July 1, 2022

98-yr-old flogged over alleged witchcraft in Delta

An old woman identified as Magarret Okpole and accused of witchcraft is currently having mental challenges after severe torture from her kinsmen in Otor-Iyede community, Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State.

It was learnt that the incident happened on Friday, March 19, leaving the nonagenarian in untold shock and pains.

According to reports, attempt to arrest the suspects was intercepted by some community leaders, who asked that the community’s deity be consulted first.

However, findings from the oracle reportedly proved that the 98-year old was innocent of witchcraft.

Daughter of the 98-year old victim, Mrs Alice Jete, while appealing to the Delta State Commissioner of Police Mr. Ari Muhammed Ali and human rights organisations to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book, also debunked the allegation, saying that her mother was falsely accused and maltreated.

Jete, 52, said that the matter was reported at a police station in a nearby community, Otor-Owhe, the following day.

Speaking with The Nation, she said: “I was called that evening. My son and I got to the village around 10 in the night. We took her to the hospital that night. It was my 20-year-old son that carried her.

“They beat her to the extent that up till now she cannot tell where she is. When I ask her ‘Mama, where are you?’ she would say, ‘I don’t know’. It’s like it (the maltreatment) affected her mentally.”

The unfortunate incident was reportedly masterminded by a relative named Wada Okpole.

Other suspects include Sunday Pada, Jerry Okpole, Emonana Okpole, Egbe Aluya, Oghenemaro, among others, all said to be natives of Otor-Iyede.

A video of the incident saw old Okpole and another woman said to be her married mate seated on sandy floor, pleading for their lives.

They were flogged repeatedly on the head and sides with plantain stems by at least four men, after which both were forcefully dragged on the ground into a room where they were locked in.

A voice could be heard saying, “These are the witches of Otor-Iyede. They can kill their children for anything…”

Another asked if they (women) had released the person they planned to kill in their coven. It (voice) promptly shouted that they (women) agreed the person had been released when ‘Oga Wada’ appeared on the scene, in a seeming attempt to strike the women.

A man on white and green coloured clothing also appeared on the video shouting ‘enough’ in Isoko language, while wading off further onslaught on the women.

Efforts made to speak with the President-General of Otor-Iyede were unsuccessful at the time of filing this report.

The police acting spokesman, DSP Edafe Bright, confirmed the incident, disclosing that “the suspects are on the run”.

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