Nigeria: The Power of Juju

The bright red robes of the Owegbes swirling about her, Ada Kika Emese strode to the witness stand, placed her right hand on a wedge of metal and swore her oath in the name of Ogun, god of iron. In the sweltering court room, citizens in sprawling white robes and gold-embroidered velvet caps listened intently to her testimony, their attention never flagging as they slipped off their sandals and methodically picked their toenails.

Up front, black, British-trained lawyers made their points in the mannered politesse of the Inns of Court, prefacing each objection with...

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