Inspector-General of Police Usman Alkali Baba
By Emma Una, Calabar
Youths tortured two widows, Mrs Martina Osom and Mrs Rose Akom, to death after accusing them of witchcraft, in Cross River State.
The incident occurred on the morning of Saturday, August 27, in Ebbaken community in Boje, Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State, about 300 kilometres from Calabar, the state capital.
An eyewitness, a son-in-law to one of the windows, who craves anonymity, narrated to Vanguard that both women, devoted Catholics, were returning from early morning prayers when the youths accused them of initiating a member of the community into witchcraft.
He said: “They met my mother-in-law within the Church environment. As it was her tradition to weed and clean up the Church vicinity every Saturday immediately after the Morning Mass.
“The youths accused her of initiating a member of the community into witchcraft and she denied the allegation.
“But they went ahead and beat her severely, ordering her to confess that she is a witch. But her passionate appeal to them that she was innocent fell on deaf ears.”
He said the other woman, Mrs Rose Akom, was also dragged to join his mother-in-law and inflicted with same torture, ordering her to confess to allegations that she is a witch.
“They were both tied with strong ropes and beaten in the rain all through the day until they died,” he added.
He said no arrest had been made and the culprits are walking free in the community.
“That was what happened in this civilised era in this community,” he lamented.
Several calls and text messages sent to DSP Irene Ugbo, the Cross River State Police Command spokesman, were unanswered.