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Police warn against ‘trial by ordeal’

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The Enugu State Police Command has issued a warning over the criminal practice of “Itu Mmadu n’Arunsi,” also known as trial by ordeal.

DSP Daniel Ndukwe, the police command’s Public Relations Officer, confirmed this on Tuesday via his X handle.

The term “trial by ordeal” refers to submitting someone to a dangerous or painful experience to judge their guilt or innocence.

According to Ndukwe’s statement, trial by ordeal is a criminal offense under Nigerian law, including the Criminal Code, Penal Code, and Enugu State Criminal Code Law.

He wrote, “Trial by Ordeal (commonly translated in the Igbo language to mean “Itụ Mmadụ n’Arụnsị”) is a criminal offense punishable by law in Chapter 20 (Section 207 to 213) of the Criminal Code, Chapter 17 (Section 214) of the Penal Code (Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria), and Chapter 19 (Section 189 to 195) of the Criminal Code Law of Enugu State.

“It may seem like a good way to handle that discord, but it’s never an acceptable way to do so. Hence, exercise caution and follow the path of the law.

“Don’t attempt to resolve issues with another through such criminal means of self-help. Be right and do the right things.”

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