One Chief Essien Matthew Odiong with 12 Wives and 60 Children has been sentenced to death by hanging for murder by the Akwa Ibom State High Court.
The accused monarch is the village Head of Efen Ibom in Ika Local Government Area of the State and was standing trial on four counts of conspiracy, directing unlawful trial by ordeal, stealing of the motorcycle and murder of Udoma Udo Ubom.
Justice Edem Akpan for the murder of one Udoma Udo Ubom sentenced the accused to death, seven years imprisonment with hard labour for directing unlawful trial by ordeal and three years imprisonment for conspiracy with others now at large.
It was gathered that the late Ubom was accused by his brothers of being a wizard and was reported to the Village Head, who brought him before the Council, where the deceased was administered an oath to swear and prove his innocent.
The court held, “The admission of the process of trial and the decision of Efen Clan Council to administer oath on the deceased, has logically brought to the conclusion that a plastic bath on the head of the late Udoma Akpan Udo Ubom and injecting some chemical susbtance through a syringe into his buttocks by the village head, caused the death of the deceased.”
The court further held, “Having sensed the consequences of his criminal activity, the monarch escaped from the Village since 2017 and returned in 2019, when he was arrested by the Police.”
Delivering judgment on Friday, Justice Akpan said the court found the accused guilty of murder of the deceased by injecting some chemical substance on him, leading to his death on 26th April, 2017.
Justice Akpan stated, “The accused had voluntarily admitted that he sat at Efen Clan Council with five other village heads and members of the Clan Council to try the deceased on the allegation of witchcraft, and the law has relieved the prosecution of the burden to prove the offense of conspiracy.”