Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The police in Igbogene community, a suburb of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Tuesday, arrested a 42-year-old man, Samuel Sunday Otasi, allegedly for murdering two of his children after allegedly forcing them to drink sniper.
Otasi from Agbobiri community, Biseni clan, in Yenagoa Local Government Area, was said to have connived with his cousin, Levi, and tied his three children to a tree in a bush along Glory Land Drive, Igbogene, and forced them to drink sniper.
Otasi has however, denied any involvement in the act, stating that Levi could have been responsible for the murder after he asked him to return the children back to the village.
His children, Success, Miracle and Godstime, ages 14, 12 and 10 respectively, were alleged to have been bewitched by their mother (who is separated from Otasi) in the bid to destroy the family.
Investigations revealed that Otasi had gone to Agbobiri on December 29, to pick the children for a deliverance service at a church (name withheld) at Yenegwe. But on their way, he and Levi who accompanied him from the village, stopped by and led the children into the bush where they were tied to a tree and forced to drink sniper before abandoning them to die.
Findings indicated that Success miraculously wriggled himself out and crawled to the road side where he was found unconscious and taken to a hospital on December 31
Success, after regaining consciousness on Tuesday morning, narrated his ordeal to the police prompting a search to be conducted in the bush where the decomposing bodies of Miracle and Godstime were recovered.
Police arrested one Preye Ayah said to be a cousin to Sunday; it was he who took the police to Sunday’s house at Okarki where he was arrested. Levi, however, has not been arrested yet as he was said to be at large.
Otasi in an interview admitted that he took the children from the village to Yenagoa for a deliverance service but told Levi to take them back when the deliverance could not hold.
He feigned ignorance about the death of the two children and said Levi should be held responsible for anything that had happened to them.
Success in an interview at a medical centre, where he is receiving treatment, alleged that his father and their uncle, Levi, led them to the forest where they were tied to a tree and forced to drink sniper.
Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Mr Aminu Pai Saleh, who led journalists to the scene of the crime in the bush, said the three children were subjected to all kinds of harassment in the community over allegations of involvement in witchcraft.
Saleh who emphasised that no parent had the right to take the life of any child, said investigations were on-going, promising that the law would take its course.