Witchcraft: Man sentenced to death by hanging for killing his children

A 44-year old man in Cross River State has been sentenced to death by hanging for killing his 11-year-old female twins.

The Court sitting in Akamkpa LGA of the state found Mr Festus Anyanime guilty of murdering the children over claims that they were witches.

Delivery judgement in suit number HK/6C/2018 on Tuesday, 15th February 2022, Justice Agnes Onyebueke, of the Cross River State High Court sitting in Akamkpa, said that the convict had gone far and above his powers to murder Mfoniso Anyanime and Emediong Anyanime.

Justice Onyebueke described the killer’s act as satanic, demonic, and beyond human comprehension and therefore sentenced him to death by hanging.

Commending Justice Onyebueke and condemning the act of witchcraft branding, Barr. James Ibor, Principal Counsel, Basic Rights Counsel Initiative (BRCI) and Chairperson of Child Protection Network (CPN), Cross River State Chapter, said it was a great victory to the victims.

He warned against witchcraft accusations, persecutions and ritual killings.

His words: “We use this opportunity to thank Justice Onyebueke for her courage, Hon. Attorney General Tanko Ashang and his able team, the Commissioner of Police Cross River State and the General Hospital Akamkpa, UNICEF and staff and volunteers of Basic Rights Counsel Initiative.

“This is a great victory to the victims; Mfoniso Anyanime and Emediong Anyanime and the Government of Cross River State at a period witchcraft branding and ritual killing has become a pastime in the State”.

Barr Ibor, who is also the Secretary of Cross River State Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee, said the United Nations has urged nations to take measures against abuses linked to Witchcraft beliefs and ritual sacrifice.

“Stop Witchcraft accusations, witch persecution and ritual killing. Blood money is superstition. It does not work.

The Police who arrested the convict in 2017, said he had confessed to the crime of poisoning the children for fear that they were witches. 

“He confessed that he gave his daughters acid mixed with malt to drink because he had a premonition that they would kill him like they killed his parents.

“He had the belief because they confessed to him that they were witches. So he carried out the dastardly act to save his life first.” Irene Ugbo, Cross River Police Public Relations Officer said.

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