Alvan and Ugonwa Orji, from Ikot Nakanda, Akpabuyo local government area of Cross River State are now in police detention at the state Police Command, after a concerned neighbour reported how they have been physically abusing their 11-month-old baby boy over accusations that the toddler is bewitched and is the one behind their misfortunes.
The complainant, Barr. James Ibor, the Principal Counsel of Basic Rights Council Initiative (BRCI), a child rights advocate group, said told the police that he received a complain from an undisclosed person that the Alvan and his wife were in the habit of physically and emotionally assaulting their son constantly, giving him inhuman treatments such as tying him to a chair, using electric cable on him and consistently yelling at the boy.
Ibor then decided to carry out investigations into the allegation privately and sent some undercover agents to the Orjis wine shop in the town on several occasions.
The investigators confirmed what the neighbours had reported and after spending as much as an hour in the shop, they realised that the baby had been maltreated severally with scars on his body and face.
Ibor said neighbors also confirmed that the child’s father was in the habit of battering his only child with his belt and electric cable regularly.
After they were arrested, the Abia State born Orji confessed to inflicting injuries on his child but claimed he did so because the baby is possessed with ‘Ogbanje’ (Marine) spirit.
They are still in detention while the baby was referred to the Police Hospital for medical reports on the degree of injuries and damages inflicted on the child.