HC Deb 05 February 1948 vol 446 c330W
Dr. Segal

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is now in a position to give any information about the motives behind the Leopard murders in Nigeria.

Mr. Rees-Williams

Investigations over the past two years have established that 97 murders are attributable to the activiies of the Leopard Society. Their classification by motive was as follows:

Revenge 19
Jealousy 17
Dispute over dowry 16
Dispute over land 9
Non-payment of debt 6
Dispute over succession to children and property 6
Refusal to allow sexual intercourse 4
Dispute over ownership of property 4
Dispute over "Esusu" Society contributions. (A form of mutual benefit Society) 2
Dispute over inheritance of widow 1
Concealment of another murder 1
Non-apparent 12
Total 97

It is, however, possible that the real motive behind all the murders is ritual, and that the personal motive is secondary to this.