Cross River: Mother 4 Burnt to Death for Alleged Witchcraft

A woman, Mrs. Martina Okey Itagbor, a mother of four girls, has reportedly been burnt to death in the town of Old Netim, located in the Akamkpa Local Government Area of Cross River State.

She was alleged of practising witchcraft and was blamed for the death of two young men who were involved in a motor accident.

According to a report from CrossRiverWatch, on June 13, 2023, a group of youths in the community gathered and boarded a rented vehicle to attend the inauguration of a political representative.

Sadly, they were involved in an accident, resulting in the death of two of them while several others injured.

The day after the accident, some of the youths forcibly took Mrs. Martina out of her house and brought her to the main road, claiming that she was responsible for the accident and the subsequent deaths due to alleged witchcraft practices.

The angry mob proceeded to beat and set her on fire around 7 am.

They then swept away her remains into the gutters and cleaned the road.

A video circulating on Facebook depicts the horrifying scene of the partially clothed woman being burnt alive by the youths in the middle of a paved road.

One of Mrs. Martina’s daughters stated that the chief of the community, Ntufam Augustine Nyong Orok, distanced himself from the accusation and challenged Mrs. Martina to prove her innocence if she was not involved in witchcraft.

The incident was reported to the Old Netim Police Station in Akamkpa back in April 2023 when the first attack occurred, but the police allegedly refrained from taking action due to fear of involvement with local gangsters.

Meanwhile, one Christopher Sunday Mbey, from Old Netim in Akamkpa, was said to have led the attack leading to the murder of Mrs. Itagbor.

James Ibor, a lawyer and founder of Basic Rights Council Initiatives confirmed the brutal incident on Facebook.

“Madam Martina Okey Itagbor was accused of witchcraft and burnt to death by the Youths of Old Netim in Akamkpa LGA, Cross River State, Nigeria. This was after a fatal motor accident claimed the lives of two young men. Sadly, the Police stood by while the helpless poor woman burn. The suspects are walking free,” he said.

“Witchcraft branding is a crime. The belief in witches and their power to cause harm is backward and primitive. I call on the Police to bring these suspects to Justice. No witches, No Wizards”, he said.