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People With Dementia Are Not Witches, They Need Care – AfAW



Witch Burning, Impunity And Abuses Linked to Witchcraft Beliefs In Benue State

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) has urged Nigerians to stop branding persons with dementia witches because this mental health issue has nothing to do with the superstitious belief in witchcraft and magic.

The AfAW said in a statement issued on Monday by Dr Leo Igwe.

According to AfAW, this statement has become necessary following a visit to Ann Soberekon’s family in Port Harcourt Rivers State. Ann Soberekon, a grandmother and retired lab scientist, was almost lynched by a mob in Port Harcourt following an accusation of witchcraft in December last year.

READ ALSO: AfAW Lauds Church Of Scotland For Acknowledging Harm Linked To Witchcraft Accusations

According to family sources, Ms. Soberekon has dementia and is receiving some treatment at a local hospital. In December, she went to visit a relative but forgot her way back to her residence. For two days, she was missing. Family members did not know if she was alive or dead. They were making contact with relatives to ascertain her whereabouts when a family member got a call that a mob was about to lynch her in some area in Port Harcourt; they suspected that she was a witch. The family quickly sent someone who rescued and brought her home.

“Ms. Soberekon was lucky. She survived. Many people with mental health challenges who are accused of witchcraft seldom survive. They are usually beaten to death or lynched”, AfAW said.

The group continued: “Family members said that Ms. Soberekon had bruises all over her body. When Ann was unable to trace her way back home, she started roaming the streets. Some youths accosted her, stripped her naked, and started beating her with sticks, banana leaves, and stems; they pelted her with stones. According to Ann, one pastor Jeremiah requested some salt. The pastor claimed that if he administered the salt to Ann, she would die immediately. The salt was not administered. But a family member claimed that they gave her some concoction.

“In a video that went viral on social media, Ann Soberekon could be seen lying naked on the ground and responding to queries from the mob. Someone described her as ‘a strong witch’; they asked her to provide a list of her fellow witches. They claimed that she was returning from a witch meeting when she crash-landed while flying over an electric pole. Ann mentioned Prof Konya as one of her colleagues but that mob regarded the names she mentioned as some of the members of her witch coven. The crowd misconstrued Ann’s replies and regarded her statements as witch confessions, not utterances by a mentally unstable person. What a shame!

READ ALSO: Witch Hunting: Torturers Should Not Get Away With Their Crimes – AfAW

“Following her rescue and return, the Konya family asked Ann Soberekon’s family to tender an apology for mentioning her name. When Ms. Soberekon’s family was not forthcoming with the apology, the Konya family used the police to arrest a relative of Ann Soberekon and detained her at the Central police station in Port Harcourt. The police later released her after a day. The family of Ann Soberekon later tendered a public apology to the Konyas. The apology was published in a local newspaper.

“AfAW condemns the ill treatment and persecution of Ann Soberekon and other persons with mental health challenges in the country. There is no link between dementia and witchcraft fears and anxieties. Mental health problems have no connection with occult forces or demonic possession as popularly believed. Attribution of dementia to witchcraft is rooted in irrational fear, misinterpretation and ignorance of the cause of disease. People who suffer from mental health issues are not witches or wizards and should not be attacked or killed. People with dementia and other mental health problems are patients with health conditions. They should be treated with love, care, and respect.”


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BREAKING:Lagos Govt Arraigns Chrisland School, Principal, Others Over Death Of Pupil Whitney Adeniran



Chrisland pupil Whitney

The Lagos State government has arraigned Chrisland School, Opebi, its principal, vice principal and two other employees over the death of one of the school’s pupils, 12-year-old Whitney Adeniran.

On Wednesday, the government of Lagos State had filed charges against Chrisland School and four others over the death of the 12-year-old pupil, Whitney Adeniran.

The school and its workers were accused of involuntary manslaughter and reckless and negligent acts.

The workers who were arraigned before Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja include Ademoye Adewale, Kuku Fatai, Mrs Belinda Amao, Nwatu Ugochi Victoria and Chrisland School Limited.

The school principal, Mrs Belinda Amao, broke down in tears while in the dock as the court and counsel tried to agree on a date for the commencement of the trial.

Whitney died during the school’s inter-house sports competition at Agege Stadium in Lagos on February 9.

Blessing Adeniran, her mother, had accused Chrisland of negligence over her daughter’s death.

The school’s management, however, dismissed insinuations that there was foul play in the death, saying she slumped in public.

Chrisland also argued that Whitney complained about “not-too-buoyant health” a few days before she died.

However, an autopsy conducted at the Lagos State University Hospital (LASUTH) confirmed that the deceased died from “asphyxia and electrocution”.

In the charges filed on behalf of the state government by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Babajide Martins, who disclosed that their negligence killed Whitney because they failed to ensure her safety.

The charge also disclosed that they all acted in a reckless and negligent manner that endangered human life.

The offences are contrary to Sections 224 & 251 of the Criminal Law, C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015

If found guilty, the offences carry a penalty of life imprisonment and two-year jail terms respectively.

On Tuesday, the state government granted access to Chrisland High School, Opebi branch, to open for physical learning ahead of the school’s forthcoming examination after parents’ appeal.

The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu had ordered that the school be shut down on March 3, 2023, following the investigation into Whitney’s death.

Sanwo-Olu through the state Ministry of Education said the closure of the school would pave the way for unhindered investigation and afford all stakeholders, including parents, students, staff and friends of the deceased, time to grieve.

The reopening followed an appeal by the Parents of all Chrisland School Units who visited the Ministry of Education on Monday to seek the government’s understanding for “the sake of 500 plus students some of whom also have terminal examinations.”

The management of the school had tendered an apology over Whitney’s death.

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BREAKING: Abacha’s Ex-chief Of Staff Oladipo Diya Dies




Retired Lt.General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya, the former Chief of Staff in General Sani Abacha’s military government, is dead.

His death was confirmed by Prince Oyesinmilola Diya. He said the former military administrator of Ogun State passed on to glory in the early hours of 26th March 2023.

Born on the 3rd of April, 1944, Diya was military Governor of Ogun State after the Buhari-Idiagbon coup of December 31st, 1983.

Diya joined the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna and fought during the Nigerian Civil War.

He later attended the US Army School of Infantry, the Command and Staff College, Jaji (1980–1981) and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.

While serving in the military, Diya studied law at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he obtained an LLB degree, and then at the Nigerian Law School, where he was called to bar as Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

He held other top military posts like GOC, 82 Division and finally the Chief of General Staff (military Vice President) to Gen Sani Abacha

The statement read: “On behalf of the entire Diya family home and abroad; we announce the passing on to Glory of our dear Husband,Father, Grandfather,brother, Lt- General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya (Rtd) GCON, LLB, BL, PSC, FSS, mni.

“Our dear Daddy passed onto glory in the early hours of 26th March 2023. Please keep us in your prayers as we mourn his demise in this period. Further announcements will be made public in due course.

“Barrister Prince Oyesinmilola Diya, on behalf of the family.”

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Breaking: Appeal Court Retains Adeleke As Osun Governor



BREAKING: Adeleke Freezes Osun Accounts , Reverses Appointments After Swearing In As Governor
Governor Adeleke

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has vacated the tribunal judgement that nullified the election of Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State.

The appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of Justices, on Friday held that the appeal Adeleke lodged to challenge his sack by the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, was meritorious.

Aside from setting aside the judgement of the tribunal, the court, in its lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Mohammed Lawal, awarded N500, 000 cost against the All Progressive Congress, APC, and its candidate, Gboyega Oyetola

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