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March 5, 2024
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Famous Traditional Healer In Burkina Faso Sentenced To Three Years In Prison For Assault
Healer Adja, surrounded by her assistants, walks on people's legs to heal them, - Copyright © africanews OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT/AFP

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Famous Traditional Healer in Burkina Faso Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Assault

A prominent healer in Burkina Faso, known as Amsétou Nikièma or Adja, has been sentenced to three years in prison for her involvement in an assault case on one of her patients. The controversial healer and her co-defendants faced charges of forcible confinement, assault, battery, and complicity.

The verdict was delivered at the Ouagadougou high court following a lengthy hearing. Adja was found “guilty” of “complicity in assault and battery” and was sentenced to three years in prison. Additionally, she was fined one million CFA francs (approximately 1,500 euros), accompanied by a suspended sentence.

The prosecutor had initially requested a two-year prison sentence, with one year suspended, and a fine of three million CFA francs (around 4,500 euros). During the trial, Adja pleaded not guilty to the charges and expressed her willingness to seek “forgiveness” for the actions committed by her collaborators, whom she claimed acted without her knowledge.

Adja stated, “All I can say is ask for forgiveness from the prosecutor and everyone; my mission is to heal and not to punish.”

The victim of the assault and kidnapping, Hamidou Kanazoé, chose not to become a civil party in the case, asserting that the matter had been resolved amicably between the involved families.

Eight of Adja’s collaborators, who admitted their involvement in the assault, were sentenced to 48 months in prison and fined 500,000 CFA francs (approximately 750 euros), with their sentences suspended. They asserted that they had acted independently and without any orders from Adja.

Adja gained notoriety for her healing sessions aimed at aiding victims of “evil spirits.” Her popularity grew significantly in just three years since her first session. The healer was arrested following the circulation of a video on social media depicting the torture of a man by individuals claiming to be associated with her.

While awaiting transfer to a detention facility, Adja managed to escape with the assistance of military personnel. She was subsequently imprisoned at her request in the Ouagadougou army remand center rather than the civil prison, citing “security reasons.”

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