A lady pastor, and overseer of Zion Peace Church, in Ikot Obong Akan, Oruk Anam local government area of Akwa Ibom State, Evangelist Mary Smith Udo and her guest prophet, Senior Prophet Iniobong have been arrested by the police in Mkpat Enin local government area for torturing five children and coercing them to eat poisonous substances in their church.
The children were labeled witches and wizards by the church in different prayer sessions and were said to have undergone different layers of wild and horrific deliverance.
One of the children said he was supposed to take the common entrance exams this year, 2019 but was not allowed by his stepmother who insisted that he must be cleansed of the witchcraft spell.
According to the child: “I told my stepmother that I am not a wizard but she did not believe me. She beat me and the pastor burned machetes in fire. When it became hot-red, she used it to burn me and other children”, 10-year-old Ubong said.
Platinum.ng gathered that the children, numbering about ten have been in the church for several months without going to school. Five of them who denied that they were witches were given poisonous leaves to eat which made them dizzy and forced them into a state of coma.
Another 13-year-old Ndiana who spoke to the police said: “the woman brought sticks and began to hit us in addition to the machetes burnt, she gave us and told us to eat the poisonous leaves. When I ate the leaves a few minutes later my eyes began to turn and I slept off. I didn’t know myself again”.
Our reporter gathered that the case was reported to the Police through a volunteer with the Child’s Right and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN), Mr. Mbuotidem Jerome, who aided in tracking down the suspects.
Subsequently, the parents of the children, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Emmanuel, have been arrested alongside their stepmother; Edidiong Anthony Emmanuel, who is said to have master-minded of their stigmatization and torture.
Upon their arrest, the overseer of the church, Evangelist Mary Smith Udo, and her accomplice from Oron, Prophet Iniobong Evans; confessed to the police to have carried out the gruesome torture and poisoning of the children in their church.
Meanwhile, CRARN has noted the occurrence as being phenomenal, and tasked the Police to charge the case to court, to serve as a deterrent to other child rights violaters.