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Police: Bring To Justice Killers Of Mgboebuba Nwankwo In Enugu

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Dr Leo Igwe
By Leo Igwe

On January 26, an advocate sent a message to the Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) urging it to investigate a case of an alleged witch murder in Awgu in Enugu in Southern Nigeria. The message states: “Please investigate the allegation that a woman was killed as a suspected witch because her husband who lives abroad accused her of being the reason why he dares(sic) not return home anymore, suspected that she killed their son, and her daughter, suspected that she was the reason she could not attract a spouse. The proof of witchcraft was that she had a list of people who died in the village, a fact that is found in every home because people always kept a list of those they gave gifts to during funerals. The town is Awgu in Awgu Local Government of Enugu State, Nigeria. Your investigation may help to reeducate the villagers against witch-hunting”.

  AfAW is not a police agency but liaises with the police and other institutions to bring justice to the accused. Through its network, AfAW found out that this middle-aged woman, Agatha Mgboebuba Nwankwo, was accused of witchcraft and subsequently killed by a local mob. On January 5, one Silas Okolie made a  Facebook post on the incident: “Sad: Villagers disgrace woman caught with ‘voodoo’ item. The worst happened in Awgu in early 2022 as woman alleged to be perpetrating evil in the community was caught after an alarm was raised due to her ill actions. Stories have it that a paper was picked in her room that contained names of people she has allegedly dealt with and those she will still do including her daughters and new husband’s name. Lots of incriminating Items was(sic) found in her abode during a thorough search by the villagers. She was beaten mercilessly and sent to her creator. Parading someone (evil doer) in the market or roadside is the worst disgrace anybody will ever receive in Awgu, Enugu State. The evil man does must surely live with them”. 

   Unfortunately, some of the people who commented on the post supported the murder of this innocent woman. One said: “Thank you Lord for exposing her”; while another noted: “They said it was even her daughter that saw the snake inside a bowl of water with some juju under her bed, and some names she wrote in a sheet of paper including her daughter name and her new husband to be, that she is going to kill them next week, whenever she killed them she will mark it, there was a man from Awgu that was found dead on a palm tree last month, they said his name was also among the list…that was how she was exposed to the world by her daughter, but thank God she has been killed and thrown away to the bush. May God always protect his children.

  When contacted, Okolie confirmed that he made the post the same day that Agatha was murdered. But one of those who commented stated: “yes they killed her the day before yesterday”. Thus Agatha might have been murdered on January 3. Whether on January 3 or 5, this innocent woman is no more. The state police command and office of the National Human Rights Commission in Enugu have been contacted to look into the matter. Nobody has come forward to report the case. According to an informant the following persons need to be interrogated: Mr. Remijus Nwankwo – the husband in London can be interviewed by the investigators. His daughter, Chikwado Nwankwo was said to have found the alleged list. She was said to have been to a church that allegedly told her that her mother was responsible for her misfortunes and that she and the father of her four children were the ones who helped the villagers to discover that the mother and grandmother were the witches causing problems. Mark Chukwuino was alleged by the husband to be his uncle who sent him similar lists. Emmanuel Nwankwo Mba is the uncle of the woman alleged to have suspected that she also killed his wife with witchcraft and must have seen her attackers because she was allegedly killed near his home.

  As an informant explained: “I have just spoken to a relative who told me that he suspected his uncle, Mr. Mark Chukwuino, as the instigator because he had been threatening his wife. According to him, the uncle recently sent him a list of dead enemies allegedly compiled by his wife but it was typewritten and so no way to prove that his wife compiled such a list. The uncle then sent another handwritten list but it was not in his wife’s handwriting. He asked the wife to leave the family home and go and stay in a hotel for a while but she told him that no one runs away from his father’s compound. The uncle then phoned and threatened to send ‘ndu ogba ozi’ or messengers to force her out if she did not leave. He said that someone later sent him a video of how some people broke into his house and dragged his wife out and beat her to death. He promised to forward the video to me and I will forward it to you as soon as I receive it. I asked him if he has reported the murder to the police and he said that I must know how the police work in Naija. I do not know what he means by that but I know that it is believed to be an abomination for a family member to invite the police in matters that involve other family members. He said that he had been ill since he returned from a visit home last year but that he is better now and is working to save for his airfare back home to see what he can do”. 

   Both the police and the NHRC offices in Enugu have asked anyone who knew about the case to come forward and lodge a complaint. Almost three months after this horrific murder, nobody has come to report the case. If nothing is done to investigate the case, this grievous crime will fizzle out. Nobody will be punished. But all advocates should not allow this to happen. According to an informant, no one has come forward to lodge a complaint because most people in the community thought the woman was a witch and the punishment was in order. Others are afraid of their  lives and safety. A member of the community who was contacted regarding the case said: “Mgboebuba lili amosu laegbuishi ndu ibe ayi. Ive ogbulu egbu kalikwalu. Shite la eka ada e nwayi (‘Chikwado’ la di e) o kelu igbuko ka eshilu chofuta ive o la eme. Ndu Awgu lo daide juwe ive oji egbushi ndu eka va du ucha, ya shi lo ndu ino e ive ya legbu. Eva ndu o kalaeke igbukwe kaligbukwelu. O gbuagakwalu madu, kalegbukwe tufu adaide. Eva mpam la mmam, okeke kele la nwae nwoke, onyebuchi adae nwayi la nwae dukota la ekwukwo ndu o gbugolu egbu. Oo ndu Awgu jikolu eka kpufute la orie Awgu, megbuo akaje, kpuluihia bia la uhumbele ezi nnae lo tigbuo ye, palu ozue ga gbavuo la ejo ovia du la nduegu ululor. (“Mgboebuba ate witchcraft and was killing our people. The number she killed was a lot. Through the efforts of her daughter (‘Chikwado’ and her husband) whom she was preparing to kill too, that was how it was discovered what she was doing. Awgu people caught her and questioned why she was killing innocent people who have clean hands, she said that her enemies were the ones that she killed. The names of the people she was preparing to kill were numerous. She had killed too many people and was going to kill more before she was caught. My father and mother, Okeke Kele and his son, Onyebuchi, his daughter, and his grandchild were among the names found in the book of the people she had killed. The people of Awgu joined hands to drag her to Orie Awgu marketplace, mocked her, dragged her to her father’s compound in Obugo village, and beat her to death, then they carried her corpse and threw it away in the evil forest at the farm settlement of her husband’s village, Ululor”).

  The informant said that the deceased refused to reveal the names of others who were suspected to be in her ‘witch’ group. Hence they killed her. The state police command in Enugu should rise to the occasion and take all necessary measures to investigate the murder of Agatha Mgboebuba Nwankwo from Awgu and bring to justice all those who carried out this horrific crime.
 
 

 

 

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Opinion

Readers’ Showers Of Encouragement

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Readers’ Showers Of Encouragement

By Tony Afejuku
It is time for me to wake up in the New Year in my waking mind to catch the pictures of the unseen and seen inhabitants who help to make this column the stuff of dreams. These inhabitants are my readers whose words see me any time they come to me or are called up by music of words, showers of encouragement, that help to seize and define the column.
My readers help me to see and feel the beauty and truth, ever bright, ever potent, ever lovely, in the things I set my mind to all the times it tip-toes to the rosy sky with its lure of some-thingness. I quote now select readers:

On ASUU and the “conquistadors.”
Professor Ademola Da Sylva
TA, our TA! Your resilience is amazing, your uncommon focused energy and optimism have continued, so far, to serve as essential fuel that keeps the ASUU collective struggle steadily on course, and very assuredly to the expected end. There are tricksters and there are tricksters: when a trickster-character attempts to make a society worse than he meets it, the trickster always ends up unwittingly, burning its own boat! Ditto the Speaker of HoR under reference, a chief trickster indeed, and his current ruling Party. No country’s leadership treats its academics this shabbily and disdainfully with impunity without serious short-term and long-term repercussions. Any further delay on the part of the society in taking decisive actions against these clowns and self-styled “conquistadors” could lead to a permanent and further irreparable damage to Nigerians’ warped psyche, and any meaningful development in the country. TA, the payback time is surely nigh. Cheers.

Professor Ademola Da Sylva
TA, our TA, ageless and timeless! When this current ASUU struggle shall be over, predictably victoriously, and hopefully pretty soon, either the principalities in the current government like it, or not, your adorable portrait, and name written in bold gold, shall surely adorn a conspicuous place in the nation’s Hall of Fame!; but the tricksters, interlopers, who constitute themselves, lately into a bunch of elitist-Boko Haramists, shall similarly have their names in the nation’s Hall of Shame! Kudos for an essay well thought out, and lucidly crafted! My 2 Kobo appreciation! Cheers.

Professor Ibrahim Bello-Kano
Ha! Ha! Ha! You nailed the imbeciles once more. You’re quietly gathering a reputation as the Jonathan Swift of terrorist academic journalism or is it you as the columnist-academic-Professor terrorist? A student of mine said sometime ago that he would soon begin imitating your writing style. I told him in response that he should wait until he has mastered the language well enough. It’s not easy for a PG student to imitate a Professor!

Anonymous Reader
Dear Mr. Afejuku, good morning. I am always eager to read your write ups. You are among the three highly rated journalists in this country. I have learnt so much from you in both content and form. I am an Associate Professor in the Arts Faculty in UNICAL. Keep feeding our brains and minds with your grip of the language, your knowledge and your expertise in journalism. God bless you immeasurably. The unfortunate thing is that you are speaking to minds that are depraved and have been inhabited by demons. Demons know nothing but wickedness and oppression. However, there’s always a day of reckoning, where the chicken will always come home to roost. Thank you profusely, Sir. Accept the expression of my esteemed regards. Have a useful and fruitful week ahead, while I await your next write up, Sir.

READ ALSO: Pele: World King Of Football Had Warri Ancestry

A Reader from the Diaspora
Good afternoon, my dear Brother. Thanks for your usually brilliant piece. It is obvious that the intent of the Buhari administration is to drop the ASUU file for its successor. Perhaps a bilateral conversion with each of the leading presidential candidates should be considered. Have a Blessed day and weekend.

Anonymous Reader
Good morning, Sir. I appreciate your thoughtful article on the trickster beggars, and I love the inclusion of the allegories from the erstwhile FIFA World Cup, where professionals behaved like true professionals, upholding the integrity of the game by employing the best human and electronic resources to get the best out of the game. In our national climate, the different interest groups and personages in government and not in government, who begged ASUU to call off or suspend the strike, suddenly went mute. Even press and media personages involved in the begging charade are now fully engrossed in the flimsy stories of distraction created by the CBN sector and the Naira. The courts, which were employed by the FGN to force the lecturers to pick up their chalk by force, have ceased from advocating for the truth regarding the debilitating decay in the educational segment. A handful of those columnists, like you, who maintained a respectful distance and wrote about it truthfully, decently, genuinely, are now vindicated for writing objectively and absorbingly about the subject of begging and taking a stand. CONUA or whatever the alleged traitors of academics are called, are allowing themselves to be used to be playing a nauseating game against their mother union and colleagues.
SSANU members did not get their due for listening to the beggars. Now we are all waiting… Waiting… waiting…, while the present administration prepares for their swan song by inflicting financial pains on the populace with un-thoughtful money policies.

On Pele: World King of Football
Professor Owojecho Omoha:
Were you there at the invention moments of capture theory? You theorize the admiration of King Pele to recapture the attention of the world on coach Izilien. This vibrancy of your memory lives in poets, and only poets memorably work passionately to capture the attention of readers, the way you do, Afejuku. The year has begun with your poetry. Hold further passionate lyrics till you capture the attention of the world on Nigeria, when Coach Izilien and the rest of us shall dance gracefully turning backs on the criminals in February. This happiness makes greater sense, when you shall turn the attention of the world on Nigerians who survive the dark years in our history.

On Pele’s Warri ancestry
Professor Owojecho Omoha
A true African writer must be traditional in spite of the burden of modernity, from the ancestry, and again, back to the traditions that we know. This piece scores high on both points.

Suyi Ayodele
Passion and passionate passion! Now to our Waffi enclave. Pele was a Waffi Boy? This is a bad suspense and only a poet does that! I have started counting the day, to next Friday! Good morning, Sir.

Suyi Ayodele (On Pele’s Warri ancestry)
Nobody, I repeat, nobody can dispute those revelations. I sat in divination sessions with my late uncle. Reading this piece brought back graphic images of those times. The Ifa priest was right, is right and will eternally be right. This is one of your best I have ever read. How did we abandon that plain religion, IFA? And about your younger brother, pity that you folks did not do what Ifa prescribed. It is always like that with Ifa, the Atori Eni ti o suhan se (The repairer of humanity). I would have personally ‘bewitched’ you if you have not written this! VINTAGE AFEJUKU!!!!!

READ ALSO: Pele: Coach Izilien Revises His Memory

Professor Olu Obafemi (On Pele’s Warri ancestry)
This is a very fascinating treatise, especially because of its crisscross transcendent of the abstractive ineffable to the physical/archaeological referents. The narrative’s rhetorical strategy is suspenseful with the capacity to provoke insatiable yearnings for the remit of the story. These days Africans in the Diaspora are Evoking DNA identity/Descent retrieval. Unfortunately, Pele has left.

Professor Sony Awhefeada (On Pele’s Warri Ancestry)
This is thoughtful, enriching and instructive. I wish you published this when Pele was alive he would have come home. And how is your younger brother now? I am really moved.

Nonso, Owerri resident (On Pele’s Warri ancestry)
Good evening, Afejuku. I am totally intrigued by your write up on Pele’s Warri ancestry. I am enchanted with the eloquence of your pen that glides through the white sheet of paper and the attendant satisfaction that gladdened my heart to have stumbled upon this great literary work. Allow me to say that the article is un-putdown-able and the accuracy of the Divine revelation of the Ifa Priest should be announced to the world. Who knows? Or may-be Pele’s offspring may be interested in knowing the tree they were carved from … Thank you for the great work.

Professor Dan Chima Amadi (On Pele’s Warri ancestry)
Good, good historical touch. I could not stop.

Roland Uyimulam Aleshi, from Calabar (On Pele’s Warri ancestry)
Greetings, Mr. Afejuku, I read your well researched write-up on Pele’s Warri ancestry. You impressed me a lot with useful information and updates on Pele’s Warri ancestry ties. Well done.

READ ALSO: On Pele’s Warri Ancestry

Professor Mabel Evwierhoma (On Pele’s Warri ancestry)
I agree (from personal experience) that the art of divination is a means of finding out deep truths. We could know more, from such researches, but how can they be untainted by the factors of selectivity and monetary inducements? – May we know that which will not lead to perdition.

What do I say other than to thank my readers and readers, listed and un-listed, whose words charm me beyond any measurable afflatus? My nib gives applause to your lovely music of words – whose peroration I charm myself to let be.
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.

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Opinion

BREAKING: Gbajabiamila Threatens To Arrest Emefiele Over Old Naira Notes’ Deadline

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BREAKING: Gbajabiamila Threatens To Arrest Emefiele Over Old Naira Notes' Deadline

Five days to the deadline for the old naira notes to cease being valid, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele is still in trouble over the policy.

House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila on Thursday threatened to order the arrest of Emefiele to appear before the committee investigating the old naira notes withdrawal.

Gbajabiamila said this on Thursday after the Majority Leader of the House, Ado Doguwa informed him that Emefiele and others shunned the invitation to a meeting on Wednesday.

Responding to the statement, Gbajabiamila said he would not hesitate to order the Inspector General of Police, Akali Baba to issue an arrest warrant to compel Emefiele to appear before the committee.

READ  ALSO: Old Naira Notes Deadline Stays – Emefiele

Gbajabiamila added that the House ought to adjourn today to prepare for the elections, however, they will stay back to resolve the currency swap crisis.

“I will, pursuant to the authority conferred by Section 89 (1)(d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Order 19 (2)(1) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, not hesitate to issue a warrant to the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police Force to compel the attendance of the CBN or Managing Directors who fail, refuse or neglect to respond to the summons by the House of Representatives,” he said.

He also stated that Emefiele’s deadline is not consistent with section 20 of the CBN Act, noting that the banks are compelled to accept the old notes even after the expiration of the deadline.

The Presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, who is believed to be The Godfather of Gbajabiamila, also spoke against the policy on Thursday during a rally.

Tinubu alleged that the policy is targeted at his presidential ambition.

 

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Opinion

You don blow!

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You don blow!

By Toyin Falola
My name is Toyin Falola, and I am an active member of the Association of Nigerian Pregnant Men (ANPM). We eat and drink every evening at our clubhouse. You can tell from the size of my stomach that I don blow. The Secretary of ANPM, a chief with a stomach twice as big as mine, don blow pass me. He is well connected that he can invite ten governors in the country to attend our annual gala. Men who don blow, as well as elegant don blow first ladies, honour us. Their drivers sit inside their cars, praying to become like us while they receive free AC to calm their bodies wey too dey hot. The Secretary and I look smallish than our Vice-President, who finds it difficult to climb into his jeep because he don blow well well.

Our President, our Oga patapata at the top, lives in affluence. I don’t know why I am afraid of him. He too get power! Plenty plenty power!! Whenever the President falls asleep, small girls steal from his wallet, and he does not even notice it. Sometimes I fear for the girls. What if one of them gets unlucky one day, and Oga wakes up to catch her in the act? But the girls seem not to send. They want a way out of their sapa situation. They steal from magas like my President, use the money to finance their japa plans, then some weeks after they get to the abroad, they post pictures on social media, and a barrage of comments follow: See as you fresh like today bread! Omo, you don blow!

If you are not a street guy like me or unfamiliar with the language of the street and slang, you might find all the slang phrases in the preceding paragraphs unusual. Communication and language are two interdependent concepts that hardly exist separately. Language is ineffective if it cannot communicate with another person. The indigenous languages of the regions that subsequently became Nigeria are very different from what the colonialists imagined them to be. The notion that Africa was a “dark continent” before European contact has been refuted and proven false by scholars and through our cultural developments even after independence. Before colonialism, Africans were not only able to communicate, but they also used complex languages to interact with one another and with events.

READ  ALSO: US Imposes Visa Restrictions On Nigerians Undermining Democracy

However, culture is not static, and one of its characteristics is the capacity to adapt to new situations and times. For context, words are borrowed from one language into another. For example, the Yoruba call onions alubosa, a Hausa word. The creation of Pidgin English, which deviates from the native English language and is increasingly common in other Anglophone-speaking West African countries, might be attributed to acculturation and the desire to improve communication and make languages simpler.

Even though the term “you don blow” is derived from the English language, it can be used in various contexts. Three words, three ideas. The pronoun “you” is used to directly address the listener or refer to individuals in general. The word “don” can be used in the present, past, or future tenses in pidgin English to replace the words “have, had, or has.” Examples are I don go (I have gone) and I don chop (I have eaten). The last word in the phrase You don blow can refer to either expanding air from one’s mouth or destruction by an explosion.

Nigeria boasts of an abundance of highly skilled and noteworthy people. The country is recognized as a talent hotspot in many spheres of human endeavour, including entertainment. Despite the challenging circumstances militating against young and brilliant individuals and inadequate leadership and infrastructure for nurturing such talents and people to develop and build the nation, Nigerian youth have been breaking through to international spotlights. These exceptional ones work as hard as they can with the limited resources at their disposal to achieve success and greatness, and when they finally do, dem don blow.

READ ALSO: Victor Ekpuk In Conversation With Prince Yemisi Shyllon

Let me further take you there. If someone says to you on the street, You don blow, it can be for various reasons. For those of us who are street kings, the first thing that will come to mind is that we have succeeded, and are now famous, trending, or the rave of the moment. This is well-versed in the entertainment field. Being famous or trending in the entertainment industry is associated with wealth and success due to the perks that come with it, such as sponsorship deals and money from social media engagements. Therefore, when an entertainer from a lowly background becomes well-known, he don blow. Olamide Adedeji, better known by his stage name “Badoo”, is a Nigerian rap artiste born and raised in Bariga, Lagos. He is just one example of a musician who has succeeded and become a global name despite coming from a lowly background. When next you see Don Jazzy, Badoo, Davido, Wizkid, and Burnaboy, greet them well well as dem don blow pass you.

Do you know some people believe you can hardly blow in the village? This is why people who live in rural or village settings find all means necessary to move to the big cities, even if they have to live in the “trenches” before they blow. The population of Nigeria’s major cities, such as Lagos, has exploded because many people, especially young Nigerians, believe that moving to an urban area is the first indication of success or achievement. Blow.

Another strategy that Nigerians believe will help them blow is to japa, our new alubarika. Due to the widespread problems affecting the country, such as unemployment, insecurity, and financial hardship, Nigeria is facing a brain drain in all sectors as young and older people emigrate. As a street person, you might think someone don blow if you hear they have relocated abroad or have gone to study abroad. Japa can make you blow, even bloat you! If you can successfully navigate the immigration process to leave the country, you’re good to go. Two months after you land in Saskatchewan or Houston, you have acquired a Highlander. Take many photos and post them on Facebook, include some Instagram videos or jump on some Tiktok trends, and you don blow!

You can blow a matter with your big mouth. This indicates that a secret has been revealed or that more people are now aware of an issue that only a few people were meant to be privy to. If such happens, it means the matter don blow. To blow in academia is to become a big brand and a well-established scholar, winning grants and carving a niche for yourself in research and other academic engagements. Professor don blow. If you become a Vice-Chancellor, you don blow pass all others! Shey VC wa kere ni!?

READ  ALSO: Shanty Town: Mike Bamiloye Hits Hard At Nollywood Actors

However, to blow in Nigeria, you need “grace”, which has been attributed to providence or blessings from God. Even if dem cut soap for you, you fit no blow if babu grace. In such a situation, keep at your hustle and be grateful for each day because, as Asake sang in “Dupe”, “cause you no get today no mean e too far” (https://youtu.be/sWj-zEuH4Lg) . Relax, you sef go soon blow, and when you do, just play over and over Kizz Daniel’s “RTID” for thanksgiving: https://youtu.be/ElgKinpsqYI.

Falola is a Nigerian historian and professor of African Studies. He is currently the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin.

 

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