Itoro, the first son and the breadwinner of the family, was allegedly hacked to death by a herbalist, Ette Okon on Friday, following a misunderstanding.
Rita Emmanuel, a cousin of the deceased, a commercial motor cyclist, told the story of the murder. According to her, Itoro lived with his parents in their grass house in Ikot Abasi Effiom, in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State until he rented a room in a house close to his parents’.
“About a month ago, he decided to rent a room in the next street so that his wife who was about to deliver a baby could have more space and we all agreed that it was okay. He got a room in Ette Friday’s house and moved there”.
Rita explained that everything was fine until Ndarake, Itoro’s wife, gave birth and the baby died within days. After the death of the baby, the wife, according to the cousin, became sick and suffered epileptic seizures.
Friday, described as a herbalist, was said to have claimed he could heal the woman and asked for N5.000 to get materials to heal her.
Rita stated that after Friday took the money, he assured Itoro that his wife would soon recover and commenced treatment but that didn’t happen.
Rita said:“Last year, Itoro lost his first wife after she gave birth to their second daughter; so he was worried that his second wife taking care of the two children was going to die too. He asked the herbalist why the state of his wife was getting worse when it ought to be improving since the man had been given the money he demanded and he assured that he would treat the woman . The man did not say anything; he simply went inside his shrine and brought out a machete and cut Itoro’s throat”.
A resident, who gave his name as Monday, said when people heard Itoro’s cries that night, they rushed to the herbalist’s house and met Itoro in a pool of blood.
According to him, when the herbalist saw them, he threatened them with a machete. This, he said, angered the residents who took matters into their hands, overpowered him, cut his own throat, dumped the body inside the shrine and set the place ablaze.
“The remains of the herbalist were eaten by dogs which he deserves because we could not understand why he should kill a young man for asking why the state of his wife whom he was treating was worsening rather than improving”.
Mr Hogan Bassey, the spokesman for the Command, said the matter was being investigated.