By Umar Yusuf
THE courtroom of the Magistrate Court 4 in Yola was filled to the brim as the case was being called. Many in the small room surged forward and tried to take comfortable positions as three young children accused of witchcraft were being heralded into the room by officials of the Adamawa State Correctional Service.
And then the drama began to unfold: the confessional statement made by the three kid suspects rattled the crowd as they watched and listened to their statements in total disbelief and awe.
Even the Magistrate, Adamu Abdulraazak, could not hide his bewilderment as the suspects, who were being arraigned for witchcraft, looked on with disbelief as he listened to their statement on oath. The trio were bold in telling the court that they routinely turn into lizards, cats and cows and eat human flesh and effectively afflict people with illness and misfortune since they were initiated into the wicked art.
During the court sitting, the three minors, all siblings aged between seven and 12 years, confessed to afflicting a friend of their father, Umar Song, with strange disease. The trio, who confessed being neck deep in sorcery and other psychic activities, told the court that they often turned to cows, lizards and cats whenever they wanted to unleash havoc on their targets, adding that they feed on human flesh every three days.
After listening to their confessions, Magistrate Adamu Abdulrazak directed the children and the woman who allegedly initiated them into witchcraft simply identified as Handama, to restore the man’s health with dispatch.
The four suspects were brought to court by Garkuwan Sarkin Mayun Adamawa for allegedly afflicting Umar. In their confessional statements, the children said that they initially used demonic powers to tie their father’s friend with ropes and iron as directed by the woman, but added they had since untied the victim and exorcised the evil things they implanted on him.
Speaking earlier, one of the kids, confessed that he was initiated into witchcraft by Handama, whose six children they said were all witches. The kid also accused the woman of initiating him in the night while they were living together in the same compound, saying that they normally went out for a meeting after every three days at a location called Dabala.
He added that he used to turn into a lizard before going out for meetings and eat roasted human flesh during the meeting, saying that he was willing to be delivered from the witchcraft.
On his part, the second accused kid, also accused Handama of initiating him into the devilish act, saying that he had never killed anybody even though he had been participating in their meetings and also eats human flesh. He further disclosed that he has so far bewitched seven persons out of which some are dead while others are in bad shape. He said he is able to attack his victims once he turns into a white cat.
Baring her mind, another kid, a nine-year-old girl, told the court that she had been a witch for three years having been initiated into the evil cult by her brother and that she had initiated eight persons into witchcraft.
She further confessed that she attended meetings after every other day at Dabala, and turned into a white cow before going out, explaining that Handama has put headache, malaria fever and something into their victim.
The magistrate ordered that they be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the case to a later date for continuation of trial.
The crowd, however, moved to attack the suspects after the magistrate rose but were prevented by security men who managed to ferry them away from the angry crowd.