The Police in Eket, Nigeria have arrested a 34 year old man, Mr. Albert Silvanus Uso for burning his stepson with hot knives before abandoning him over witchcraft allegations.
Mr. Uso who hails from Edo, Esit Eket Local Government Area, steamed knives in the fire and branded on his stepson, Victor severally on different parts of his body after tying his both hands and legs to make sure that he could not escape.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the arrest, The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Eket, CSP Abdulkadir Jamal said he ordered his men to go after the man because he had warned that child witch-branding and torture of innocent children cannot be tolerated anywhere in the world.
"The Police have frequently warned that people should not hide under any guise to abuse children. We will do everything under the law to arrest and prosecute any offenders.
"We saw the wounds and scars on the child's body and we consider it inhumane and Barbaric. It's not a sight you could stand, so I ordered for his immediate arrest." The police boss asserted.
Albert Uso was arrested penultimate Friday, 2:00 AM, in Efoi - Eket where he currently resides, after a complaint was lodged in the Eket Divisional Police Headquarters by a children's right group, the Child's Right and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) an NGO that also caters for abandoned children in Akwa Ibom State.
The victim, Victor was rescued by a CRARN volunteer team in a nearby market when he crept out of the bush, scavenging for food during market closed hours. He said he had been in the bush for several days without food and eating merely raw leaves and unriped fruits.
Reacting to the arrest, the Founder and President of CRARN, Mr. Sam Itauma expressed gratitude to the police for their swift action that leads to the arrest of the culprit. He said his organization will continue partner the police and other security agencies to curb the menace of children victimization as result of witchcraft belief and related issues.
Itauma said 95% of children who suffered witchcraft related abuses is the consequences of failed marriages, single parenthood and dysfunctional family amidst extreme poverty. The charity worker called on the government intensify its effort towards creating jobs and launch enlightenment programmes that would demystify the witchcraft perception and beliefs