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An 82-year-old village head of Efen Ibom, Ika Local Government, Akwa Ibom, Chief Essien Matthew Odiong has been sentenced to death by hanging.
Odiong in 2017 presided over a council where Udoma Akpkan Udom, a villager, was injected with a substance that eventually killed him.
The village head then took over Udom’s motorycle.
An Akwa Ibom high court presided over by Justice Edem Akpan found the accused guilty of murder.
The Court held that “having sensed the consequences of his criminal activity, the monarch escaped from the Village in 2017 and returned in 2019, when he was arrested by the Police.”
Justice Akpan also held that since “the accused had voluntarily admitted that he sat at Efen Clan Council with five other village heads and members of the Clan Council to try the deceased on the allegation of witchcraft, the law has relieved the prosecution of the burden to prove the offense of conspiracy.”
“The admission of the process of trial and the decision of Efen Clan Council to administer oath on the deceased has logically brought to the conclusion that a plastic bath on the head of the late Udoma Akpan Udo Ubom and injecting some chemical substance through a syringe into his buttocks by the village head, caused the death of the deceased,” the judge ruled.
He then sentenced Odong to death by hanging for murder, seven years imprisonment with hard labour for directing unlawful trial by ordeal and three years’ imprisonment for conspiracy with others now at large.
Odiong, popularly called kill-and-bury, has 12 wives and fathers 60 children, pleaded for leniency.
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