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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 March, 2005, 16:17 GMT
Hanging for Nigeria ritual murder
Traditional healer
Belief in witchcraft and charms is common across Nigeria
A Nigerian man who killed his friend in central Plateau state to sell his body parts for ritual witchcraft purposes has been sentenced to death by hanging.

Jacob Wakfan, 35, confessed to luring his victim into the bush and stabbing him and removing his penis and tongue.

"The convict's desire to make quick money led him to commit this heinous and treacherous act," judge Felicia Dusu said, AFP news agency reports.

Belief in witchcraft or "juju" is widespread in Nigeria.

According to the BBC's Yusuf Sarki Muhammad in Abuja, despite condemnation of traditional ritual killings, they are common across the country - in the Muslim north and the Christian south.

Last week, police in the south-western city of Ibadan found three headless bodies in what they suspect are ritual killing murders.

Traditional healers are widely consulted for cures of various ailments and magical powers to protect their clients from a wide range of misfortunes, or to bring good luck.

In some traditional practices, human body parts are used to make the charms more powerful.

Plight of Nigerian 'wizard' boy
11 Sep 03 |  Africa
Country profile: Nigeria
17 Dec 03 |  Country profiles

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