The Akwa Ibom State High Court, sitting in Ikot Ekpene Judiciary Division, has sentenced a middle-aged man, Christopher Udoh, to death by hanging for killing his 11-year-old son, Gabriel Udoh, over alleged witchcraft.
Udoh, who hailed from Obot Akara Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, was said to have blamed his son for his business failure, accusing him of deploying witchcraft to ruin his business endeavours.
The presiding judge, Justice Joy Unwana, on Monday passed the sentence after finding Christopher guilty of murder, in accordance with Section 316 (1) of the Criminal Laws of Akwa Ibom State.
The court held that the convict, who had already admitted to committing the offence, deliberately killed his son, Gabriel, for allegedly being behind his many years of unsuccessful business pursuit in Benin City, Edo State.
Christopher had told the court that he had struggled for many years for his business to grow, but later realised that his son, whom he suspected to be a witch, could be responsible for his business going downhill.
He said, “After my inability to have a serious breakthrough in business, I discovered that my son could have been responsible. When I could no longer carry on with the business, I was stranded in Benin City. I had to return home with nothing.
“Every attempt for me to break even in life became too difficult, even to get married since his mother was no longer with me following years of hardship that she could not bear.
“For me to free myself of such spell, I had to kill him, burnt his body and dumped the remains in a pit.”
He, however, pleaded for the court to be lenient and for God to have mercy, saying he had only been used by the devil.