The people of Ejaa community, in Itabono-Owukpa, Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State were thrown into confusion recently when a group of young men took a corpse of a man who allegedly died mysteriously to the house of another man, identified as Mr. George Onuh and abandoned the corpse there till the early hours of today (Saturday), alleging that Mr. George was responsible for the deceased’s death.
The victim, simply identified as Omale Uroko was said to have been killed by witchcraft invoked by Mr. George Onuh during a family burial held in Ejaa-Itabono, a suburb of Owukpa in Ogbadibo LGA of Benue state.
George, who had never before the latest accusation been identified with witchcraft, had allegedly asked Mr. Omale who was at his late 40 during the sharing of a fowl slaughtered at a burial , whether he was going to eat the liver of the said fowl all alone, a question, the family of the deceased said was responsible for his death. It was reported that the deceased, Omale Uroko embarked on a heated argument with Mr. George who had continually warned him against eating the liver meant for the elders. Uroko’s argument however, was that, as a family provost, the liver belonged to him.
Problem however started after the deceased ate the liver, and it couldn’t go down his throat. Sources have told DailyPost that Mr. Omale Uroko immediately developed lungs disease, and died seven days later.
A source, simply identified as Mr. Sunday had told DailyPost that the deceased’s family had taken a fowl to Mr. George few days to Uroko’s death , a way of appeasing him in order to set the deceased free. The source further revealed that Mr. George refused to accept the fowl, claiming that it came rather too late, and that the deed was already done.
Meanwhile, DailyPost was able to speak with Mr. George Onuh, who had claimed innocence of the allegation. George had told DailyPost that he had never been accused of witchcraft all through his life, and that it was embarrassing and debasing for anyone to have accused him of witchcraft.
Narrating what happened, Mr. George called on the Human Rights Commission to intervene in the matter as the family of the deceased had violated his rights by breaking into his house, beating him up, and abandoned the corpse in his parlour till the next morning. He said, ” they stormed my house in number, carrying locally made pistols and knives. They beat me up, threatened to kill me, and left the corpse in my house. I slept in the house with the corpse till the early hour of today, before they came to pick up the corpse. I’m innocent. We were at the burial together, but I couldn’t have told him what they have claimed. How big or important is a fowl’s liver? How on earth will I kill another man for just meat? Nobody brought a chicken to my house contrary to what I heard. To appease me that I’m God or what? There are several versions to this story, but I’m ready to take any oath. Let them give me the right hand of the deceased as an oath. I need to vindicate myself. This is damaging, and extremely embarrassing. As I continue to make effort to clear myself, I need the Human Rights Commission and the Nigeria Police to come to my rescue. I have been humiliated. I have been battered and abused. My rights have been gravely abused. I don’t have anybody to help me, but I know that the entire world abhors this type of barbaric justice, this jungle justice. They would have maimed me if not for God. God in heaven knows that I’m perfectly innocent.
Also speaking with PDP woman leader at Ogbata -Ugbugbu, Owukpa, Mrs. Maria Adoyi, she debunked the allegation, affirming that she had known George for over 30 years. ” How can anybody accuse George Onuh of witchcraft? I don’t think the deceased family was right in anyway. It was equally awful for the deceased’s family to have gone to drop the corpse at Mr. George’s house. That’s barbaric. There are several beliefs in this part of the world which the government must question. We need the government to intervene. People die everyday. Do we now begin to accuse other people whenever we lose someone? It’s painful.” She said.
While filing this report, Mr. George had gone with his family members to the deceased family, demanding that an oath be given to him to clear the allegation. DailyPost has been told that the deceased family refused to do so, with the strong belief that Mr. George was responsible for the death.
Meanwhile, attempts by our reporter to reach the Nigeria Police Post at Ukwo Owukpa failed as all numbers were permanently switched off.