A State High Court in Akamkpa, Cross River State, has sentenced a man, Ayanime Udo, to death by hanging for killing his twin daughters on allegation of being witches.
Delivering judgment on the case, Justice Agnes Onyebueke said; “Udo’s act is satanic, demonic, and beyond human comprehension.”
She held that the defendant had willfully and gruesomely murdered his 11 year-old twin, Mfoniso Anyanime, and Emediong Anyanime, in 2017 after branding them witches.
The defendant, who is in his 50s, could not defend his allegation of witchcraft against the female children when cross-examined.
He had given his 11-year-old girls a malt drink mixed with acid.
One died at the spot on January 10, 2017, while the second crawled to the road where someone picked her and took her to the hospital where she died the next day.
According to a child rights activist, James Ibor, the head of the Basic Rights Counsel Initiative (BCRI) which facilitated the prosecution of the accused, the case was first reported in February, 2017.
Mr Ibor said after it was reported, the convict was arrested by the police after due investigation was carried out.
“The police ensured that necessary medical examinations and autopsy were done on the deceased children, which aided the judgment.
It would be recalled that the killing of twins was predominant in the Southern part of Cross River which includes Akamkpa before the intervention of the Scottish Missionary, Mary Slessor.
Branding children witches and pushing them out of their homes into the street has remained a major social issue in Cross River and the neighbouring Akwa Ibom State.