•CP Gyogon Grimah
The police in Cross River State have docked three suspects before a State High Court sitting in Calabar, for killing five people in Ndon Nwong Community of Odukpani Local Council of the state on witchcraft allegations.
The suspects, Bassey Okon Effiong, 20, Etim Ekpenyong Ekpo, 18, and Bassey Nyong Bassey, 27, were in court, while others are still at large for murder of five persons on allegation of witchcraft on September 14, 2022, reports The Guardian.
The victims, three women and two men, were murdered when some chiefs and youths from Ndon Nwong community tied, tortured and brutalised them following a kangaroo trial at the village square.
The incident happened following a motorcycle accident on the evening of September 13, 2022, which led to two children being tortured and forced to identify the witches that caused the accident, and the youths rallied the victims up.
The victims, including one Madam Iqwo and four others were killed and buried in a shallow grave somewhere in the forest while four were set free.
At the hearing, the prosecuting counsel, Adama Cletus, on behalf of the state, sought the permission of the court to amend the previous charge information with charge number 8C20C, 2022 to 8C20C, 2023 on the ground that the previous application expired on October 3, 2023.
The trial judge, Victor Offiong granted the application and adjourned to November 21 for the defendants to take their pleas.
Shortly after the adjournment, counsel to the third defendant (Bassey Nyong Bassey), Mustapha Egweshi, told newsmen that he had not been served with the information.
On his part, a civil rights activist, and Principal Counsel, Basic Right Counsel, James Ibor, expressed satisfaction at the process, hoping that justice would be served for the sake of the five persons who were gruesomely killed over what he described as mere superstition.
Also, the late Madam Iquo Eyo’s son, Asuquo Eyo and brother, Chief Okon-Nyong Asuquo, expressed sadness over the gruesome killing of the deceased.
They appealed to the state government to ensure that the killers are brought to book.