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Ekita Villager Killed in Witchcraft Experiment 

By Azore Opio — Okon Uwana Ukpe is on the run after allegedly shooting to death one Peter Awah in Ekita Village, Nguti Sub-division, in a witchcraft experiment that went haywire late last year.

Registered as a traditional doctor with the Cooperative Association of Traditional/Medical Doctors, Scientific Research and Education headquartered in Buea, Okon allegedly approached late Awah’s wife, Helen Awah, on December 30, 2011 and told her he was going to prepare an anti-bullet potion to protect her husband.

“On December 30, my husband gave me money to go to the market to shop for the New Year. But before I left for the market, a certain Dr. Okon came to our home and told me they wanted to make some medicine called “odeshi”. I said; God forbid and asked him what kind of medicine odeshi was.

Okon told me it was medicine which when applied to your body, and a gun is fired at you, the bullets would not harm you,” Helen told The Post at their home in Ekita recently. Helen said he warned Okon to leave her husband alone since he was not a problematic person and she did not want him to go to prison over a trivial act. “But the man said not to worry; there was no problem. So I told my husband to accompany me to the market but he declined. At the market, I waited for him in vain.

Back home, I sent one of my kids to call him. The kid came back and told me his father said they were preparing some medicine,” said the seven-month old pregnant woman. She said she sent another of her kids to call their father. “His father brought him back because he liked him a lot,” Helen told The Post. Helen said he cautioned her husband about the medicine they were preparing because she had a premonition.

“I warned him against going ahead with the project and he said he was not going back to the laboratory. So I went back to sorting my beans and preparing a meal. Then after a while, my husband said the time had come to test the medicine,” Helen narrated. According to Helen, Peter left to join Okon in his house where he had been concocting the anti-bullet potion. She said Okon asked her husband, one Simon Ekanda, and Mac-Adolf Enow alias Equator, to remove their shirts and stand side by side.

“I insisted, warned my husband. I told him not to do it. But he insisted that Okon had reassured them that nothing harmful would come their way,” said Helen. “Even the doctor, Okon, told me not to worry.” She said she reminded Okon that she was pregnant and that her husband was all she had. But Okon went ahead and took aim. And fired. “The moment Okon fired the gun, I saw stars and felt as if someone had died,” Helen recalled. “My husband was shot in front of me.”

She said as soon as Okon fired the gun Ekanda and Equator ran to Okon’s residence.
Helen remembered that her husband was still standing. Then he too ran to the medicine house. “When he inspected himself, he saw blood oozing from his side and he collapsed,” said Helen. “I screamed but Okon said not to worry, the medicine they had prepared would take care in good time.”

She said they tried to force the potion down Peter’s throat but it was doomed to failure.
“Okon offered money to buy some milk which I did, but, alas, Peter was still unconscious after two hours while Okon was pestering me with assurances. When my husband breathed his last, I held Okon by his trouser legs, telling him my massa was dead. Still, he insisted that everything was alright.”

Then Okon said he was going to find some other antidote. But that was when he was making his escape. “It was around one o’clock and there were not many people around since they had gone to a funeral in Talangaye, a neighbouring village,” said Helen. Peter Awah was buried in the bush as Bassosi tradition demands of indigenes who die in accidents.

Gendarmes later arrested Okon’s brothers and two boys (Nigerians) who worked with him in the healing business. The brothers are detained at the Kumba Gendarmerie Brigade awaiting trial. The killing gun, Helen said, was confiscated by a certain gendarme called Bisong from Nguti. Okon is said to have dabbled in traditional medicine, claiming to cure madness, poisoning, witchcraft, barrenness in men and women, women problems and venereal diseases.

According to his certificate for practice, Okon was born in Ibiono, Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria, married with two children and had migrated to Ekita from Barombi Kotto in Mbonge Sub-division after a domestic problem. Helen Awah had been married for seven years, with three children. She still can’t fathom why her husband needed anti-bullet potion.

First Published in The Post print edition No 1229

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