WO (Ogboni cult) Nigeria CG  UKIAT 00277
Date of hearing: 7 September 2004
Date Determination notified: 30 September 2004
|Secretary of State for the Home Department||RESPONDENT|
"6.120 There are many cults in Nigeria. Probably the best known is the Ogboni. The Ogboni are a secret society of the Yoruba tribe, and it is therefore hard to obtain reliable information about them. As a secret society it has been banned in Nigeria, and its power curtailed. However this ban is hard to enforce, and it is still active and alleged to be involved in satanic practices.
6.121 The title Ogboni is only conferred on the elders, i.e. senior members of the society. These are usually men but women, usually six in number, were traditionally included to represent the interests of women in the community. Membership of the society is usually, but not always, passed through patrilineal descent.
6.122 The Ogboni traditionally played a significant role in Yoruba religion and society, and were involved in the installation of new Kings. Historically an Ogboni could be said to have combined the powers of a local magistrate, with those of a member of the local government and a religious leader.
6.123 The Ogboni engaged in animal sacrifice. There is no firm evidence to suggest that they engaged in human sacrifice. However, in the event that a King abused his power they could compel him to commit suicide. They could also impose sanctions against other members of the community if they believed that these were justified. The Ogboni are reputed to threaten its members with death should they break their oath of secrecy regarding its rituals and beliefs. It is still regarded as being a powerful organisation throughout Nigeria."
"If the person whose name is submitted refuses to take up the position because they hold a different religious view, the person will have problems with the members of the society. I have no evidence to confirm that the person who refuses to take up the position reserved for him by his late father will be sacrificed. What is common knowledge, however, is that they may suffer unfortunate circumstances, misfortunes and sudden or premature death. This may be the cultural background against which your client is exercising fear about returning to Nigeria. This would appear to be very much so if according to your client certain members of the society have actually confronted him and told him that if he refused to join them, he would be killed."
P R LANE
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