Our law believes in witchcraft?

It is the morning of my criminal litigation examination, and as is wont of us students, I’m trying to cram in some last minute details…
Currently, I’m reading up on the options available to an accused person when making his plea after the charge preferred against him has been read to him and well… Let’s just say something has tickled my fancy.

One of the many options available to him, okay, maybe not so many… is that he can keep mute. This, if he adopts, imposes upon the court a duty to determine whether his muteness was out of malice or as a result of a visitation from the gods by subjecting him to medical examination.

Now, this is where it gets interesting. Smiley face

A visitation from the gods? gods? What gods? Sango or Amadioha? Does our law now believe in witchcraft? That is the question I’m pondering..

The “unbelievers” amongst you I know would purport to say that I’m deliberately obscuring the intendment of the law as regards the meaning of the phrase ‘visitation of the gods’ to suit my ‘nefarious’ purpose. In fact, I know for a fact that the oversabis would go as far as to say that it means insanity. But riddle me this; is it not our elders, who opine that “he whom the gods wants to destroy, they first make mad”? (insanity, madness, gods, duh… it’s apparent they want to destroy him else he won’t be accused of committing a crime duh… Think Achebe’s Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart)

Now, some of you still persisting in your unbelief would further purport to say that the examination to determine the cause of the accused’s muteness ought to be conducted by a medical doctor; thus attempting to trap me in a fallacy. But Medical Doctor, Dibia, Babalawo… What difference is there? After all, is a Medical Doctor not just a dibia/babalawo that has gone to obodo oyinbo school to package his craft? (and no, you can’t fault this logic.)

Lol… But on a more not so serious note “Does our law believe in witchcraft?” That, is the jurisprudential question I find myself asking.

P.S. Just in case you were wondering, yes; I did write this on the morning of my criminal litigation examination.


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