Africa crime
Representational image of a vehicle driving past a crime scene in Dar es Salaam,Tanzania, Aug.18, 2017. DANIEL HAYDUK/AFP/Getty Images

A man was arrested Wednesday for poisoning his two children to death with a popular household pesticide in Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

Samuel Sunday Otasi, 42, with the help of his younger brother, Levai Ayah, tied the three children to a tree and poisoned them with the pesticide over witchcraft suspicion. While two of them, Miracle, 12 and Godstime, 10, died, the third one, 14-year-old Success, narrowly escaped death.

The father started ill-treating the children after a prophet told him that his children were wizards and were responsible for his illness. Since then, the father and their relatives started torturing them as they believed that their mother, who had divorced their father few months back, had bewitched them, the Punch reported.

Speaking to journalists at the hospital, Success said, " My father came to take us from our grandmother and told us that we were going to a church in Yenagoa, but when we got to the road, he and his brother took us to the bush and tied me and my younger brothers to trees and gave us 'Sniper' pesticide to drink.”

"I managed to come to the road after I used my legs to untie the rope and people saw me and took me to the hospital,” he added, Pulse reported.

Dr. Moses Emeka, who was attending to Success said the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) brought the boy to the hospital in an unconscious state and that he was responding to the treatment and will recover soon, Daily Trust reported.

Denying the allegation, Otasi told journalists that he had taken the children to church for deliverance and that he had also told his younger brother to return the children back to their mother after the church visit.

“I don’t know what my brother did to my children on the way back to the village,” he stated.

Aminu Selah, the State Commissioner of Police, however said the man had indeed made a confessional statement. He also said the investigation was ongoing and they are now looking for the man’s brother, who is the second accused.

Selah said the accused branded the children as wizards in 2018 and since then was thinking of devilish means to kill them. Some villagers also supported him and claimed that the children were responsible for his illness.

In a similar incident last year, a man beheaded an elderly woman after he suspected her of being a witch in west Indian state of Gujarat. The accused, Chhagan Rathwa, along with a friend, entered her room through a window and beheaded her while she was sleeping. Investigation revealed that his mother had died of witchcraft and he believed the victim was responsible for it.