Village youths bury old man alive over witchcraft allegations

An elderly man, simply identified as Ihwakaa has been buried alive over witchcraft allegation levelled against him by some youths in Ikyve community, Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State.

Ihwakaa was buried alive for allegedly masterminding the deaths of the three members of his family – his, wife and grandson.

Witnesses said the incident happened at the weekend in Ikyve community of Diiv-Ikyurave, a rural area which borders Cross River State.

A resident of the area explained that trouble started for the elderly victim simply identified as Ihwakaa when lightning struck and killed his son, Henry, alongside his wife and their infant.

The resident further narrated that some youths in the area alleged that it was the handiwork of Ihwakaa, whom they accused was always using water channels to invoke witchcraft on people of the community.

“So, they accosted him and buried him in a shallow grave alive,” the resident said.

Another resident of the community, Engr. Baba Agan, told our correspondent on the telephone that he learnt on Sunday that three persons were killed by thunder storm in his community.

Agan narrated that he further learnt that an elderly man was accused of masterminding the deaths of the three people, a development which led to a mob burying him alive.

He said thunder storm was a common phenomenal in that vicinity and could have been responsible for the death of the husband, wife and their two-month-old baby.

Agan, an elder in the community, said it was unfortunate that before the police arrived at the scene to rescue the victim from the grave, he had died and it was his corpse that was finally exhumed.

“I’m not happy. People shouldn’t take the law into their own hands. If this matter is not properly handled, it can generate further crisis in the family and community. As an elder, I will join other leadership of the community to ensure this issue is settled amicably,” Agan said.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Benue State Command, SP Catherine Anene, confirmed the incident, adding that two suspects had been arrested.

“An elderly man was buried alive because it was being alleged that a young man, his wife and two months old child died from lightning. It was alleged that it was the man doing witchcraft that brought the lightning. They went and buried him alive and he died. Police are investigating; we have arrested two people already,” Anene said.

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