In a chat with Vanguardngr, three female siblings, aged 13, 5 and 3 years respectively, whose HIV-positive grandmother tagged witches, revealed the abuses they were subjected to by their grandmother.
According to the eldest of the sibling from a community in Cross River State, their grandmother conspired with some persons to beat them with red-hot machete to coerce them to confess to witchcraft.
“We are not witches, our grandmother made us to confess what we are not. We dropped out of school in 2016 when our mother died; we also lost our father in 2014. .
We do not belong to any witchcraft world. We are normal children; she made us to sell sachet water before we can eat once a day. .
She is our grandmother, she normally brings people like Uncle Aniekan to punish us with hot machete and he flogged us with it after it had been heated up in fire. They will use it to flog us to confess that we were responsible for her sickness” she said.
Principal Counsel to Child Protection Network and Basic Rights Counsel Initiative, BRCI, Barr. James Ibor, who is leading the team prosecuting the kids’ grandmother, disclosed that the lady who was earlier arrested, was later granted bail because she was HIV-positive and was like a walking corpse.
“The old woman in question has a terminal illness, for which she has refused to continue taking drugs as prescribed and recommended, but she decided to blame her condition on the children.
She was aware of her status and was placed on anti-retroviral drugs, but she stopped taking them and decided to say her children were sucking her blood,” Ibor asserted.
Cross River Police Command Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, ASP Irene Ugbo, who confirmed the incident, disclosed that it was under investigation and all the parties involved get what is due to them in line with the law.