The Cross River State Police Command is under pressure from activist groups known as Citizens’ Solution Network and Agba Jalingo Foundation for Investigative and Accountability Journalism to apprehend the ruthless gang that hacked off the fingers of a woman accused of witchcraft and set her ablaze on a busy road.
According to reports, the event took place a few days ago in the state’s Akamkpa LGA’s New Netim neighborhood.
Martina Okey Itagbor, the accused, was accused of using witchcraft to cause the horrifying vehicle accident that took the life of a local mother of two boys.
However, the state police command’s PRO, Irene Ugbo, has stated that a probe into the woman’s horrible murder has since been opened and will undoubtedly result in the arrest of the suspects.
“We are aware of the situation and are looking into it. She promised journalists that the suspects would be prosecuted.
The accused Martina Okey Itagbor shouldn’t have been slain extrajudicially by a misguided and violent gang, according to a statement released on Friday, June 30, 2023, and signed by one of the leaders, Agba Jalingo.
They have maintained that the state must provide justice for the woman’s soul.
The group encouraged the Police to acknowledge that there had been too many extrajudicial killings in several areas of the state, including the horrifying death of Mrs. Itagbor.
According to the groups, the killing was barbaric and unacceptable, and that “such incidents keep occurring in the state because those who kill innocent women, whom they don’t like their faces in their local community go free without any repercussions due to the visible refusal of the Cross River State Police Command to arrest, prosecute, and ensure that those who take the lives of others get to face the full wrath of the law,” they continued.
“We want the State Police Command and the Resident Police Commissioner to act quickly to apprehend and bring charges against the murderous gang (led by one Christopher Sunday) who killed Mrs. Martina Okey Itagbor in Old Netim, Akamkpa Local Government Area, by cutting off her fingers and setting her ablaze under the pretext that she was a witch.
“We strongly condemn the murder of Mrs. Martina Okey Itagbor and want to see that justice is done.
“The Police Command should step up to the plate to stop other killings of elderly ladies who are defenseless against aggression from unexpected sources.
“The elderly and defenseless female population must be protected from arbitrary detention, degrading treatment, and murder.”
The daring group allegedly burned alive late Itagbor, a member of the Catholic Women Organization CWO, and Itagbor’s daughter in front of the Catholic Church when the same CWO was gathering.
According to legend, Itagbor’s daughter was restrained as her mother was burned.
Witnesses claimed that the daughter had been threatened by the gang.
The organisations claim that when Reverend Father Daniel Omonga and a fellow Catholic priest were also involved in a horrifying automobile accident, the same teenagers went on the rampage and killed four community chiefs and set fire to homes and other things worth millions of Naira.
The gang claimed that the four deceased chiefs were witches and wizards, which is why they took action.
The two leaders are Christopher Sunday Mbey (Leader) and Festus Etim Umoh (Deputy Leader), the organizations claim to have 14 identities of the angry youngsters that took part in the murder of Mrs. Martina Okey Itagbor.
Others include Joseph Omonga Orok, Eyu Adogo, Louis Bassey Peter, Emem Etim Umoh, Enearokot Omonga Peter, Stephen nicknamed Pompori/Obaji, Destiny Ime Brown, Orok Okon Orok, Mesembe Anembe, Malachi Sylvanus, and Thelfa Okon Nyong.
The organisations requested the police to intervene and help the people regain their confidence after claiming that the residents of New Netim live in terror of the gang.
“Since none of them were hurt, they feel empowered to carry on with this brutality. We are requesting the Nigeria Police to enter that locality right once and begin their work as a result. Nobody should believe that taking the life of others is acceptable without facing consequences.