Ebonyi community banishes native doctor for making charms for criminals

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Uba Group

BY AGNES NWORIE, ABAKALIKI

It was a dramatic scene at Onuoji Village, Ezza Umuhuali in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, recently, as residents of the community expelled a popular native doctor, Monday Nwogbaga, from their midst.

Two residents of the community, Mathew Nwanga and Peter Nzogbu, alleged that the 40-year-old herbalist was preparing protective charms that could make criminals invincible and difficult to overpower.

They explained that Nwogbaga, who hails from Azungele in Izzi Local Government Area of the state, had taken shelter in the home of one Emmanuel Otubo in Onuoji Village, Umuhuali for about a month with his wife, Ngozi and five children.

According to them, Nwogbaga, who earlier claimed that he had cure for all ailments, was recently discovered to be arming some youths with charms, including the popular ‘Odieshi,’ an amulet to prevent bullets and other metal objects from penetrating the body of whoever wears it.

They claimed that shortly after the man’s arrival to the area, he exhibited some strange acts in a beer parlour, owned by one Egbelegu at the Nwankwo Market Square.

His mystical power was said to have attracted an army of youths who became his followers in the community.

According to Nwanga and Nzogbu, various persons, including politicians and youths from Umuhuali and Nkalagu communities, were at a place drinking when the stranger came and removed his footwear and walked round the bush bar.

Later, he allegedly went inside and shook hands with those at the drinking joint, including the Chief Security Officer of the town, Nzogbu Stanley, whom they said, called the man to question on his mission.

Having become suspicious of him, they allegedly began to monitor his activities. Those who were assigned to keep watch on his activities at his residence were said to have reported that he was a native doctor.

They alleged that they found out that Nwogbaga was hired by a rival beer seller to perform some rituals that would draw customers’ attention to his shop while his competitor’s joint runs down.

It was gathered that on the next day, some enraged youths from Onuoji Village invaded the herbalist’s house and forcefully took his charms and idols to the security agents. This, they said, led to his expulsion to Eha-Amufu.

Items that were said to have been recovered from his house included bundles of herbs, charms made with iron and wood, two large wooden masks and a plastic doll. Others were seven small coffins (caskets), small clay pots and calabashes painted with blood and feathers, with pictures of his clients and portions of black powder.

Upon interrogation, the suspected native doctor said that the small coffins were brought to him by a trader from Onitsha, Anambra State, who needed his service to make wealth.

He admitted that he prepared the ‘Odighieshi’ charm for one of the villagers whose name he did not disclose while claiming people from neighbouring villages had come to procure the same type of charm from him.

Investigation showed that he was, at different times in the past, banished from Bondel, Nkalagu, in Ishielu Local Government Areas. It was found that the suspect had also been banished from his father’s compound at Azungele Village in Izzi.

Our correspondent learnt that his expulsion from Nkalagu, early in May, this year, led to his relocation to Umuhuali community.

His wife, Ngozi, confirmed that her husband’s vocation had led him to trouble on many occasions. She added that the family had been brought to disrepute.
She claimed that on several occasions, she had urged him to discontinue engaging in fetish practices but to no avail.

Before sending Nwogbana out of the community, he was reportedly subjected to intense torture. For instance, he was said to have been forced to lick some strange black powder and to also drink some lethal concoctions.

The villagers also reportedly penalised his former landlord for accommodating him in his house, warning him that, henceforth, the village heads must approve of whoever comes to live in his house.

As of the time of filing this report, the whereabouts of Nwogbaga and his family members was not known.