Witchcraft has existed in Africa from time immemorial even if it cannot be proven by science.
Nigeria being the most populous black nation in the world is replete with many cases of such spiritual controversy. Allegation of witchcraft abound in all manner of places, even the home is not left out from such a plague, Blessing Ukemena writes.
The home is a place where one is supposed to feel safe, however many people fear their own home, literally. A lot of people go to court to seek divorce to their marriage for a number of reasons ranging from infidelity, battery and assault to neglect but it becomes very interesting when the reason for divorce is witchcraft. This was the case between Peter Imabong and his wife. The case came up for hearing on May 16, 2013, at the Upper Area Court , Mararaba, Gurku, Nassarawa State.
Mr Peter took his wife of to court and demanded that the court grant him divorce. He explained that he was no longer in love with his wife and that there was no reason to remain married to her. He claimed that his wife was a witch. On her part, his wife, Eginma Imabong told the court that she does not want to divorce her husband, “my faith tells me that marriage is a covenant and not a contract so I do not want to divorce him. If he is tired of the marriage he should take me back to my parents who gave me to him in marriage.” When Mr Peter was asked why he wanted to divorce, he said that he was no longer interested in the marriage. He told the court that they had been married since 2007 and they have had no children and that recently his wife has been asking him to sleep behind her on their matrimonial bed. “Where I come from it is wrong for a man to lie behind a woman. So I always refused to do it and then the next morning I will wake up to find myself on the floor. If I ask her why I am on the floor she will retort, ‘did I not tell you to sleep behind me?’,” this has happened more than once and I cannot take it anymore”, Peter said.
He also stated that although they are Christians, he does not attend the same church with his wife as he did not believe in the practice of her church. He told of another instance where he was sitting in his parlour one day when an unseen force came to hit him on the left shoulder. He had to go to the hospital because of the resultant pain and the hospital could not do anything about it. Then he had to resort to herbal medicine. He brought the herbal medicine home and was using it but when his wife saw it she took it to her church and spoilt it. She then returned home and told him that his medicine will not work.
In her defense, Eginma told the court that it was not true. She said that she did not know what carries him to the floor, “I told him that we need to pray about the situation, I just said that he should stay behind me so that I will see that spirit that will come and carry him across me and put him on the floor.” Eginma told the court that her husband had moved out of the house since February 27, 2013 and has refused to come back.
After hearing the testimony of the wife, the presiding Judge W.V. Ghahemba adjourned the case to June 25, 2013 for judgment.
In Nigeria, cases of the use of witchcraft have become common place. And this happens despite the fact that Nigeria is a secular society.