Alleged burning of C’River woman: Monarchs’ council urges police to release detained youths

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By Asare Asare

The Traditional Council of the Old-Netim Community in Cross River State has appealed to police authorities to release 25 youths arrested about two months ago following the alleged burning to death of an elderly woman by some youth leaders.

The victim, Mrs. Martina Okey, was alleged to have been a witch who caused the deaths of some young people.

Governor Bassey Otu had ordered the arrest and prosecution of all those involved in the gruesome murder.

In a statement jointly signed by the council chairman and Clan head, H.R.H. Ntufam Augustine Nyong Orok, and the Secretary, Ntufam Linus Pius Mbey, they alleged that the police carried out mass and indiscriminate arrest of youths in Old Netim Community.

They argued that the murder was not carried out by the entire youth of the community.

According to the traditional council, those responsible for the murder were youths who disagreed with them.

“The faction of the youths who were against the development of the community performed the act so as to give a bad image to the community.

“We use this medium to appeal to the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 6, Calabar and the State 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,” the statement read in part.

They lamented that innocent families had been subjected to hardship because of the incident and the situation.

The royal fathers assured that they will continue to partner with the state government to maintain peace, noting that Old Netim, a business hub in the Akamkpa Local Government Area, has been peaceful but has now become a ghost of itself.

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