On Tuesday, February 15 2022. A man, Anyanime Festus was sentenced to death by hanging by Honorable Justice A. A. Onyebueke of Cross River State High Court, sitting in Akamkpa for killing his 11-year-old twin daughters, Mfoniso and Emediong Anyanime, after he dubbed them witches.
Justice Agnes Onyebueke who delivered judgement on the matter with suit number HK/6C/2018, said, “Udo’s act is satanic, demonic, and beyond human comprehension.”
The judge ruled that the defendant had willfully and gruesomely murdered his 11-year-old twins, Mfoniso Anyanime and Emediong Anyanime, in 2017 after calling them witches.
When cross-examined, the middle age defendant could not defend his allegation of witchcraft against the 11-year old female children he had allegedly given a malt drink mixed with acid from his motorcycle.
It was gathered that one of the twins died on the spot on January 10, 2017, while the second was said to have crawled to the road where a kindhearted person picked and took her to the hospital where she died the following day.
The Renowned Child Rights Activist, Barrister James Ibor, of the Basic Rights Counsel Initiative which made the prosecution of the accused possible, said the incident was first reported in February 2017.
Barr. Ibor said Udo was arrested by the police after an investigation.
“The police ensured that necessary medical examinations and autopsy were done on the deceased children, which aided the judgement. This judgement is a great victory to the victims, Mfoniso Anyanime, Emediong Anyanime in particular, and the Government of Cross River,” he said.
It would be recalled that the killing of twins was predominant in the Southern part of Cross River which includes Akamkpa before the intervention of the Scottish Missionary, Mary Slessor.
Branding children witches and pushing them out of their homes into the street has remained a major social issue in Cross River and the neighbouring Akwa Ibom State.