‘We Will Never Develop Under Clouds of Fear’ 

Liberia – another ritualistic murder: missing young woman found dead, body parts extracted

Warning: the following contains graphic details of a ritualistic murder including a photo of the victim (webmaster FVDK).

Last week, the mutilated body of a young woman was discovered in central Liberia. The gruesome discovery took place in Gbarnga, capital of Bong County. The victim, 21-year old Annie Wamah, had been beheaded, vital body parts had been removed by presumably ritualistic murderers.

Liberia has been in the grip of a series of mysterious deaths, rituals murders and rumors alleging a wave of ritualistic killings in the country. As indicated in the article below, in recent months, reported cases of ritual killings have surged in the country. A rising number of mutilated bodies on the streets in the capital Monrovia and other parts of the country this year has sown fear all over the country.

I have reported more than once on this situation, still recently, see my postings earlier this month: on October 9, October 7, October 5, October 4, October 1, and September 30. The Liberian police has denied that ritualistic murders are being committed in this West African country which is notorious for its ritual killings, notably in connection with elections and other major political developments. However, the police confirmed one ritual murder which had taken place in Maryland County, in the southeastern part of the country. But reports of more ritual killings are persistent and several high placed people have condemned these criminal acts which have no place in a modern society.

The inevitable question arises: who is behind the apparent current wave of ritualistic murders? Who is responsible for the ritual killing of Annie Wamah whose dead body was found in Ghankay Farm (a common name in the area and presumably referring to Charles ‘Ghankay’ Taylor’s farm belonging to the warlord-turned-president who’s presently serving a 50-year sentence in a high security prison in the UK). The victim’s throat was slit and her tongue, lips and genitals had been removed, presumably for ‘juju’ purposes. Are ambitious politicians behind the crime or unscrupulous businessmen or -women, or other people who believe that this superstitious act works out positively for them?

Not only do we want to know the truth, the culprits must also be arrested, tried, in a fair trial, and – when found guilty – given the sentence which they deserve. Too many ritualistic murderers in Liberia go unpunished. Impunity is a bitter reality in Liberia. Unfortunately, only too many Liberians can confirm its existence in Africa’s oldest republic (webmaster FVDK).

Liberia: Missing Woman, 21, Found Dead, Body Parts Extracted in Gbarnga

Published: October 15, 2021
By: Selma Lomax – FrontPage Africa, Liberia

GBARNGA, Bong County – Police in Gbarnga on Thursday confirmed the gruesome killing of a 21-year-old girl by persons suspected to be ritualists in the central city of Gbarnga, Bong County.

The police described the incident as “unfortunate and mysterious”. The police said investigation had begun into the case and that the Crimes Services Division (CID) had been directed to take over the case.

Concerned residents had earlier told FrontPageAfrica that the victim, Annie Wamah, was not only killed, she was beheaded and vital organs were removed by suspected rituals.

Also confirming the reports, the deceased’s uncle, Moses Harmon, said his neice, a resident of Buteh Sue community in Gbarnga, electoral District Three, had earlier gone missing on Monday, October 11 around 10:00 am when she arrived in Gbarnga from her parents’ farm in Wainsue Town.

Harmon said he first raised the alarm and organised a search party, but efforts to find her proved abortive until 8:00 p.m. when her corpse was found in Ghankay Farm with her throat slit and other vital organs removed.

“On that fateful day I got a call that my niece was missing and I raised the alarm and asked community members to help the family search for her,” he said.

“The matter was immediately reported at the Police station, but it was not long that information came that her body had been located at Ghankay Farm.

“She was slaughtered like a goat and the corpse dumped in bush,’’ he said. “When the police came and saw the body, they saw that the tongue, the lips, and the genitals were cut off,” Harmon said. “The family filed a complaint but I know it will go nowhere.”

Harmon appealed to police to unravel the sudden death of his neice.

In recent months, reported cases of ritual killings have surged in Liberia. A rising number of mutilated bodies on streets in Monrovia and other parts of the country this year has sown fear in Liberians.

Recently, the lifeless body of a girl believed to be in her 30s was discovered in Caldwell with body parts extracted.Till date perpetrators of the dastardly act are yet to be found.

A day earlier, another lifeless body of a man believed to be in his 40s was found in the Soul Clinic community. As at the time his body was recovered, some parts had been removed. They included his penis, eyes and tongue. Still, perpetrators have not been arrested.

Liberians have taken to social media to raise alarm about the rise in ritual activities, urging commuters to always write down the identification markings of public conveyance vehicles as they enter and make phone calls to loved ones to pass on the information. 

Amid the scourge in suspected ritualistic activities in the country,  Police Inspector General, Patrick Sudue and his deputy Prince Mulbah, say such reports are untrue and being fueled by opposition politicians to tarnish the image of the government.

Sudue and Mulbah, appearing on the national radio few weeks ago, disclosed that the police are only aware of a single ritualistic incident, which occurred in MaryLand County, adding the perpetrators are facing justice.

“People are being paid to tarnish the image of the country and to raise false national security alert. There are inconsistencies in their statements,” Sudue says.

Meanwhile, Mulbah, Deputy Police Inspector General for Administration, described information about ritualistic killings in the country as a ploy designed by the opposition to create fear for diaspora Liberians who want to return home.

“As far our investigations are concerned, we haven’t established anything called ritualistic killing apart from what happened in Maryland County,” Mulbah says.

“We have heard a lot of people talking on social media of people being kidnapped and taken away, these are paid agents.”  

Sudue said most of these social media pictorials and videos about ritualistic incidents are not a representation of what is unfolding in the country.

He warned those involved in orchestrating a negative image about the country to desist, or face the full weight of the law.

However, the country’s Vice President, Jewel Howard-Taylor called on those in authority of the security to take actions that would end the many mysterious deaths that are linked to ritualistic killings.

The vice president said Liberians are feeling more insecure than ever due to the rise in suspected ritualistic activities in the country. 

“I’d like to call upon our security sector to please put in place a regime that will enable our people to remain safe. The situation involves instances where women’s private parts are being cut off, stories of young people being taken in specific location where others allegedly were being used for ritualistic purposes are very alarming,” Howard-Taylor said.

Source: Liberia: Missing Woman, 21, Found Dead, Body Parts Extracted in Gbarnga

New twist in attempted ritual murder investigation in Sierra Leone

Under construction (FVDK)

New twist in attempted ritual murder investigation in Sierra Leone

Published: October 10, 2021
By: Abdul Rashid Thomas – The Sierra Leone Telegraph

Alim Jalloh: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 October 2021:

SLPP government stands indicted – no hiding place for NaCSA boss and the chief minister.

Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad are currently in  doubt over the on-going investigation of an alleged ritual murder matter involving an employee of the National Commissioner for Social Action (NaCSA) by the name of Chris.

Investigation mounted by The Times SL revealed that the incident occurred at Fudia Terrace, Spur Loop, Freetown, leaving the whole community in shock.

It was revealed that Chris, who, according to our source, is a consultant hired by NaCSA and having a close relationship with the Head of NaCSA, Dr. Sao-Kpato Hannah Max-Kyne, lives opposite the Siena Patso Junior and Senior Secondary School, from where he is alleged to have surreptitiously abducted, albeit under pretence, three children for performance of some ritual, which he described as ‘sara’.

According to our source, Chris approached the two teachers of the said school and requested access to six virgins to perform charity, and it was communicated to the Principal, who refused to honour that request, and called an urgent staff meeting on the matter.

It was also disclosed that he later offered a handsome reward to the teachers, who then stealthily took three pupils in the company of Chris to an unfinished building nearby, where a native doctor was waiting, who later performed the sacrifice, offering coconut and peak milk to the children.

One of the children ate, whilst the others refused, and were forced to take the coconut and milk home in a plastic bag. This incident, it was further disclosed, took place without the knowledge of the principal and the parents.

It only came to light on the next day, when the little girl that ate the sacrificial food, started experiencing profuse bleeding and stomach pain. After changing several sanitary pads, the parent then took her daughter to the principal, requesting an explanation about where her daughter was taken and what food was offered to her that had resulted in the bleeding.

Upon further revelation, which included the participation of the two teachers, The principal – Lawrence Kamara, then called in the police.

Christian – commonly as Chris, and the culprits were arrested and taken to the New England Ville police station, and were later put on bail, allegedly with the intervention of Dr. Sao-Kpato Hannah Max-Kyne of NACSA, who went to New England police station, coupled with several calls, allegedly from senior government officials, leaving the victims helpless.

Chris and the others were re-arrested again on Monday 4th October 2021, and taken to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), after the story was published by The Times SL Newspaper.

A new twist in the matter came to light when the re-arrested accused were released late last Monday evening, prompting concerned Sierra Leoneans to opine that the arrest of the suspects on Monday morning was a ploy to hoodwink the public that some action was being taken, especially as the matter had generated so much public interest.

Questions are being asked as to why the re-arrest of the suspects, when it was clear that they are going to be released on the same day.

Zainab Kamara, mother of the main victim (the bleeding girl), stated that she is struggling to get medication for her child, and since the incident, no one had approached her to check on the health status of her daughter, adding that as things seem to have taken a different turn, family members of the accused are now getting in touch with her to have an out of police and court settlement, as there are indications that the matter will soon be charged to Court.

Police at CID confirmed that the accused are on bail and that the matter is still under investigation, and the file will soon be sent to the Law Officers’ Department for advice.

The poor mother who could not afford legal fees is now under fear that she will find it difficult to continue with the legal battle because she has no support.

It was also disclosed that the prime suspect in the matter had earlier mentioned the name of the Chief Minister – Jacob Jusu Saffa (Photo), asserting that he is aware of his act.

However, there are concerns among residents about who owns the unfinished house, where the said ritual was performed.

Source: New twist in attempted ritual murder investigation in Sierra Leone

Liberia: growing anxiety over ritual killings and the political fallout from the recent surge in ritualistic murders

Liberia is again in the grip of ritualistic murders. An alarming wave of insecurity terrorizes the population. Reportedly, secret and ritualistic murders are being committed. The Liberia National Police is pressed by the public to do more. President Weah is being asked to address the nation and speak out against these heinous crimes, which are far from uncommon in Liberia.

In the past, ambitious politicians have been found involved in ritualistic activities including murder. The presidential elections of 2023 are still far away but politicians and their supporters are already preparing for a fierce election campaign. Moreover, on November 16 of this year, by-elections will be held in Bomi, Bong, Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties to fill the vacancies in the House of Representatives following the election of Representatives in the Senate in December 2020.  

The combined opposition – the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) including the ANC, ALP, UP and the LP – has to come to grips with the internal battle for a unique, common presidential candidate for the 2023 elections if it wants to defat the incumbent president.  However, its political leaders: ANC leader Alexander Cummings, the UP candidate and former Vice President Joseph Boakai, ALP’s Benoni Urey and Grand Bassa County Senator and political leader of Liberty Party, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, are not on the same line when it comes to a common candidate.

The ruling Coalition for Democratic Change is also far from homogeneous. The coalition is composed of Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change plus the National Patriotic Party of warlord-turned-into-president Charles Taylor, now led by one of his ex-wives, Jewel Howard Taylor, currently Vice President in the Weah Administration, and the Liberian People Democratic Party of the corrupt and for this reason disgraced former House Speaker Alex Tyler. It is a public secret that relations between the Present and his Vice President are far from harmonious.

The foregoing does not pretend to provide an answer to the question why there’s currently a surge in ritualistic killings in Liberia – assuming that reports of a surge in ritual murders are not unfounded. Moreover, as one newspaper commented, ‘There is speculation that the majority of those who disappear perpetually without a trace are often victims of ritual killings.’ 

The Inspector General of the Liberia National Police, Colonel Patrick Sudue, has labelled the reports on ritualistic murders as fake news, accusing the opposition of tarnishing the good reputation of the Weah Administration. In sharp contrast, however, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor publicly disagreed with him, pleading for an end to the many mysterious deaths that are linked to ritualistic killings.

Be that as it may, Liberia’s human rights reputation, which wasn’t that good anyway, is being further damaged by these reports of ritualistic and secret killings whereas critics  of president Weah who accuse him of inaction will be more convinced than ever that he is not the right man in the right place. 

As an observer of Liberian politics since the 1970s I’m afraid that this is not the end of the story…

To be continued (webmaster FVDK).

Public anxiety over ritual killings increases; President Weah must address the nation and speak out on the scourge of ritualistic killings in Liberia

Published: September 30, 2021
By: Editorial Board, Front Page Africa, Liberia 

THE SPATE OF KILLINGS for ritual purposes is gradually assuming an alarming rate in Liberia with little or no effort by government of President George Weah to checkmate the trend.

OFFICIAL STATISTICS indicate that there has been an increase in the number of missing persons all over the country in recent times. Some are found, while others are not. 

THERE IS SPECULATION that the majority of those who disappear perpetually without a trace are often victims of ritual killings.

ONE WOULD HAVE expected such acts to be a thing of the past following decades of civil war in Liberia which claimed the lives of over 150, 000 people, and made hundreds of thousands became refugees throughout the region. 

BUT SADLY murdering people to appease the deities appears to be on the increase in Liberia.

THESE RITUALISTS hide under different covers to get their victims. For some, they kidnap their victims from various points, while others who pretend to be commercial drivers, pick unsuspecting commuters at bus-stop only to take them to their slaughter slabs to carry out what they know how to do best.

RECENTLY, the lifeless body of a girl believed to be in her 30s was discovered in Caldwell with body parts extracted.Till date perpetrators of the dastardly act are yet to be found.

A DAY EARLIER, another lifeless body of a man believed to be in his 40s was found in the Soul Clinic community. As at the time his body was recovered, some parts had been removed. They included his penis, eyes and tongue. Still, the perpetrators have not been arrested.

GIVEN THE RATE of increase of ritual killings in Liberia, no one is immune from becoming a victim. But some people are at greater risk. People with mental illnesses and virgins are unique targets as the ritualists allegedly believe that their eccentrics and purity make for a more viable sacrifice. 

ALSO, PEOPLE living with albinism have equally become victims of ritual killings, fuelled by the belief that their ‘body parts’ could allegedly make one wealthy or prolong one’s life.

IT IS DISHEARTENING to point out that as developed countries invest in science and technology to keep abreast with a dynamic world, Liberia is still stuck in the mistaken belief that sacrificing human blood is the surest route to wealth, safety, and protection.

IT’S TIME the government of President Weah play a more active role in ameliorating the negative impact of these dastardly acts?

POVERTY AND ECONOMIC hardship in the country are reasons for ritual killings. However, these are not justifiable reasons to commit ritual murder. Impunity encourages ritualists to commit murders because they believe they will not be apprehended or punished.

ANOTHER REASON for ritual murders is the collapse in our moral values, ignorance and superstition, and lack of an adequate punishment system. 

WE SHOULD also consider poverty and unemployment as significant risk factors. If Liberians have equal opportunities to earn income legitimately, there will be a reduction in horrific crimes such as banditry and human killings for ritual.

THE HIGH INCIDENCE of serial ritual killings in Liberia demands an urgent action at the level of the government of President Weah.

TO CURB THE INCREASE in ritual killings, government should thoroughly explore the intelligence-gathering approach. Timely arrest and prosecution of arrested suspects would serve as a deterrent to anybody contemplating perpetrating ritual killing.

RECORD OF SUCCESSFUL prosecution of ritualists is not in the public domain. When there are no consequences for deviant behavior, it is incentivized.

THE CONSCIENCE of Liberians are being troubled by reports of recent ritual murders including that of  those whose body parts were ripped out for ritual purposes.

LIBERIANS SEEM to be rapidly losing faith in the ability of President Weah and his government to detect and punish ritual killers, and it’s time President Weah act to address the scourge in ritualistic activities in Liberia.

THE SOONER, the better..

Source: President Weah Must Address the Scourge of Ritualistic Killings in Liberia

and:

A heartbreaking plea to political parties, religious and civil society leaders

Just where is our President and why has he maintained such a conspicuous silence in the face of mounting cries of the people craving the intervention of the state to protect their lives?

Published: September 30, 2021
By: Staff Editor – The Daily Observer, Liberia

This is a plea to Civil Society, Religious Leaders and political parties, especially the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), to act in concert and speak with one voice on the deteriorating security situation in the country. Every God-sent day is replete with accounts of mysterious and brutal killing of peaceful citizens apparently for ritualistic purposes.

This is also a plea to civil society and their respective organizations to become seized of the current situation and also speak with one voice on the current situation. From all indications, this government is failing to protect the people and this does not augur well for peace and national security.

We say this because there is an inherent danger in allowing things to deteriorate to the point where ordinary citizens begin to take action to protect themselves from harm. Judging from reports, it appears that females are being particularly targeted but in the face of such assaults against our women, especially, not a word has been heard from the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL) and the same goes for other women groups.

Religious leaders, Muslim as well as Christian, etc., have also failed to take up the issue as a matter of priority concern. Innocent children of God are being slaughtered like animals, but the voices of our religious leaders have either been silent or at best feeble. Just where are our so-called men of God in the face of such brutal onslaught against the children of God, one is tempted to ask.

More importantly, just where is our President and why has he maintained such a conspicuous silence in the face of mounting cries of the people craving the intervention of the state to protect their lives? The Police have not proved very helpful in the eyes of the public. 

Such displayed ineptitude by the Liberia National Police (LNP) in addressing urgent security concerns of the people is leaving most people with the impression that the rise in ritualistic killings and other forms of violence is linked to top officials of this government. In their view, this is why such killings continue to happen despite massive public outcry.

In such situations, opposition political parties, religious leaders and civil society organizations are usually looked up to for help and guidance. But to the disappointment of the public, they also seem to appear helpless to deal with the situation. Whether their inaction is borne out of fear and trepidation, or out of a desire to ingratiate themselves into the good favors of the President, remains unclear.

For now, it is basically the media which has inadvertently found itself thrust into the fore to speak out on behalf of a seemingly helpless people. Their efforts are indeed commendable but grossly insufficient without the active support of civil society, including political parties and religious organizations. They cannot afford to wait until things run out of hand before they can muster the courage to step up to the plate.

For the past few weeks, the media has been awash with reports of the ongoing feud within the CPP, which has been touted as the last bastion capable of restoring hope of Liberians for sustainable peace and giving the people some respite from the suffering and hardships being experienced under the leadership of the Coalition for Democratic Change.

This coalition composed of the National Patriotic Party of disgraced and imprisoned war convict Charles Taylor, and the Liberian People Democratic Party of disgraced former House Speaker Alex Tyler, was hailed by its supporters as the answer to Liberia’s problems, following President Weah’s selection of Charles Taylor’s ex-wife Jewel Howard Taylor as Vice President. 

Under the rule of her ex-husband Taylor, Liberia became a pariah state largely as a result of runaway corruption and the massive and egregious human rights abuses committed under his watch by his security forces.

But those very vices that eventually led to Taylor’s disgraceful exit from power and subsequent trial and conviction on war crimes, appear to have now taken center-stage under the current ruling Coalition. In the face of this, civil society, including political parties especially the CPP, appear to have their attention fixed elsewhere. The CPP, for example, finds itself locked in a bitter and seemingly unending internecine feud.

Whether ANC leader Alexander Cummings and UP leader and former Vice President Joseph Boakai will find common ground on the question of who has the popularity and political strength to lead the Collaboration to elections in 2023 is anyone’s guess.

While Joseph Boakai appears to enjoy overwhelming support in vote-rich Lofa County, the same cannot be said of Alexander Cummings in any county including his home country Maryland. It may therefore be suicidal were he to quit the CPP to go it alone. And apparently he realizes this and such could be reasons why he has declared that leaving the CPP is a non-option.

Similarly, it can be said that it would be suicidal for Joseph Boakai to leave the CPP to go it alone. Both individuals appear hopelessly stuck together with each wanting out, but too timid to make the break for fear of the consequences. But the Liberian people cannot forever wait for justice, neither can they forever wait on the government to bring ritualistic killings to an end.

This can perhaps explain why there are increasing calls from the public for the reintroduction of the Death Penalty to serve as deterrent to would be ritual killers. They point to the United States of America, the foremost global champion of Human Rights, which still maintains the Death Penalty without censure from international human rights institutions. Then, why not Liberia, they ask.     

And their point of reference is the 1977 trial, conviction and public hanging, in Harper, Maryland County of several individuals including a former Superintendent involved in the ritual murder of Moses Tweh, a popular folk singer, which put a stop to ritual killings in that country for a long period.

Source: A Plea to Political Parties, Religious Leaders and Leaders of Civil Society

PS Note of the webmaster: For a detailed overview of the arrest and trial of the defendants accused of the ritual killing of Moses Tweh, see: ‘The Maryland Ritual Murders – Liberia’s most notorious ritual killing case‘. Warning: some readers may find the graphic contents, description of the ritual murder and the accompanying pictures disturbing (FVDK). 

The 7 convicted ritual killers who were sentenced to death by hanging for the murder of Moses Tweh: Allen Yancy, James Anderson, Francis Nyepan, Philip Seton, Wreh Taryonnoh, Putu Dweh and Thomas Barclay.
For more information click here 
The public execution took place in Harper, Maryland County, on February 16, 1979

More recent articles:

Liberia National Police Inspector General says reports of ritualistic killings, disappearances are fake news and intended to malign government’s image

Published: September 30, 2021
By: Willie N. Tokpah – Front Page Africa, Liberia

Monrovia — In recent months, reported cases of ritual killings have surged in Liberia, but the country’s Police Inspector General, Patrick Sudue and his deputy Prince Mulbah say such reports are untrue and being fueled by opposition politicians to tarnish the image of the government.

Sudue and Mulbah, at a news conference Wednesday, disclosed that the police are only aware of a single ritualistic incident, which occurred in MaryLand County recently, adding the perpetrators are facing justice.

“People are being paid to tarnish the image of the country and to raise false national security alert. There are inconsistencies in their statements,” Sudue says.

Meanwhile, Mulbah, Deputy Police Inspector General for Administration, described information about ritualistic killings in the country as a ploy designed by the opposition to create fear for diaspora Liberians who want to return home.

“As far our investigations are concerned, we haven’t established anything called ritualistic killing apart from what happened in Maryland County,” Mulbah says.

“We have heard a lot of people talking on social media of people being kidnapped and taken away, these are paid agents.”  

A rising number of mutilated bodies on streets in Monrovia and other parts of the country this year has sown fear in Liberians.

Recently, the lifeless body of a girl believed to be in her 30s was discovered in Caldwell with body parts extracted.Till date perpetrators of the dastardly act are yet to be found.

A day earlier, another lifeless body of a man believed to be in his 40s was found in the Soul Clinic community. As at the time his body was recovered, some parts had been removed. They included his penis, eyes and tongue. Still, perpetrators have not been arrested.

Liberians have taken to social media to raise alarm about the rise in ritual activities, urging commuters to always write down the identification markings of public conveyance vehicles as they enter and make phone calls to loved ones to pass on the information. 

But Sudue said most of these social media pictorials and videos about ritualistic incidents are not a representation of what is unfolding in the country.

He warned those involved in orchestrating a negative image about the country to desist, or face the full weight of the law.

The rise in ritualistic killings has claimed the attention of opposition political leaders, who are calling on President George Weah to redirect every penny he intends to spend on his 55th birthday celebrations on Friday, October 1.

Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Wednesday said the country is fast becoming a cesspool of crime ranging from these mysterious killings, armed robbery, drug dealing, and money laundering.

“This is in addition to the numerous past mysterious deaths of the auditors, the missing boys and other violent crimes that are yet to be investigated or the perpetrators found,” he says.

“It is clear that our security sector is under-staffed, under-paid and overwhelmed. This can not continue. I am calling on the President to redirect every penny he intends to spend on his elaborate and glamorous birthday celebration, into the security sector. We need to empower our community policing and night patrol and strengthen community vigilante groups to work with the Police in each community. This should include the distribution of basic materials and basic training. We need to also investigate these crimes with a sense of urgency and bring perpetrators to justice. The government needs to get to work.”

Grand Bassa County Senator and political leader of Liberty Party, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, who’s in the United States of America, said she would start a women movement against the ritualistic killings of children, mothers and sisters, brothers and  husbands upon her return to Liberia.

Sen. Karnga-Lawrence called on all women to rise up and ensure that the serial killings are brought to an end. “The voices of women must be heard at every level, from the vice president down. This must stop, our survival is at stake and Liberia must be safe for all of us,” Sen. Karnga-Lawrence says.

Dr. Daniel E. Cassel of the People’s Liberation Party (PLP), whose secretary general, David Beyan, was reportedly shot by unknown gunmen, called on the government of President George Weah to address the issue of ritualistic killings in the country. 

“This is the time for President Weah to act quickly and bring an end to the end to the rise in ritualistic killings,” Dr. Cassel says.

Reacting to the reported shooting incident of Beyan, Sudue rejected claims that the PLP secretary general was shot by unknown gunmen.

He claimed Beyan lied about being shot infront of his fence when medical records showed that he (Beyan) told doctors that he shot by himself.

“I think if this young man would have killed himself, the whole country would say it is the government that killed him. He lied about being shot,” Sudue says.

Sudue claimed a shell from a firearm was seen in Beyan’s vehicle, which confirmed medical records that he shot himself.

After being thoroughly quizzed about the situation, coupled with medical proof, Beyan couldn’t lie, Sudue said.

“He told us that he criminally and knowingly took the weapon from residence as far as 20 Street and then to Soul Clinic community to hide the weapon,” Sudue claimed.

However, he said the police are in possession of a weapon by Beyan as he undergoes investigation at the Police headquarters in Monrovia.

“We will prosecute him for illegal possession of firearm and raising false alarm to security apparatus.”

At the same time, Inspector General Sudue has disclosed that the LNP has increased its patrols in major streets and communities, and has begun vigorous search and inspection operations to combat crimes in the country.

He said the LNP will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the country is stable and peaceful and that citizens are protected.

Source: Liberia: Inspector General of Police Says Multiple Reports of Ritualistic Killings, Disappearances Are Fake News Intended to Malign Government’s Image

And:

Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor disagrees with Liberia National Police Inspector General  that opposition is responsible for reports of ritualistic killings

Published: September 29, 2021
By: Henry Karmo – Front Page Africa, Liberia 

MONROVIA – Vice president Jewel Howard has joined the many voices of Liberians calling for an end to the mysterious killings of Liberians and wants those in authority of the security to take action that would end the many mysterious deaths that are linked to ritualistic killings.

In an interview with reporters, Liberia’s Vice President said, women in Liberia are feeling more insecure   than ever before in the history of Liberia. She placed more emphasis on the mysterious deaths of women for ritualistic purposes.

“I like to call upon our security sector to please put in place a regime that will enable our people to remain safe. The situation involves instances where women’s private parts are being cutoff, stories of young people being taken in specific location where others allegedly were being used for ritualistic purposes are very alarming.”

The VP also expressed hopes that in this 21st century, it will be easy for security apparatus to discover and arrest people involved in such killings of Liberians for the purpose of ritualistic killings because these acts have far reaching negative implication for the peace and security of Liberia and the investment climate.

Madam Taylor: “As far as I know, Government’s responsibility is to provide the peace and security of its people, that is why we have the different security apparatus of our country. If this was just one case people will want to wait but it is alarming; every single morning there is a report of a dead body somewhere.

“In a country like Liberia, such a thing that is happening should not be happening, so I believe we should call on all of our security forces to do more.”

 The VP also told reporters that complaints from the police and other security entities about the lack of logistic should not be an excuse, because that is a responsibility they have taken.  “The police should be more vigilant if it requires bringing in the army, we should do that because it is alarming,” she said.

She also seems to have a different belief to that of many, especially those in government, who think the alarming rate of mysterious deaths is a strategy implored by the opposition to make the state ungovernable for the ruling CDC.

According to her, such portrayal of what is happening is hard to believe because nobody will want to kill innocent Liberians because they want to make Liberia ungovernable.   

“If an opposition or politicians do that, it will be ungovernable for everyone. If we are the sitting government we must now do more to make sure that whatever is happening will be brought to an end. This is a planned act carried out by some group of people.”

Source: Liberia: VP Taylor Differs Calls on Police to Take Charge; Disagrees that Opposition is Responsible for Reports of Ritualistic Killings

Finally:

Federation of Liberian Youth condemns series of secret & ritualistic killings

Published: September 29, 2021
By: Press Release – Front Page Africa, Liberia

MONROVIA – The Federation of Liberian Youth said it is troubling the alarming wave of insecurity currently existing in Liberia.

The group through its President Amos Williams said the terrifying decline in national security is worrisome and needs to be addressed.

Mr. Williams said the growing waves of recent ritualistic and series of secret killings have the propensity to undermine the current and uninterrupted peace which the general population has enjoyed for over fifteen years now.

As a means of addressing the issue, FLY has therefore called on the attention of President George Weah including the Ministry of Justice and the Liberian National Police (LNP) to promptly act in addressing decisively the current state of insecurity by providing safety and security to all citizens and foreign residents alike in the borders of Liberia. 

Mr. Williams at the same time encouraged all citizens to be supportive and attentive in providing any important information which can be used by national security apparatus in accordance with the growing waves of insecurities in the country.

In a move to practically address the issue, FLY wants the Government to acknowledge the issue of insecurity in the Land and address it hands down.

Source: FLY Condemns Series Of Secret & Ritualistic Killings

Liberia – political map

Malawi: Police ask witchdoctors for help against attacks on albinos

It is unprecedented what recently happened in northern Malawi, in the Chitipa district, which is the country’s most northern district, near the Malawian-Zambian border. The police have asked witchdoctors and traditional herbalists to help in the protection of people with albinism (PWA).

Malawi has a relatively large number of people with albinism, an estimated 10,000. Attacks on them are frequent, people with albinism fear for their lives every second of the day. Reportedly, more than 200 attacks, kidnappings, mutilations and murders of persons with albinism have occurred since 2014. However, it must be feared that the real number is higher since not all incidents have been reported. 

Witchdoctors are allowed to practice in Malawi though – of course – officially the Malawian law does not recognize witchcraft. Superstition, however, is widespread in the country, hence also the use of the services of witchdoctors, an unknown number of them being somehow associated – to say the least – to the attacks on persons with albinism.  

The cry for assistance from the Malawian police directed to witchdoctors and  traditional herbalists is therefore remarkable. Is it comparable to asking mafia leaders help fighting murderers, kidnappers and other bandits? I don’t know whether this comparison is justified or whether it holds. In any case, the police asking witchdoctors to help against attacks on persons with albinism is a sign of incapacity, read: disqualification. If the police is unable to uphold the rule of law, Malawians have a serious problem and it is high time to have a serious debate on the organization and funding of the police force.

Recently, Amnesty International concluded that the trial of suspects of ritual murders is slow in Malawi. The question seems warranted: Is there a lack of political will? After all, it is common knowledge that in the past political forces and people have been implicated in the attacks on persons with albinism for ritual purposes. I have reported on these links on more than one occasion (e.g. see a recent posting dated April 30, 2021, and my postings of February 26, May 12, and August 28, 2019).
If this lack of political will is indeed the case, turning to witchdoctors for help is close to hypocrisy and useless, ineffective, and the problem will not be solved, the human rights of persons with albinism will continue to be under threat. 
(webmaster FVDFK)

Malawi: Police Ask ‘Witch-Doctors’ for Help Against Attacks On ‘Albinos’

Persons with albinism attending a meeting at State House

Published: May 4, 2021
By: Nyasa Times – Gladys Chingaipe 

“This would help to provide more protection to people with albinism.”

In an unprecedented manner, police in the northern tip of Malawi have gone on their bended knees and asked traditional herbalists and witchdoctors to help them in the fight against the incessant attacks on people with albinism.

Chitipa Police Station Officer, Dan Sowden in a desperate attempt to end the ongoing ritual killings and egregious human rights violations of the worst kind instigated specifically against people with albinism in the district and the country as a whole has asked traditional healers to work hand in hand with the police.

Snowden made the call last week during a meeting with herbalists and witchdoctors at Chitipa Boma where he expressed a growing concern and explained that there is a general outcry that herbalists and witchdoctors are suspected to be involved in attacks on people with albinism, hence the need to include them in efforts to end the vice.

He said: “We have established that it could be that those who are involved in the vice are not perhaps the real herbalists or genuine witchdoctors but may be some unscrupulous people with evil motives just posing and impersonating as herbalists and witchdoctors.”

“We know for a fact that both herbalists and witchdoctors exists to help people in a traditional way to solve traditional related problems and not to harm anyone and for that reason, we have therefore resolved that the herbalists and witchdoctors should be ambassadors and in the forefront to provide protection to people with albinism by reporting anyone who approaches them on issues to do with people with albinism.”

The police officer in-charge who is responsible for all security in the district called upon herbalists (and witchdoctors) in the district to be more organised and get licenses so that people could easily identify and report anyone falsely pretending to be a traditional healer.

President for Northern Region Traditional Healers, Edward Kayange said: “As herbalists, we are ready to work with the police in order to completely eradicate violence and discrimination against people with albinism.

“We will make sure that all traditional healers have certificates from one body to avoid confusion amongst ourselves. We will form committees which will be working hand in hand with the police and chiefs to report anyone involved in the malpractice,” he pointed out.

Chairperson for Chitipa District Association of People with Albinism, Mabvuto Lwinga said it was a step in the right direction for herbalists and witchdoctors alike to be working with the police.

“This is a good development. I am very optimistic that this would help to provide more protection to people with albinism,” said Lwinga.

The law in Malawi, however, does not recognise witchcraft although traditional healers and witchdoctors are allowed to practice their trade

‘Extra gear’

People with albinism are born with lighter than normal skin, hair and eye colour, making them sensitive to the sun and bright light and in some communities, especially among the African people they are attacked or even killed for their body parts which is erroneously believed to posses magical powers.

Since 2014 more than 200 cases of killings, attacks and other human rights violations against persons with albinism have been reported in the Southern African landlocked nation.

According to United Nations (UN) human rights experts despite various moves to support people with albinism, the continued attacks demonstrate that the Government needs to redouble its efforts to end the ongoing atrocities.

UN’s Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, Ikponwosa Ero said: “We call on the Government of Malawi to urgently address the root causes of these attacks and to strengthen nationwide campaigns to raise awareness, conduct robust investigations and prosecutions in all cases, increase protection for victims, and finance and implement all necessary measures.”

Ero is on record having said that some witchcraft practices result in “serious human violations” such as torture, murder, discrimination and exclusion, including banishment from communities.

Maria Jose Torres, UN Resident Coordinator in Malawi says that the UN remains concerned about continued attacks against persons with albinism.

“We call on the government of Malawi to engage an extra gear in the fight against attacks on persons with albinism. We need to do more to ensure that this comes to a complete end.

Habiba Osman, Executive Secretary for Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) said in an interview with Nyasa Times that the ongoing attacks on persons with albinism is a chilling reminder that Malawi as a country needs to do more to protect people with albinism because they are not safe.

“These attacks on persons with albinism is largely fuelled by a culture of impunity. The government must tighten the noose on anyone suspected to have committed this heinous crime. Persons with albinism like anyone else are protected by the law,” said Osman.

Before being elected president, Malawi leader, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera rode on a wave that if elected, he would make sure that attacks on people with albinism will be put to an end.

“When I become president, anyone found killing, abducting or discriminating against any person with albinism will be dealt severely and face the long arm of the law.”

A recent Amnesty International (AI) report observes that the rate at which cases are concluded in Malawi is slow compared to other crime investigations.

There are approximately about 10,000 persons with albinism in Malawi.

Source: Malawi: Police Ask ‘Witch-Doctors’ for Help Against Attacks On ‘Albinos’

Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) asks government to speed upon ‘albino’ cases, criticises cover-ups and the protection of high-placed politicians

Unfortunately, the below article contains a too familiar story. Attacks on persons with albinism, mutilation, murder, involvement of high-placed politicians, cover up practices. The President of the Associations of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM), Ian Simbota, again turned his attention to the country’s rulers and requested the government of President Lazarus Chakwera to speed up all abduction and murder cases which targeted people with albinism (PWA) for ritualistic purposes, often involving high-profile politicians.

It is shocking to read the following article. I won’t repeat here what follows. Once more, however, I want to draw attention to these heinous crimes which threaten people with albinisme on a daily basis. Ritual murders must end. Politicians and other culprits who are involved must be apprehended, put on trial and sentenced. Simultaneously, a national awareness campaign must start, emphasizing the sanctity of life, the need to protect innocent people, the promotion of human rights notably to right to live and the right to live without fear. The government must take its responsibility and act accordingly – or resign.
(webmaster FVDK).

APAM asks Tonse Alliance Govt. to speed upon ‘albino’ cases

Published: April 29, 2021
By: Nyasa Times – Tiwonge Kumwenda

Source: APAM asks Tonse Alliance Govt. to speed upon ‘albino’ cases

Nigeria: ‘How I killed, drained teenager’s blood for money ritual’ – Suspect (2014 article)

Yesterday I posted an article entitled ‘Nigeria: ritual killings everywhere‘, describing in great detail the widespread occurrence of ritualistic activities for ‘money rituals’, i.e. ritual murders, in Africa’s most populated country. One of the cases included in the article is about the murder of a 13-year old boy, Rilwan Amuda, by Muyideen Salaam, a 35 year-old apprentice at Aketegbo community in Seme, Badagry area of Lagos. The murderer gave a chilling confession of how he killed his victim.  

Warning: the following article contains a graphic description of the ritual murder committed (webmaster FVDK)

‘How I killed, drained teenager’s blood for money ritual’ – Suspect

Published: July 12, 2014
By: Vanguard, Nigeria 

Muyideen Salaam, a 35 year-old apprentice at Aketegbo community in Seme, Badagry area of Lagos, gave this chilling confession of how he killed a 13 year-old boy, Rilwan Amuda, in his crave for materialism.

The Ibadan-born suspect claimed he was tempted to opt for money ritual after his wife left with their two children when feeding became an uphill task for him.

According to him: “ I was alone in the video shop club owned by my master when one of my friends named Nuru came and said he knew someone who could make us rich . He told me all that was needed was just the blood of a boy of about 15 years of age.

He said all I needed to do was to get the person since he had already contacted a herbalist. In my desperation, I told him we would take Rilawan, mama elewa’s son since I had easy access to him because he usually ran errands for me and sometimes I gave him money and used closthes. We felt it was useless to go out and get someone else since Rilawan stayed in the same area with us. I made him understand that getting someone was not the problem but taking him to the herbalist’s shrine where he would be killed.

When we told baba our constraint, he gave Nuru a ring and instructed us to just touch whoever we wanted to bring with it, that the person would follow us without hesitation.

On that fateful day, I called Rilwan and touched him with the ring . To my surprise, he became dumb and followed us to the shrine. We kept him there until it was dark.

When it was midnight and there was no one in sight, we took him away from the shrine and laid him on the ground. While Nuru slashed his throat with a knife given to us by the herbalist, I held a bowl close to his neck for the blood to pour into it.

Rilwan did not put up any resistance as promised by baba because he was hypnotized. And his memory was gone.

After we collected the blood, we gave the bowl to baba and carried Rilawan’s body far away from the shrine to avoid suspicion and dumped it on the expressway so as to give an impression that he was hit by a vehicle. We thereafter, went to bath with the blood as instructed by baba.

He performed some rituals fore us and mixed the blood with a black native soap and gave us to bath with after which he said we would become rich.

But after bathing with the substance, by the third day, we did not see any money as promised by baba. We were as poor as we used to be. We were so angry and decided to go to baba’s place to fight with him.

But on our way, Rilwan’s mother held me and asked me to produce his son for him. She said she was informed that he was last seen with me. She vehemently refused to let go of my trouser even when I denied. This caused a scene and people gathered around me and started beating me. Nuru who was with me managed to escape. Policemen from Seme division came and took me away. It was at that moment I opened up.

But Nuru who lured me into it is nowhere to be found. I am left to bear the brunt alone. If I had known, I would have continued working for my master where I was paid N1,500 every month. The most painful aspect is that I do not have a mother, father, sister or brother. I am just all alone in the world. I do not want to die even though I partook in killing somebody “, he said in an emotional laden tone.

After his arrest, policemen reportedly took him to the herbalist shrine where the suspect showed them the bowl that was used to drain Rilwan’s blood. The herbalist identified as Soji Akodiya did not deny demanding for a human blood from Muyideen and his fleeing friend but he stated that the killing never took place in his shrine.

Out of curiosity, this reporter was forced to ask why he looked so haggard and tattered when he could make money to take care of himself. In response,he looked at the reporter, smiled sheepishly and said, “you will not understand”.

Continuing he said : “ Yes, I told them what they needed for money ritual was human blood. Because money ritual is one of the greatest tasks in our line. I told them they could either use their own blood for it but I believe they never wanted to and brought that of the boy. I was not around when the boy was slaughtered . I did not even know when they brought him. He was not even killed in my shrine….”

But Muyideen interrupted saying “It is a lie. You knew when we brought him. It was even you that gave us knife and a bowl to put the blood. You even told us not to kill him in your shrine for security purpose and you were aware we were going to kill him that night”.

But the herbalist ignored the interjection and continued “ I am a herbalist who speacialise in attending to barren women. I also help people to get jobs and also give charms to traders to sell more than their fellow traders. I collect, N50 to N500 , depending on what the oracle demands. It is then left for my clients to appreciate me.  I got money ritual charm from a colleague ten years ago when all herbalists went for a meeting in Ijebu-ode . Usually, what we do at such meeting is to help ourselves. For instance, if I have the cure for any disease and others do not, I will give to them and vice visa.

That was how the baba gave all of us ogun owo (money ritual charm)and instructed us on how to administer  to our clients . I have never used it before, this is my first time. It was even when Nuru came to me that I realised I had the charm”.

Asked why it did work for the suspect and his fleeing partner in crime, the herbalist relied “ it did not work because they did not follow my instruction. The instruction was to bathe with the prepared concoction nine days after its preparation but they used it on the third day. Had they followed the instruction, they would have noticed a total turn around in whatever they set their hands to do . Their businesses would have been lucrative . And if they leave N1000 in the bag, they would wake up to meet triple of what was there”.

Mystics. Pure mystics. It’s unbelievable the extent many go to get rich. There are the politicians who believe that charms can make them powerful and transport them into powerful positions. Even when the efficacy of these rituals is in doubt, some people still believe that rituals can change their lives for the better. Evil men continue to chase their shadows. One thing is clear. Evil begets evil. There’s a price for every bad thing. Those who indulge in these primitive and devilish tendencies never end up well.

Source: How I killed, drained teenager’s blood for money ritual – Suspect