Goodnews: Plateau Court sentences 5 to death for killing ‘witch’
Plateau State High Court 7 has sentenced five persons to death by hanging for killing an old woman tagged a witch.
The convicts had accused the deceased of being behind some of the mysterious happenings at Kwogu village in Riyom local government area.
The victim Mama Lyop Badung was beaten to death, while the girl who was said to have died of witchcraft was Rachael Yohann.
The accused persons were sentenced on two count charges of criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide.The convicted persons are Yohanna Davou, John Davou, Pam Davou, Pam Dalyop and one other.
Justice Christine Dabup on Tuesday said the witnesses called to testify in the case did not contradict themselves in their evidence and that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, while the police did not fail in their responsibility.
Having listened to the counsels of all the parties, with their final written addresses adopted, Justice Christine Dabup, sentenced the accused persons to death by hanging without any option.
After the judgment, the prosecuting counsel agreed that it was barbaric to kill a human being on accusation of witchcraft.
We do it for science, human rights and meaningful development
It is hard to imagine, but it is true, today, that cases of witch-hunting is still so commonplace in some African and Asian countries despite techno-scientific advancements. It is indeed a reality, a hard pill to swallow, that many children and aged women are still being subjected to humiliating conditions, and even killed sometimes, for being witches. The sanest questions, at this juncture, are: Who are the witches? What evidences do these attackers, nay killers, have and proven before attacking these victims of ignorance? And why accusing only the powerless segments of the society, children and women majorly? Obviously, we should not watch indifferently and allow this dastard act to continue.
Our fundamental goal as a team, the HAPSTA SCRIP Project, is to prevent a recurrence of happenings in the dark ages when many are tried and summarily executed at stakes for witchcraft allegations, in the contemporary period. We have therefore decided to be the VOICE of these VOICELESS children and aged, as well as their MEGAPHONE to other concerned global citizens.
The three cardinal focus of this project are:
P- Prosecution (of erring religious leaders and parents) for deterrence E- Enlightenment to wean the public from the con religious leaders feeding fat on their ignorance R- Reunification of the stigmatized with their families for future's sake
The HAPSTA SCRIP Project is supported locally by humanists and human rights individuals and groups, and internationally by the Human Etisk Forbund, Oslo section, HEF, Central and the HAMU, all in Norway; and most recently by the African Unite Against Child Abuse, AFRUCA, UK .