According to ancient Yoruba customs, when a person dies suddenly or mysteriously in a way that is assumed unnatural, his death can be avenged. This system is referred to as “Oku riro“.
Oku riro involves a system where spiritual rites will be carried out to avenge a dead person who is believed to have been murdered.
It is a system where the soul of the deceased is given a chance to exact revenge by murdering those who caused their death or compelling them to expose themselves and probably confess to the murder.
The Oku riro ritual can be done in different ways. One of the most common is that when murder is suspected, the dead person is buried with a knife. It is believed that the spirit of the dead will use that knife to avenge their death.
Oku riro: The Yoruba system for avenging the dead
The burial is conducted by an Ifa priest who invokes the spirit of the dead. It is said that the guilty parties will die within three months unless they confess and spiritual cleansing is done for them.
Even though the exact process of Oku riro might vary, many people believe it actually works as it is said that the spirit of the departed is very strong and can definitely exact their revenge on everyone involved in their death.