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  • Crime - Akwa Ibom
  • Updated: August 13, 2022

82-Year-Old Monarch To Die By Hanging In Akwa Ibom

An Akwa Ibom State High Court has sentenced Chief Matthew Odiong, an 82-year-old traditional ruler of Efen Ibom community in Ika Local Government Area of the state to death by hanging.

The court which was presided over by Justice Edem Akpan found the monarch guilty of murder.

The monarch is famous in Akwa Ibom for marrying 12 wives and  giving birth to 60 children.

He was standing trial on four counts of conspiracy, directing unlawful trial by ordeal, stealing of the motorcycle and murder of the owner, one Udoma Udo Ubom.

In his judgement on Friday, Justice Akpan said the court found the accused guilty of murder of the deceased by injecting some chemical substance on him, leading to his death on April 26, 2017.

The late Ubom was accused by his brothers of being a wizard and was reported to the Village Head, who brought him before the Council, where the deceased was administered an oath to swear and prove his innocence.

The court held, “Having sensed the consequences of his criminal activity, the monarch escaped from the village since 2017 and returned in 2019, when he was arrested by the Police.”

Justice Akpan stated, “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, and the law has relieved the prosecution of the burden to prove the offense of conspiracy.”

The court further held, “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 susbtance through a syringe into his buttocks by the village head caused the death of the deceased.”

Justice Edem Akpan sentenced the Village Head 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.

Before the sentence was announced, the convicted Village Head, popularly known as ‘Kill and Bury’ pleaded for leniency, asking the court to temper justice with mercy.

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