A middle-aged man, identified simply as Ezemuo, was on Wednesday banished from the Ngwongwo village, Ishiagu community, in the Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State over allegation of witchcraft.
Ezemuo was sent packing after he was allegedly caught chanting incantations at the entrance to a Chinese mining firm located near a junction connecting Ebonyi and Enugu states in the Ishiagu area.
It was gathered that the man hails from Abia State, but was living in the community and engaged in selling of clothes.
A member of the Ebonyi State Security Neighbourhood Watch in the area, Mr Aja Mgbo, who confirmed the development, told our correspondent that the suspect was caught in the act, adding that he confessed to being in the business of witchcraft for years.
Mgbo said the community forbade witchcraft and the killing of people, which was why the residents took a quick but drastic action against the suspect.
He stated, “We caught the man chanting incantations at the junction, the one that connects us to Enugu State. He was chanting incantations near a new Chinese company there. It was the people inside the company, who first saw him and drew the attention of the villagers to him. After searching him, we saw some fetish items on him.
“When the people started beating him, he confessed to have indulged in witchcraft. He said he had caused many people to be involved in accidents. He also said he used to buy goods and make the sellers to forget to ask him for money, and confessed to other atrocities.
“Nobody knew that he was into such things. He was selling clothes at a local market and had lived here for a long time. He was living in a rented apartment at Ngwongwo, which is my village.
“I don’t think he is married, because he was not living with any woman. That was why our people expelled him, because we don’t need such people. We used a car and a tricycle to pack his belongings and sent him away.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Loveth Odah, said she was not aware of the incident, but promised to contact the Divisional Police Officer of the Ishiagu Division for inquiries.
She had yet to get back to our correspondent as of the time of filing this story.