By Martin Iyonguvihi
A 46-year-old farmer, Igbakula Ber, was Tuesday remanded in prison custody by a Makurdi Magistrate Court for conspiring with other persons to beat the elders of his community while accusing them of using witchcraft to kill one Terngu John.
The accused person, who hails from Tse-Tsuwa Mbakyan in Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue was arraigned by the Benue Police Command for criminal conspiracy, attempt to commit culpable homicide, inciting disturbance, causing grievous hurt, trial by ordeal and resistance of lawful arrest contrary to Section 97, 230, 116, 248, 215 and 169 of the Penal Code Law of Benue State 2004.
According to the prosecutor, Sergeant Ato Godwin, the case was received through a letter written by Chief Moses Chi and Pever Zaki, all male of Tse-Tsuwa Mbakyan Gwer-East LGA, addressed to the Commissioner of Police, Benue State Command stating that, on the 9/05/2022 at about 0600hrs the following
“Aondoaseer Ordarn, Torkoho! Ber, Inky Erna M. Demnongu, Terkeade Depuun, Msen Achov, Haaoron Achov, Iorlumun Kwagkaa, Terseer Tarnum, Terungwa Michael, Terkula Demnongu, Iorliam Kwaghkaa, Friday Kwaghkaa, Tsenongo Achov, and Timothy Kwaghkaa among others conspired among themselves and invited the following persons; Moses Chi, Pever Zaki, Iortswam Kershio and Gurdu, all males and elders of the community and confronted them with death of one Terngu John, whom according to them died as a result of witchcraft activities.
The prosecutor told the court that the suspects, in company of the above mentioned persons tied the elders up on big bamboo sticks, made a big fire, and ordered the victims to say their last prayers and confess as to who killed Terngu. When the complainants refused to accept killing him, they brought in a fortune teller to consult the oracle and know who actually killed Terngu.
He further submitted that when the fortune teller exonerated the complainants, they (youths) still left them in pains dangling on the tree until about 2am of the following morning which gave them various degree of injuries.
He also submitted that the suspected youths prevented the police from enforcing lawful arrest on May 20, 2022, rough handled one of the complainant, Pever Zaki, tore his T-shirt and vowed to kill him in the presence of the Police.
No plea for want of jurisdiction was taken when the suspect was arraigned in court as the prosecutor asked for adjournment as investigation in the case was still ongoing.
Ruling on the application for adjournment, the Magistrate, Vincent Kor, Esq. adjourned the case to October 25, 2022 for further mention, while ordering that the accused person be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Centre in Makurdi.