The Benue State Police Command has apprehended a suspected leader of a nine-man gang who tortured an 89-year-old man, Elder Kyado Justin, alleged to have inflicted illness through witchcraft on a younger person in the community.

The incident happened at Tse Agena-Gbamacha council ward in Gwer East Local Government Area of the state where a young man identified as Terzunge Agena had been ill and with no sign of recovery.

Some youths in the village were said to have pointed accusing fingers at the octogenarian, took him to an area where they prepared fire and compelled him to sit by it so that he would confess that he had a hand in the ill health of Agena.

Confirming the incident, the state command spokesperson, Catherine Anene, said that policemen who swooped on the area rescued the  elderly man and had been taken to federal medical center for treatment.

Anene said, “On 18/1/2023 at about 1130hr, it was gathered that Elder Kyado Justin ‘m’89 years old of Tse Agena- Gbamacha council ward, Gwer- East LGA was abducted by a nine-man gang for alleged witchcraft against a young man who had been sick in the area as pronounced by a witch doctor.

“The youth took him (Octogenarian) to an area where they prepared fire and compelled the Octogenarian to sit by the fire so that by this torture, he will confess that he had a hand in the ill health of one Terzungwe Agena.

“Upon arrival of the police, the hoodlums abandoned the victim who had sustained various degrees of burns at his waist and legs and ran away.

“He was rescued and taken to federal medical center, Apir where he is receiving treatment.

“Investigation led to the arrest of one Ushahemba Agena who led the mob to the victims house. Efforts are been made to arrest suspects at large.

Anene said that the state Commissioner of Police, Wale Abass, has condemned in totality the barbaric act and had pledged his commitment to arrest and deal with perpetrators of the act in accordance with the laws.

“The CP calls on traditional rulers and leaders of communities where such inhuman practices are springing up to educate their children/wards as the command, under his watch will not tolerate this act,” Anene said in the statement.

Punch/Adebayo Yusuf

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