WITCHCRAFT PROFILING: Amnesty Int’l condemns brutal killing of Madam Martina Okey Itagbor

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Amarachukwu Ugwu & Efio-Ita Nyok, Calabar, Nigeria


An international organisation that campaigns to protect human rights of individuals and groups across the world has condemned the killing of Madam Martina Okey Itagbor who was accused of witchcraft by the youths of Old Netim in Akamkpa LGA, Cross River State and reportedly lynched by being burnt to death NEGROIDHAVEN can report authoritatively.

The group on Thursday called for justice to be meted against the perceived perpetrators.

Her words, ‘Amnesty International condemns the brutal killing of Madam Martina Okey Itagbor — who was burned to death in the middle of a road at Old Netim in Akamkpa LGA, Cross River State, over allegations of witchcraft.

‘Nigerian authorities must — effectively and impartially — investigate this horrid incident and ensure that those suspected of responsibility are brought to justice.’

According to journalist Agba Jalingo, this incident occurred, ‘after a fatal motor accident claimed the lives of two young men. Sadly, the Police stood by while the helpless poor woman burnt. The suspects are still walking free. The video is too gory, heartless and horrible.’

Recently, witchcraft profiling had assumed a troubling dimension in Cross River. Within the past one to two years, the state has recorded incidents of witchcraft profiling which led to the eventual but, unfortunate lynching of elderly persons especially women in Akpabuyo, Odukpani, and Boki LGAs etc.

The out-gone 9th Cross River State House of Assembly, CRSHA led by Rt. Hon. Eteng Jones William passed a bill criminalising profiling a child as witch or wizard. The bill was assented to by former governor Ben Ayade.

This is Christopher Sunday Mbey. He is from Old Netim in Akamkpa LGA in Cross River State. He is the political thug who led the youths that chopped off the fingers of Mrs Martina Okey Itagbor, and burnt her to death after accusing her of witchcraft. He must be caused to substantiate his claim before a competent court of justice.

There has been the passing of a much earlier bill which was an amendment of an extant law on sexual and gender-based violence against persons including women by the 9th Cross River State House of Assembly.

The recent incidents will test the implementation of these legislations in the state.

The assent by Ayade was recorded as a victory for safety and dignity of the Nigerian child resident and/or indigenous to Cross River state. It was inspired by development institutions in the state.