They deal with drugs and women, are considered "extremely brutal" and control their victims through voodoo. In Italy, the Nigerian mafia competes with the classic mafia, from where it spreads throughout Europe. The authorities were in the dark for a long time. Until they found the "Green Bible". Weltwoche has obtained a copy of this secret set of rules of the Nigerian MAPHITE and sketches the dimension of its potential for violence in Europe.
The discovery by Italian police of "The Green Bible" was crucial to their biggest break-through yet in the struggle to free Italy of the Nigerian Mafia which in less than a decade has infested the country - thanks to mass illegal immigration across the Mediterranean.
It led to the arrest of 33 Nigerians in July this year in Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna accused of being not just common or garden criminals but key members of a brutal Mafia clan called the MAPHITE. The clan's boss of bosses who lives in Parma was due to be arrested as well but remains at large probably in Cologne in Germany where his wife and children live and where thanks to the EU sacred principle of free movement he spends much of his time. A further 20 Nigerians, although not in custody, are also accused of being members of the MAPHITE clan.
The Nigerian Mafia, according to a July 2019 report to the Italian Parliament by the Direzione Investigativa Antimafia (DIA) - Italy's Anti-Mafia police task force – "in terms of dangererousness" to Italy is now "second only" to "our home-grown Mafias"and continued illegal immigration across the Mediterranean "risks amplifying its disastrous potentiality".
It is active in drugs, prostitution, human-trafficking, credit card and internet fraud, robbery and even organ trafficking.
There are known to be six Nigerian Mafia clans in Italy includig the MAPHITE which according to the testimony to Italian police of a MAPHITE supergrass which I have seen has 5,000 members. The other clans – or cults as they are called by Nigerians - include the Black Axe, the Eiye and the Vikings.
Assuming that each Nigerian Mafia cult has a similar number of members this means that nearly one in three of the 103,985 Nigerians legally in Italy (according to Interior Ministry figures) is a mafioso. Yes, there are many thousands of additional Nigerians who live in Italy illegally under the radar. But even so. All cult members are men. Subtract the Nigerian women and children legally in Italy from that 100,000 total and what are you left with?!
The "Green Bible" found by Italian police demonstrates that the MAPHITE are a global Mafia run like an invading army under the command of a charity in Nigeria set up ostensibly to help the poor. And it reveals that they are present, not just in Italy, but throughout Europe and America.
The Green Bible is the sacred book of the MAPHITE which was founded by university students in the 1970s as a secret political fraternity at the University of Benin City in Edo State in the south-east of Nigeria near the Niger Delta to combat global injustice with violence if necessary.
Many other secret fraternities – known as cults – were set up on univeristy campuses in Nigeria but all degenerated into boot-boy units at the service of politicians and organized crime. In 2001, the Nigerian government banned them but they re-booted as charities.
It is thought that only a few copies of the MAPHITE Green Bible exist and that these are in the possession of the cult's most senior leaders.
The document the Italian police got hold of is a 40-page booklet which they believe is a synthesis of the original sacred book destined for the clan's Italian bosses. Following a tip-off from the supergrass who provided them with the tracking code they found it in March 2018 inside a DHL package posted from Nigeria to an address in Rome which they had intercepted. They photographed the contents, re-sealed the package and sent it on to the recipient in order to avoid suspicion.
They have not released their shorter Green Bible to the media which is written in English as it is a key piece of evidence but I have been passed a copy.
Its chilling contents make it easy to see why Italian prosecutors felt able to tell the media at the time of those 33 arrests in July that it was a document of "exceptional value". But they made public few of its contents.
Reading it, you realize that it is not just migrant terrorists we must fear coming across the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy but migrant mafiosi.
In gruesome detail, this shorter Green Bible explains that the MAPHITE is a secret "criminal organization" which makes money from "drugs, contract killing, prostitution, robbery, arms" with a violent initiation ceremony based on Nigerian voodoo (ju-ju) that binds the new member to a code of omertà similar to that of the Italian Mafia.
And it makes clear that if a MAPHITE betrays the cult he will die. It reveals that the MAPHITE is run like a paramilitary organization with a system of ranks whose supreme command is a charity based in Benin City called the Green Circuit Association (GCA) which is religious only in the sense that the official religion of Edo State is ju-ju – Nigerian voodoo.
The military ranks of the MAPHITE mafia clan are listed in the booklet as president, vice president, general, captain, lieutenant, sergeant and soldier - called by MAPHITE members Don, Deputy Don, Professor, Chief, Checker, Fire, and Men Fighter. Each family is referred to as "a regiment".
The generic word for a member of the MAPHITE is "Showguy" and the emblem of both the MAPHITE and the charity which controls it - GCA - is a flame rising from two cupped hands. On the GCA's Facebook site posts are usually signed "KDFB" – Keep De (The) Fire Burning" followed by a flame emoji. MAPHITE members self-identify to strangers by asking "Do you have a light?" to which if a MAPHITE the stranger will reply "No, but I have a flame" and when they enter a house, by knocking three times on the front door. Like all Nigerian Mafia cults they also have a uniform which is a green beret worn at formal events such as weddings, funerals or conferences – sometimes accompanied by a green tie or green T-shirt.
Those wanting to become a MAPHITE "must be of a our African race" says the booklet.
The Don is the head of a MAPHITE family of which there are four in Italy: The Vatican which is the most important, the Roman Empire, the Latin and the Light of Sicily.
The Don, who serves for two years and appoints his successor, must be "a seasoned experienced warrior and father of a family". Professors, who must have a degree and are often former Dons, act as a committee of wise men to monitor the activities of the MAPHITE family.
On retirement a Don must hand over the Green Bible to his successor "within 24 hours". Failure to do so is "a burnable offenses (sic)".
Any MAPHITE sent to prison will be given $10,000, says the booklet, but MAPHITES who become "cowards, traitors or deserters" will receive an "automatic death sentence".
This shorter Green Bible also lists code-names for the numerous criminal activities of the MAPHITE such as "Flaming Mario Monti" (named after the ex Goldman Sachs banker who was Italian Premier from 2011-13) for illegal money transfers to Nigeria, or "Possession of Jews" for the urgent theft of money by all means necessary. In a long section on the punishment and torture of enemies and traitors it urges the use of electric power drills on the bodies of the guilty and the chopping off of their tongues to be sent to their wives.
Each criminal activity cited is backed by references to the Christian Bible presumably as a justification but on reading the references they seem to do no such thing. For example, to justify "Possessing the Jews" the Green Bible cites Proverbs, chapter 20, verse 22 which (in the St James version of the Bible) states: "Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee." What's that got to do with the Jews and stealing money?!
I have also acquired a copy of the strictly sub judice 132-page "provvedimento" produced by police and prosecuting magistrates which sets out their reasons to the court in closed session why the accused must be held in custody pending trial.
It concludes that the MAPHITE Cult is "a highly dangerous" global Mafia organization whose "operational centre" is in Nigeria and whose members "move frequently to various nations in Europe, and to and from Nigeria".
It relies heavily on the Green Bible but also on the testimony of a supergrass who was a "professor" in the MAPHITE – in other words part of the group of wise men who monitor the activities of the family – and who had a mini supermarket in Bologna.
The supergrass told investigators that when cults were banned in Nigeria by the national government in 2001 the MAPHITE founded the GCA charity as cover, "Currently, the work of the SUPREME MAPHITE COUNCIL is done from inside the organization of the GCA," he said.
It is hard enough to demonstrate that a born and bred Italian is a Mafioso; even harder to demonstrate that a Nigerian immigrant is one.
The mass arrests in July were thus a major break-through and only possible thanks to the testimony of the supergrass whose MAPHITE nickname was "Omi Rattle Snake" and to the seizure of the shorter Green Bible.
It is entitled "MAPHITE CONSTITUTION WHAT WE REPRESENT".
The cover also spells out what the acronym MAPHITE means - “MAXIMUM ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE HIGHLY INTELLECTUALS TRAIN EXECUTIONER".
From page one, the connection between the MAPHITE Mafia cult in Italy and the Nigerian charity – GCA - in Nigeria is clear: "We represent the MAPHITE (better known as the Green Circuit Association). We represent the diaspora of the GCA." The GCA, we are told, is "registered with the Federal Government of Nigeria" and is "a respectable organization recognized at national and international level".
Secret cults are banned in Nigeria but not charities which act to cover such cults as we read in the booklet: "The Green Circuit Association is an organization registered with the federal government of Nigeria via the Cooperative Affairs Commission, CAC. The objective is to create a respectable and recognized organization at national and international level that as a result can grant formal recognition to the members under the aegis of the GCA."
Further on we read: "The Family General Supreme Maphite Council (SMC DON) is the supreme power in the organization known as (SMC) Maphite family. His power shall have no limit." The Supreme MAPHITE Council is the GCA charity in Benin City.
In 2011, the GCA set up an Italian branch in Bentivoglio, a town near Bologna. In July, the branch founder was among the 33 MAPHITE arrested.
In the Green Bible booklet, there follows a list of rules and punishments, including this on sacrifice: "Each member of the MAPHITE, will of course be ready to sacrifice his own life as he will be ready to take the life of others whenever this honourable act is necessary. Sacrifice must be made to maintain order and strong discipline in our fraternity."
There are also strict code of conduct rules between members such as this: "Every Worthwhile (member) must respect every other Worthwhile (member). Playing and kidding around among Worthwhile (members) shall be permitted up to a certain point. Heavy 'teasing' of whore, faggot, brown-noser, etc, ... are totally prohibited".
"No member of this GCA shall put material things, whether it be drugs, money, women, or punks ... before the interest of the great Maphite".
On the use of violence it says: "You can get much further with a kind word and a pistol than you can with a kind word alone. There is no such thing as good money and bad money. There is just money. If a man is dumb, someone is going to get the best of him, so why not you? ... It's just business. Murders came with smiles, shooting people was no big deal for us Good fellas. This life of ours, this is a wonderful life. If you can get through life like this and get away with it, hey, that's great.
And this: "If there is a will, my friend, there's always a way. I stuck the drill in his chest and his legs, on the side of his head. I ripped his hair out. You know what I'll do? I'll get a knife and cut off his tongue, and we'll send it to his wife ... You fucked with me and that was the worst thing you ever did. Never show anger at slight. Tell nothing. Earn Respect from everyone with deeds, not Words."
The shorter Green Bible ends with an appendix on the 8th International Congress of the GCA held in September 2017 in Asaba, capital of Delta State in south-eastern Nigeria, which was attended, it boasts, by MAPHITE members from 15 countries around the world. The investigating magistrates who wrote the provvidemento describe the presence at the congress as key note speaker of a well known politician Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, ex governor of Anambra State from 1992 to 93, as "allarming" as was the presence of both the Nigerian army and police in charge of security.
Resolutions passed at the congress included a decision to change the name from Green Circuit Association to Green Circuit Association International to reflect its pressence around the world. The congress also resolved to hold "at least one event a year of public interest to show the Organization in a good light against acts capable of giving the Organization negative public perception". "Godfather Awards" were presented to three winners for help with the registration of the GCA as a charity including Prince Mudiaga Ejowhomumi, and the Turkey MAPHITE branch won "Best Branch of the Year".
The shorter Green Bible ends with a note on the MAPHITE in Italy in which it orders the four families to cancel all local deals with the Italian Mafia or other Mafia, saying: "We don't need them to operate in Italy." And it warns that the days of the supergrass "Omi Rattle Snake" are numbered as he is now subject, as a result of "his sin", to "ASHAN" which - as the shorter Green Bible explains – is the rule that condemns a traitor and his family to death by fire. Schools and public places in Carpi (near Modena) where he lived before he was given police protection, frequented by his children, are under surveillance, warns the booklet.
In the Italian prosecutors' provvidento "Omi Rattle Snake" – the supergrass - is quoted as saying that 80% of the inscription fee paid by new members of overseas branches of the MAPHITE goes to the GCA in Nigeria, and that to found a MAPHITE family outside Nigeria requires 1000 members and 1 million euro in the bank. From the moment migrants began to arrive in huge numbers in Italy by sea from Libya in 2011 "the MAPHITE began arriving" as well – says the supergrass - and there is "an inescapable link" between the Nigerian Mafia and human trafficking.
Rome's anti-mafia police task force – the DIA – has no global figures nor even guestimates on the cash turn-over of the Nigerian Mafia in Italy, it told me, but according to Massimiliamo Peggio, the Mafia expert for the Turin-based national daily La Stampa, police estimate there to be 700 drug pushers in Turin, many of them Nigerians, who sell an average 10 doses of cocaine a day each at 50 euro a dose. "That's 350,000 euro a day from just one drug in one city," he told me.
The Nigerian Mafia's most lucrative activity after drugs is prostitution. There are up to 30,000 Nigerian prostitutes in Italy - according to the UN's International Organization for Migration – 80% of whom were trafficked there across the Sahara and Mediterrean, accompanied from start to finish by a Mafia minder. Before departure, most of these girls agree, often compelled by their own families, to be placed under a voodoo spell (called ju-ju) by a witch-doctor. The spell binds them to pay back the cost of the voyage which is not revealed to them, or else not understood by them, on arrival in Europe, They agree because they think there is a job waiting for them as hairdressers, care-workers or night club dancers but on arrival discover the awful truth from the Madame– as they are known – designated to look after them who is invariably a mafiosa. The cost of the voyage is (typically) a staggering 30,000 euro, theMadame tells them, thus their only choice is prostitution. Terror of the ju-ju spell and the use, or threat, of violence against them enslaves them. Multiply 30,000 prostitutes by 30,000 euro – that's nearly 1 billion euros.
In his testimony to police, the supergrass, who said that the MAPHITE were organized like the Nigerian Islamic terrorist group Boku Haram but were motivated by money not religion, described his own initiation ceremony in 2011.
Two MAPHITE went to his house and called him at his shop by phone half an hour later telling him they were ready and to bring three bottles of Guinness and a bottle of African palm wine.
He returned home and smelled burning incense. They told him to strip down to his underpants. They blind-folded him with a towel and told him to go down on his knees. "To whom do you want to belong?" one of them asked. "To the MAIPHITE".
One of them slapped him hard in the face. Both then punched and kicked him. For 20 minutes. He remained blind-folded.
"Then they asked me to open my hands, one next to the the other," he said,"I felt the heat ... and I realized that something was burning. Later I discovered that it was a piece of toilet paper."
They took off the blindfold, sprayed liquid on his face, forced him to drink a potion, presumably made of the guinness and palm wine, and began to sing. "I saw that around me there were lighted candles everywhere in the room."
He swore the oath of loyalty: "I swear to be loyal and faithful to the MAPHITE organization. If in future I should reveal these secrets this fire will burn me and everything that belongs to me; wherever I am the MAPHITE will cut me into pieces until I die."
The Don of the MAPHITE in Italy – the boss of bosses - who is head of the senior family – the Vatican – should have been arrested in July. But the police could not find him.
Akioya Omonbhude Elisha nicknamed “DON TT BUCATI”, or "Pastore" (Shepherd) spent much of his time in Cologne in Germany where he had transferred his family thanks to the Schengen Accords on the free movement within the EU of people – and migrants.
The GCA is of course shocked by all this and has issued a lengthy retort to the Italian Ambassador in Nigeria which it posted on its Facebook site but which has been totally ignored by the media in Italy. In quaint and sometimes incorrect English it says:
"It is of note that the Italian authorities have ... mischaracterized the GCA with the most unsavioury, uncomplimentary verbiage by maliciously imputing crimininality to the activities of GCA without any iota of evidence. (....) Excellency Sir, for the avoidance of doubt, the members of the Green Circuit Association are very decent, responsable and law-abiding members of any society in which they found themselves."
Perhaps the Green Circuit Association back in Benin City is as innocent as the driven snow though I doubt it but its overseas members – as is clear from this ground-breaking Italian investigation – are most definitely not.
It will want to keep the fire burning in Italy and Europe at all costs. We must surely snuff out that flame for good.
Nicholas Farrell, a graduate of Cambridge University, lives in Italy and writes for frequently for the British Spectator. He was a staff reporter on the Sunday Telegraph in London before moving to Paris in 1997 to write a book on the death of Princess Diana and to Italy where he wrote a biography of Benito Mussolini, “Mussolini: A New Life» (2005)