Police Arrest: 25 youths kill woman over withcraft, community pleads their release 

The traditional rulers’ council of the Old-Netim community, Akamkpa local government area of Cross River State, has appealed to the police to free 25 youths alleged to have been wrongly arrested in connection with the killing of a woman, Mrs. Martina Okey, branded a witch.

The youths, the community said, had been in detention for over a month following an indiscriminate arrest by the police.

A statement by the council’s chairman, Ntufam Augustin Nyong Orok, and Secretary, Ntufam Linus Pius Mbey, acknowledged that the woman was gruesomely murdered by some misguided youths, who were averde to development in the community.

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The statement alleged that the faction who committed the crime wanted to give the community a bad image, urging the police to go after the real killers and release those they had held captive for an offence they didn’t commit.

It said: “We use this medium to appeal to the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 6, Calabar, and the Commissioner of Police in Cross River Command, to release the youths in their custody and go after the real perpetrators of the act who are now at large.”

According to the council, innocent families were facing hardship as a result of the incident, noting that the community, hitherto known as a business hub at Akamkpa, had become a shadow of itself.

Reacting to their request, the Commissioner of Police, CP Gyogon Grimah, asked why the traditional rulers had not come to his office since the arrest was made.

“In any case, it seems they know the actual culprits. They can go to court and testify to free the youths because they have all been charged to court,” he said.

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