HURIWA urges police to arrest, prosecute Cross River youths for lynching two Catholic women

A civil advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has tasked the Nigeria Police Force to fish out and prosecute some Cross River youths who allegedly attacked and tortured two Catholic women to death over witchcraft allegations.

Its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement earlier today (Wednesday, August 31st, 2022) condemned the killing of the two Catholic sisters who were returning from early morning Mass, insisting that jungle justice must never be condoned in any civilized society.

Two widows, Martina Osom and Rose Akon, were on Saturday, accused of witchcraft and allegedly lynched by some youths in Ebbaken community, Boje, in the Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State.

The victims, devout Catholics, were reportedly returning from early morning prayers when the youths accosted them and allegedly killed them.

Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said: “The lynching of the two Catholic women is strongly condemned. It is barbaric and a manifestation of cruelty of the highest order. So, the police must fish out the killers and prosecute the culprits. HURIWA recommends a tough punishment for the culprits to serve as a deterrent.

“Jungle justice is alien to any civil society and should be stamped out using all constitutional provisions. For instance, Section 33(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) states thus: ‘Every person has a right to life and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria’.

“Similarly, Section 315 of the Criminal code Act states thus: ‘Any person who unlawfully kills another is guilty of an offence called murder or manslaughter, according to the circumstances of the case’.

“Section 220 of the Penal Code prescribes that anyone who intentionally caused the death of another commits culpable homicide. Section 8(1) of Administration of Criminal and Justice Act (2015) also agreed with that no one has the right to take another’s life.

“The killers of the Cross River Catholic women must be produced and prosecuted because they committed an offence that is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years, as prescribed by the Section 2(1) of the Violence Against Persons Act.

“Security agencies must stop increasing assaults on Catholics. (Such assaults) must stop. Just weeks ago, four Reverend Sisters of the Catholic Church were kidnapped along the Okigwe-Enugu Road in Imo State, on their way to Church for Mass. Some kidnapped Catholic priests have been gruesomely murdered just for being Catholics. This must stop forthwith.”

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