Police go after torturers of 98-year-old woman accused of witchcraft in Delta

Operatives of the Delta Police Command have gone after torturers of a nonagenarian, Mrs Margaret Okpie, accused of alleged witchcraft at Otor-Iyede, Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State.

The 98-year-old is said to be in severe pains and undergoing medical treatment at an undisclosed hospital after her brutal torture by her relatives, who accused her of being a witch.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bright Edafe, who confirmed the incident, informed our correspondent on Saturday that the command swung into action after the receipt of a petition from Mrs Alice Jete, daughter of the nonagenarian.

Mrs Jete had, in the petition, called on Human Rights organizations and the Nigerian Police to bring the perpetrators to book.

She noted that the sad incident happened on the 19th of March, 2021 at Otor-Iyede, Isoko South LGA of the state.

Mrs Jete disclosed that her mother was not a witch and was falsely accused, clubbed and dragged on the ground into a room to be burnt to death.

“This should not be tolerated, this [so-called] witch-craft issue is ridiculous and primitive,” she retorted.

The daughter’s claim of torture was corroborated in a video obtained by our correspondent on Saturday.

In the video, 98-year-old Mrs Okpie and another woman were seen being flogged and tortured by some young men in front of a house in a rural setting and were both later dragged into the house and the door shut against them.

The young men carrying out the dastardly act were seen being placated by one of them to stop the torture to no avail.

DSP Edafe said although the suspects are currently on the run, operatives of the Command would smoke them out of their hiding in no time.

Speaking further on the incident, Mrs Jete, daughter of the tortured nonagenarian, disclosed that after the case was incidental and the community oracle consulted, her mother was exonerated of the witchcraft allegation.

“The matter was reported, at the Otor-Oweh Police Station on the 20th 03 2021 but some community leaders protected those youths from being arrested as they promised to consult their local Oracle which later confirmed that the accused 98 years old woman was innocent,” she noted.

She appealed to Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Ari Muhammed Ali and Humans Rights organisations to bring the perpetrators to justice, adding “It is painful that superstitions have resulted in the victimisation of innocent elderly in a society where the extremely poor are often singled out as witches rather than being catered for.”

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