Woman Accused Of Witchcraft Petitions NHRC Panel - IReporteronline
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Woman Accused Of Witchcraft Petitions NHRC Panel

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The son of a woman accused of witchcraft has testified in Adamawa State about how his mother was subjected to “cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment” by her accusers.

Speaking at the panel of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) sitting in Yola, the son said that the accusation which started as a neighbourhood gossip was reinforced by a pastor who was later joined by some of his church members in abusing his mother.

The son who spoke in Hausa told the NHRC’s Special Investigation Panel on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), that things got out of hand one day when while in church, a pastor of the church said he had a vision that his mother was a witch.

He said the people in the church were also mentioning her name and saying she was the only one who could set them free.

“My mother was tortured, beaten to a stupor, injured, and stripped naked for alleged witchcraft, cultism, initiating children and some members of the community into witchcraft,” he said.

A witness before the panel, who reinforced the charge against the woman, said that she was responsible for the death of his father, his two brothers, and a cousin.

A lot of people from the community, including her blood brothers, were willing to testify that she was truly a witch.

The woman’s son, still not convinced, said his mother had been suffering stigmatization and harassments in the community for accusations she knew nothing about while urging the panel to intervene.

Tony Ojukwu, NHRC Executive Secretary, who doubles as the Chairman of the NHRC SGBV panel, told everyone present that according to the law of Adamawa State, anyone suspected of witchcraft or any perceived wrong should be handed over to the police and not paraded publicly or inflicted with any form of injury.

The panel ruled that the respondents be investigated for alleged false accusations and offences relating to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment of the victim.

The panel also said the accused woman would be investigated for alleged witchcraft under Section 187 of the Adamawa State Penal Code 2018.

The panel ruled that the sum of N300,000 be paid by the respondents to the victim for the cost of treatment incurred as a result of injuries inflicted on her by members of the community.

The panel indicated that the NHRC would make a formal complaint to the state commissioner of police to investigate the matter.

The witchcraft accusation case was one of 14 petitions officially scheduled before the NHRC panel which began sitting in Yola on Monday.

Proceedings were conducted in confidence, with names of individuals in the different cases kept out of public knowledge.

The NHRC SGBV panel sitting in Yola is a continuation of a nationwide exercise that has taken place in some other centres, including Kano, Lagos and Enugu.

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Group Advocates Ban On Open Grazing In Edo

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A Non-governmental organisation, New Nigeria Initiative (NNI), Wednesday, advocated a ban on open grazing to prevent herders and farmers clash in Edo.

The group said Edo and the entire country were being gripped by endemic brutality, untold cruelties and awful cycles of events arising from clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

President of the group, Mr Uwadiae Odigie, stated this when the group visited the state acting permanent secretary, state ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Peter Aikhuomobhogbe, in Benin .

According to him, “NNI had in the wake of these attacks in June, 2000 dropped a private bill titled:  “the Prohibition of cattle grazing” in the State House of Assembly.
“But, regrettably nothing came out of it and the result has been the reign of reckless bloodshed by  criminal herdsmen in the State.
“The unabated tragic drama mostly in Edo spurred us to re-introduced a modified version of the bill  to the Dtate House of Assembly.”
Responding, the acting permanent secretary said government was concerned about the security situation in the state.

Aikhuomobhogbe said, “Government is doing its best to ensure food security in the state. If the cattle continue to destroy farmlands, it will affect food security.”

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10 Former Nigerian Governors Linked With N30billion Properties In UK

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A new report has linked 10 former Nigerian governors to properties worth £56 million (about N30 billion) in the United Kingdom.

The report on illicit financial flow (IFF) from Nigeria to the UK and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also shows that 216 properties are owned by 13 law enforcement officers in the UAE.

The report was presented at a media roundtable organised by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre) in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation.

The identities of the former governors were not disclosed.

Dr. Gbenga Oduntan of the Kent Law School, University of Kent, UK presented the report titled, “Fixing Nigeria’s Illicit Financial Flows: A critical review of UK and UAE Policies, Laws and Practices.”

Commenting on the report, Chairman of HEDA, Olanrewaju Suraju, said funds stolen from Nigeria and taken to the UK and UAE were mind-boggling.

He noted that both countries have become enablers of illicit funds and stressed the need to challenge external collaborators aiding the flow of illicit funds out of Nigeria.

“We should make it difficult for people to take out the proceeds of crimes,” he said, adding that the UK and UAE should protect their systems from “those toxic resources.”

The HEDA Chairman noted that while over $50 billion is lost annually to illicit financial flow in Africa, Nigeria is the leading country in terms of IFF.

Stakeholders have however advocated for the creation of a tripartite anti-corruption task force for the three countries to stop the illicit financial flow.

Oduntan, who presented the research report, said apart from the huge amount of money illegally stashed abroad by politically exposed persons in Nigeria, $15 billion alone is lost to tax evasion by multinationals in Nigeria.

In addition, he said there is heavy under-invoicing between Nigeria and the UK, adding that fixing Nigeria’s illicit financial flow would require the destination countries to collaborate with Nigeria to shut down their systems against suspected proceeds of crimes.

However, he lamented that this is not the case, saying in the UAE, findings show that prosecution of money laundering cases is very low.

Source: Sahara Reporters

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JUST IN: Boko Haram Currently Attacking Borno Community

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Damasak, the headquarters of Mobbar Local Government Area of troubled Borno state has again come under Boko Haram attack on Wednesday afternoon, a security source told SaharaReporters.

The incident is the 8th attack on the community within a week, the source added.

Damasak is a border community with the Niger Republic north and is about 180 km drive from Maiduguri, the state capital.

The insurgents had on Tuesday evening invaded the community and wreaked havoc without confrontation.

The gunmen were reported to have razed the Divisional Police Command, schools, shops and residential houses as they hoisted their flags in strategic locations within the town.

On Saturday, the insurgents attacked the community, setting fire on United Nations facilities and forcing humanitarian workers to flee for their lives.

About three soldiers were shot dead by the gunmen while many persons were killed when a military jet that came to salvage the situation dropped a bomb that landed in a compound where civilians were having christening.

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