A 23-year-old student, Emmanuel Itoro Thomas, has landed a five year jail term, having been found guilty of belonging to an unlawful society known as “Red Skin Confraternity”.
Thomas, a native of Uruk Uso in Obot Akara Local Government Area, was convicted by Justice Okon Okon of Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo.
In his judgment Justice Okon held that “by the provision of Section 1 sub section 2 of the Cultism, Offensive Weapons and Violent Behaviour Prohibition Law 2004 of Akwa Ibom State, any person who is a member of a cult whether or not, he is in possession of an offensive weapon, is guilty of an offense and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for seven years without an option of fine”.
Justice Okon said “it is a trite Law that where a confessional statement of an accused is tendered in evidence without any objection, the statement will be deemed to have been made voluntarily and its content will be deemed to be true with no amount of subsequent argument against it, vitiating its admissibility.”
In the particular of the offense, the accused, Emmanuel Itoro Thomas had confessed that he joined the secret cult in 2019 because of the challenges his mother had with her landlady.
He had also confessed in his extra-judicial statement that he was initiated on 29th February, 2019 in Ematan Street, off Eka Street, Uyo by one General, who is now at large.
The Court held that the prosecution from the State Ministry of Justice has proven its case beyond reasonable doubts and accordingly, sentenced the accused to five years in jail without an option of fine.