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No Place for Jungle Justice in Cross River, Otu, Orders Arrest of Culprits

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Andy Esiet, Calabar 

Gov. Bassey Otu

Cross River state governor, Senator Bassey Otu has warned against jungle justice in the state as he ordered the state police command to arrest the youths who allegedly tortured and burnt to death a woman accused of witchcraft practice. 

A statement on Saturday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Emmanuel Ogbeche, said the attention of the state government has been drawn to a gruesome video online and some news reports on the alleged burning to death of one Madam Martina Okey Itagbor of Old Netim in Akamkpa Local Government Area of the state by some by some unscrupulous, wild and criminal minded youths.

Governor Otu according to the statement finds the allegation, if proven true, to be repulsive and against all civility noting that the state like all parts of Nigeria is governed by constitutional order, therefore, “all forms of brigandage and criminal acts will not be tolerated and will be met with the full weight of the law”.

The governor described such act as “sheer savagery and cowardice for the youths or anybody to take the laws into their hands, more so, involving a helpless woman. Such abhorrent acts have no place in a constitutional democracy that Nigeria practices which our state is part of.

“Our people must do away with all relics of culture that promotes violence, murder and criminality such as in this instance. To this end, I am directing the Commissioner of Police in the state to mobilise all tactical and investigative assets and ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous act are brought to justice.

“I further wish to warn against all of such acts as we have laws and statutes to deal with issues of wrongdoings and disagreements”.

He stated that “as an administration committed to the People’s First Agenda, my administration will be intolerant to acts capable of breaching the peace, endangering citizens and businesses and portraying the state in a bad light”.

The governor extended his deepest condolences to the family of the deceased and community and urged all community leaders, religious institutions and civil society organizations “to do more in the area of civic education while championing the crusade for tolerance and respecting constituted authority especially amongst our youths as anyone found taking the laws into their hands will be made to have their day in court” .

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