Mrs. Iquo Edet Iyo and 4 other suspects are said to have been tortured, killed, and buried in a forest over witchcraft allegations in Ndon Nwong village, Okurikang, Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State.
The sad event began on Wednesday, 12 October 2022 when a little boy of 8-9 years age bracket (name withheld) confessed to killing his uncle who died in a motorcycle accident.
His confession led to the arrest and torture of 9 people (3 women, 4 men, and 2 children) but only 3 women and 2 men were killed and buried in the forest while 2 men and 2 children were not killed. Those not killed according to eyewitnesses because they confessed to still holding many youths in bondage. But Mrs. Iquo’s killing was that of mistaken identity.
Her children, Akon Asuquo and Effiong Asuquo both narrated what transpired to CrossRiverWatch.
Akon, her daughter narrated: “On Sunday the 9th of October, 2022 we traveled with my mum to her village – Ndon Nwong in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State, to harvest and make garri. On Monday, the 10th I stepped out and learned that a young man died in a motorcycle accident; he rode his motorcycle and crashed against roadside water taps.
“The young man’s family members went to find out what caused his death. They took some of his belongings and went for fact-finding and met a juju priest, according to them they will not allow him to die just like that. So, on Wednesday the 12th, one little boy between the age bracket of 8-9 years in the village started confessing that he killed his mother, his uncle who had the accident, and a few others.
“The village youth leader – Amon Ene, carried the little boy to the village square. There at the village square, he continued confessing and the large crowd which gathered was asking him who sent him, he mentioned the names of people who allegedly initiated him into witchcraft, and sent him to kill the people he said he had killed. Immediately the youths went and brought the alleged people.
“On Thursday the 13th in the morning, I woke up and packed our clothes and that of my mum to wash. While I was washing I heard a voice saying at the front door ‘where is this woman, where is this woman,’ that she should come out. I quickly stopped washing and rushed to the front and asked them what the problem was. They said I should go inside the house and bring my mum out. I still insisted on what the problem was and what she had done. They still said if I know what is good for me I should not question them and should go in and bring her.
“Sensing the atmosphere, I called my younger brother – Effiong to go call her but he refused. I had to rush in and told her to wear clothes because she was lying on the bed; she wore her clothes and tied her wrapper and we followed them. Immediately we got to the village square, I saw a mammoth crowd in the square including other alleged suspects on the floor. I still asked what was the problem, they shouted at my mum to sit on the floor.
“One of them told my mum that one of the women (suspect) seated on the floor said she gave her witchcraft; immediately she raised her face up when my mum was brought, the woman said it is not Eka Effiong she is talking about, that she is talking about Mma Edet. I and others were asking which Mma Edet? Because we don’t know Mma Edet. My mother said her name is not Mma Edet; she is Iquo Edet Iyo or Mma Edet Iyo as she is fondly called by many. They refused to listen to her, they forced her to sit down but she refused to sit. One of them (Bassey Etribe) came and pulled my mother’s legs and she fell to the ground.”
After taking a deep breath she continued: “Again, they started asking the little boy questions if there was any among them who sent him to kill his uncle, he pointed to one man among them. They asked him again who initiated him to witchcraft, he pointed to the woman who mentioned my mother. We continued to ask for the woman they mistook to be my mother but could not know up till now. The youths started beating them saying they didn’t want to talk, they were witches and wizards and they were going to kill them. They were beaten with all kinds of weapons – machetes, wood, and iron, among others.
“While they were still beating them, including my mom, I was shouting that they should stop because her name is not Mma Edet; that, her name is Iquo Edet Iyo. They used a machete to cut my mother’s hand. I ran towards them crying they should stop, Bassey Etribe used a machete to flog me on my back and injured me, I now ran and left my mom as they continued beating them.
“When the women in the crowd started shouting that the suspects should not be killed, the youths invoked Obon (a sacred masquerade that prohibits women from seeing it) and the women ran away including me,” she said struggling with tears while her brother who is an initiate continued the narration.
Effiong Asuquo continued with teary eyes: “They continued beating my mother and others until they got weak. One of the youths asked what should be done to them; free them after beating them or what? But none of them said anything. A few of them, about five in number, gathered and had a meeting. After the meeting, they resolved to kill them. They dragged them on the floor into the forest and killed 5 of them. My mother was second to the last person they took to kill (he took a deep breath).
“While they were dragging her on the floor, she said if they were going to kill her, they should wait for her to say her last words, they allowed her.
“My mother laid a curse on them, saying: if they will kill her for something she did not do and she is innocent and they have refused to listen, her blood will hunt them to their fourth generation; Bassey Etribe said, yes, yes, he has heard, he continued beating her and carried a log of wood and pushed it into my mother’s private part, but she struggled to remove it. Bassey Etribe, who is the mastermind of all these, again used a stick to stab my mother in her stomach. One papa joined him to drag her into the forest. At this point, I could not withstand it again as they carried them to the forest to kill and bury. They freed two men and children among them because they said they are still holding many youths captive and would not be free if they killed them, so they set them free and urged them to go and free those in their captive.
“While I was wailing and going home, I heard that our house had been set on fire; they destroyed all our properties and burnt everything. I got there and discovered it was true,” Effiong narrated with teary eyes.