At the time there are bad road conditions and lack of adequate school facility, the citizens of Old Yourpea in the Kparblee District have spent about half million Liberian dollars to prosecute alleged witchcraft through a trial by ordeal conducted in the town recently.
According to Mr. Franglay Mator, the citizens of Old Yourpea said those who are backing the trial by ordeal and the accused had spent about L$ 410, 000 to witch doctors they hired from the Ivory Coast.
He added that the Yourpea citizens residing in Monrovia also contributed the amount of L$ 17,000 towards the trial.
He also explained that the youth of the town had also collected the sum of L$50, 700 to enhance the trial while the amount of L$ 17, 000 as debt needs to be paid to the witch doctors.
Mr. Mator who is the District Educational Officer/DEO of the area said school activities came to a halt for two weeks, adding that at present the trial is still ongoing under cover.
“They forced the 96 accused witchcrafts to paid L$ 3000 each under the pretext that if they did not paid these amount and confess they will died,” he nodded.
“As I speak to you the trial is going on under cover despite the recent government intervention,” he added.
“I Wonder why the citizens would used such huge money on witchcraft activity when we don’t even have better road and good school facility in the town,” he asserted.
Recently the government intervened by arresting some witch doctors, who were later taken to Tappita but it seems like the arrest has not served as a deterrent.
Source told this paper that the youth of the town are soliciting funds to obtain legal backing from government through the Ministry of Internal Affairs to carry on the trial.
According to the source, the issue surrounding the trial by ordeal started when a Monrovia based girl visiting the area claimed she had a dream in which she saw a man standing by an intersection in the town with a list of individuals.
She narrated the dream further by saying on the list were names and as they called the names, the individuals whose manes had been called were ordered to go strict to the grave yard.
The girl, the source continued, said in the same dream she was told that the town should fast and pray to prevent the dream from becoming a reality.
The source said it was based on this dream that the youth decided to bring/hire witch doctors to take witch craft from the town.
Old Yourpea is located in the Kparblee District, Nimba County. The road condition in the district is very poor as well as school and health facilities.
Presently, the bridge linking Old Yourpea and Beatuo has broken down posing hardship to movement between the two sister towns. The trial by ordeal had been going on in the district for some months.
When contacted the Statutory Superintendent of Tappita District, Mr. Manbiah Vanmore said the issue surrounding the witchcraft activities had been dealt with. He said those involved in torturing people were arrested and taken to Tappita City, charged and sent to court.
When they were sent to court, some citizens from the Kparblee withdrew the case for home settlement. They also promised to restitute the money collected from the alleged witchcrafts.
“As far as I am concern, the situation had been dealt with. If anything is going on then it is not to my knowledge,” said Mr. Vanmore.
“If anyone wants to prosecute somebody for being a witch or wizard they should obtain a legal document from the Ministry of Internal Affairs,” he added.
In November, the citizens of Behwalay town accused Mr. Hilton Taylor Barjolo of killing his daughter, Alice Barjolo who got drown in the Cestor River while going to the Ivory Coast.
The citizens of Behwalay arrested Mr. Hilton Taylor Barjolo, the father of the deceased girl and accused him of killing his own child through witchcraft.
They took him in the town, stripped him naked, and wasted pepper water all over his body; say his son William Kon Craty Blai of the USA in a letter written to Mr. Vanmore as a complained.
Meanwhile; the family of the accused is calling on the government to put a halt to all the trial by ordeal activities to avoid further violent confrontation among the citizens.