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



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

As the world observes the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) has highlighted the predicament of victims and survivors of torture linked to witchcraft accusations and witch persecutions in Africa.

According to a statement by Dr. Leo Igwe of AfAW, the ill treatment of imputed witches has been ignored mainly due to the misconception that witchcraft accusation fulfills socially stabilizing need and value in the region.

He said: “People treat persons accused of harming family, and community members without compassion. Witch hunters, often traditional priests, pastors, and other self-acclaimed occult experts subject alleged witches to inhuman and degrading treatment.

“Alleged witches are maltreated and tortured to revenge the harm supposedly inflicted on their victims. In this case, they make alleged witches to feel, suffer and experience exact pain or worse injury than their supposed victims. Persons accused of witchcraft are also subjected to cruel treatment and coerced to confess to the alleged offense. It is pertinent to note that alleged witches often deny the imputed crime. So accusers torture them until they admit guilt. To elicit confessions, witch finders give alleged witches some health-damaging potion or substance to drink. The potion makes them hallucinate and confess to committing the said offense. In addition, pastors, traditional healers, and other witch hunters torture alleged witches to exorcise or disable the spirit of witchcraft. They perpetrate this torture as a service for the family or community.

“Victims of torture linked to witchcraft accusations include men, women, and children. However, women, children and the elderly constitute the majority of victims. The ill-treatment of alleged witches takes place behind family walls, at local churches, faith clinics, deliverance centres, shrines, and public squares. Torture linked to witchcraft beliefs ranges from beating, flogging, pelting with stones, starvation, machete and blade cuts, choking with broomsticks, isolation, banishment, burning with fire, driving a nail into the head of the accused, inserting a stick into the anus, tying a rope around the neck and dragging them along the streets, other forms of physical and psychological abuse. “Those who torture alleged witches deny them their dignity with impunity. Witch hunters violate the humanity of the accused. They use religion, culture, or tradition to justify and sanctify their vile and criminal acts.”

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

AfAW urged African countries to dismantle all structures and systems that enable torture and degrading treatment of alleged witches.

“Organizations that campaign against torture should recognize and mainstream the inhuman punishment of alleged witches in their programs. African governments should ensure that torturers of accused persons are held accountable and responsible; they should not allow torturers to get away with their crimes. African states should provide support and rehabilitation programs for victims and survivors of torture linked to witchcraft beliefs in the region. Governments should ensure that survivors transition from their traumatic and horrifying experiences to healing”, he added.


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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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BREAKING: PDP Suspends Anyim, Fayose



Anyim and Fayose

Former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; former president of the Senate, Pius Anyim; Prof Dennis Ityavyar and Aslam Aliyu were on Thursday suspended from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

The PDP made the suspension on Thursday after an extensive review of the affairs of the party, pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017).

The PDP also referred the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, to the National Disciplinary Committee over his reported involvement in anti-party activities.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba.

“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time,” the statement added.


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