Witchcraft Eradicator Sues British Humanist Association For Half A Billion Dollars
THE British Humanist Association has a court case looming:
The British Humanist Association (BHA) and Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network (WHRIN) are being sued by the wealthy evangelical preacher and ‘witch hunter’ Helen Ukpabio who has dubbed herself a ‘Lady Apostle’. Mrs Ukpabio claims to have expertise in identifying children and adults who are possessed with witchcraft spirits and in how they can be ‘delivered’ from those spirits. Her lawyers have informed the BHA and WHRIN that she is launching a legal case against them due to their criticism of her teachings and methods.
…Her legal case against the BHA is based on Mrs Ukpabio’s stating that she wrote that a child ‘under the age of two’ who is ‘possessed with black, red and vampire witchcraft spirits’ can be identified by features such as s/he ‘screams at night, cries, is always feverish, suddenly deteriorates in health, puts up an attitude of fear, and may not feed very well.’ Her teachings are to the effect that babies under the age of two who exhibit signs of illness or standard, entirely normal childhood behaviour (such as crying, not feeding well, screaming at night, having a fever) may be possessed by vampire witchcraft spirits. She also teaches that children who stamp their feet may be ‘trying to make signs… to communicate with gnomes, the witchcraft spirit in charge of the earth.’ Ukpabio claims that the BHA misrepresented her by saying that she ascribed these symptoms to Satanic possession and hence has damaged her reputation and livelihood to the sum of half a billion pounds.
In 2009, Helen Ukpabio was upset by Leo Igwe, who had featured on the UK Channel 4 documentary Return to Africa’s Witch Children as a supporter of children who have been stigmatized as witches by evangelists in Nigeria:
Reason, Justice and Human Rights Will Prevail
A Press Statement For Immediate release
I have been informed that Helen Ukpabio of the Liberty Gospel Church in Nigeria has sued me to court. She joined in the suit-the Goverment of Akwa Ibom state, Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police of Cross River State, Sam Ituama, Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network, and Gary Foxcroft of Stepping Stones Nigeria. The case came up for hearing on November 4 2009. It was adjourned to November 17, but the court did not sit. Now the case will come up on December 17 for hearing.
Helen applied to the Federal High Court in Calabar for the enforcement of her fundamental rights. She claimed, among other things,that the conference on Witchcraft and Child Rights, held on July 29 in Calabar – which her members disrupted- and the arrest of her church members on the said date constituted an infringement on their rights to practice their christian religious belief relating to witchcraft. She asked the court to issue perpetual injunctions restraining me and others –
From interfering with their practice of christianity and their deliverance of people with witchcraft spirit.
From holding seminars or workshops denouncing the christian religious belief in witchcraft
From arresting her and her church members etc.
Helen asked the court to order that I, the Akwa Ibom state government, Sam Ituama, CRARN and Gary Foxcroft pay her 200,000,000.000.00(two hundred billion) naira(800. 000 dollars) as damages for unlawful and unconstitutional infringement on her rights to belief in God, Satan, witchcraft, Heaven and Hell fire and for unlawful and unconstitutional detention of her two church members.
Helen used a copy of the welcome address in my bag which her members made away with on July 29 and an article by Dr Olusegun Fakoya among others as exhibits.
…She should be ready to pay damages to thousands of children who have been tortured, traumatized, abused and abandoned as a result of her misguided ministry. Helen should be ready to pay for the damage she has done to many homes and households across Nigeria.
…So, whatever the mischief this vicious woman and her rag tag ministry are planning, I am convinced that at the end of the day, reason, justice and human rights will prevail.
Leo Igwe, Ibadan, Nigeria
Good news for the humanists wodnering about raising that half a billion dollars in compensation:
A press release from Leo Igwe:
For immediate release February 4 2010
Helen Ukpbabio: Court Strikes out Case against Child Rights Campaigners
Today the Federal High Court in Calabar struck out the case brought against me and other child rights campaigners including the government of Akwa Ibom state by Helen Ukpabio and other members of the Liberty Gospel Church. In November Helen and some of her church members went to court seeking to enforce their rights to believe in God, Satan and witchcraft. They claimed that the seminars and conferences organised in Nigeria by the Nigerian Humanist Movement and other child rights groups to tackle witchcraft related abuses infringed on their rights to spread the gospel. They asked the court to order us to pay them two hundred billion naira(I.3 billion dollars) as damages for unlawful and unconstitutional infringement of their rights.
For the second, Helen and her lawyers were not in court. So the lawyer leading the defence team, Barrister Madaki asked the court to strike out the case due lack of diligent prosecution. And the court granted his request.
The striking out of this case is a welcome development. It is a victory for justice, human rights and the rule of law in Nigeria. This decision by the court is a vindication of the child rights campaigners and the great work they are doing rescuing and saving the lives of children abused and abandoned in the name of witchcraft in Nigeria. It is a clear evidence that Helen Ukpabio and her church members have no case.
They instituted this court action to stop their arrest and prosecution for the attack of July 29 in Calabar.
Nigerian Humanist Movement and its partner groups will continue to work and campaign to eradicate all forms of human rights abuses in the name of witchcraft.
Leo Igwe, Ibadan, Nigeria
Here’s a news report on the witch-hunter: