Man hacked to death for confronting herbalist


Mama Imaobong Titus refused to be consoled. She asked hysterically: Why did my son have to die?

The  cause of her anguish  is the  hacking to death of her first son and the breadwinner of the family,   Itoro, allegedly by a herbalist, Ette Okon Friday, following a misunderstanding.

Rita Emmanuel, a cousin of the deceased, a commercial motor cyclist, told the story of the murder. According to her, Itoro  lived with his parents in their   grass house   in  Ikot Abasi Effiom, in Akpabuyo Local Government Area   of Cross River State until he  rented a room in a house nearly in order to have more space since his wife was about to give birth. “About a month ago, he decided to rent  a room in the next street so that his wife who was about to deliver a baby could have more space and we all agreed that it was okay. He  got a room in  Ette Friday’s house and moved there”.

Rita explained that  everything was going on well until Ndarake, Itoro’s wife, gave birth and the baby died within  days. After  the death of the baby, the wife, according to the cousin, took  ill, suffering  epileptic seizures. Naturally, the  husband became agitated. Consequently, Friday, described as  a herbalist, was said to have claimed he could heal the woman and demanded for 5,000 naira which Itoro raised and gave to him.

Rita narrated that after Friday collected the money, he   assured that the wife would soon recover and commenced treatment. Later   that night, however, when the young man came back from work, he met his wife in a bad state and demanded to know from Friday, why the situation of his wife was growing worse instead of improving. This allegedly angered the herbalist who was said to have gone  into his shrine   and brought out a machete with which he cut  Itoro’s  throat.

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Her words: “Last year, Itoro lost his first wife after she gave birth to their second daughter; so he   was worried that his second wife taking care of the two children was going to die too. He asked the herbalist why the state of his wife was getting worse when it ought to be improving since the man had been given the money he demanded and he assured that he would treat the woman . The man did not say anything; he simply went inside his shrine and brought out a machete   and cut Itoro’s   throat”.

A resident, who gave his name as Monday, said when people heard    Itoro’s cries that night, they rushed to the herbalist’s house and  met Itoro   in   a pool of blood. According to him, when  the herbalist saw them, he  threatened them with machete. This, he said, angered the residents who overpowered him, cut his throat, dumped the body   inside the shrine and set the place ablaze.

“The remains of the herbalist were eaten by dogs which he deserves because we could not  understand why he should kill a young man for asking why the state of his wife   whom he was treating was worsening   rather than improving”.

Mr. Luis Samba, the Divisional Police Officer for Akpabuyo, said the matter had been transferred to the homicide unit of the Cross River State Police Command  in Calabar. Mr Hogan Bassey, the spokesman  for the Command, said  the matter was being investigated.


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