Police have confirmed the death of former councillorship aspirant, during the 2017 Ebonyi local government election, 32-year-old Ogori Nwani Chukwuemeka on June 17, 2018 who hailed from Ugwulangwu in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Police Spokesperson, ASP Loveth Odah said the dastardly act was carried out by the deceased alleged in-laws to be, who were of the suspicion that the death of their son, one Ifeanyichukwu Sunday, 27 year-old, was caused by Chukwuemekas younger sister whom he wanted to marry.
Ifeanyichukwu was crushed to death by a truck along Ugwulangwu-Ukawu road on June 11.
Odah said that Chukwuemeka was beaten to death at about 5.30pm and the corpse deposited in the mortuary while investigation into the killing was on going.
However, tabloid, traveled to Ugwulangwu where we spoke with Chukwuemekas family members but on getting to Ifeanyichukwus compound, everywhere was deserted.
Speaking with the deceased elder brother, Mr. Franklin Nwani Ogori who gave detailed account of what happened, he narrated that trouble started after his sister, Ngozi Nwani Ogori, was hospitalized on June 8, at Ukawu Health Centre. And on June 11, Late Ifeanyichukwu called her mobile line but it was her sister staying with her in the hospital that picked the call and when Ifeanyichukwu asked what he could buy for Ngozi, the sister said okpa will be okay.
Ifeanyichukwu couldnt buy the okpa because according to him the market was already closed but he bought bread and ‘five alive juice’ for them. On getting to the hospital, Ogoris sister asked if he bought the ‘okpa’ and he said no, let him check to see if he can get it around the hospital. Ifeanyi entered his motorcycle and drove off, but unfortunately, he was crushed to death by Ebonyi State Ministry of Works Truck working on the same road.
Franklin said on hearing the news, the girl insisted she must be discharged from the hospital even against doctor’s instruction. Adding, Everybody was sympathetic to her and our family gathered together and went to Ifeanyis compound because its in the same community, so we went and sympathized with them, after that my people went back home.
He said there was no formal introduction by Late Ifeanyichukwu that he wanted to marry his sister, and that he never visited their place as someone who was interested in her but that the family got to know that he was Ngozis boyfriend when the lady told them about him after the accident.
Mr. Franklin said her sister went back to the hospital to complete her medication after their visit to Ifeanyis place.
Then on Friday June 15, one of the family members, who is also the Chairman of Ifeanyis immediate family, by name Peter Nwaokike, came to our compound and told my father that his people wanted us to come the next day being Saturday June 16”.
So my parents, brothers and sisters left for the place, and by this time, Ngozi was still in the hospital. On getting to the compound they asked after Ngozi who Ifeanyi wanted to marry that made him went to the hospital.
My parents told them that Ngozi was still in the hospital. They said they cant say anything unless she is around. They insisted that she should be brought the following day being Sunday June 17, but my father protested they should give them till Monday by then Ngozi must have completed her dosage of drip.
They said no, that their own person was already dead and they wanted to bury him on Tuesday being June 19, that they will use Monday for the wake keep, he narrated.
He continued, As at the time all these things were going on, the state government through the Ministry of Works had already paid for the mortuary bill, bought a new machine for the family, compensated them financially and even sponsored the burial.
So that was why naturally there was no suspicion of any anger on our side and nobody even told us they were having meetings where they have been saying all sort of things, or that they will revenge. None of our family members drove the vehicle that killed the boy; none of our family members own the car, which was why we naturally didnt suspect anything.
All our fears were that they may be saying bad things against my sister, but if that was the case we have a way of handling those things in the village setting.
If they suspected that someone through diabolic means killed anybody, is either they place curse on the generality of the community or the person involved would take an oath which my sister was prepared to do. That was why on that Saturday when they insisted they wouldnt entertain any discussion until the girl comes, she was willing to come back.
Sometimes, if someone is suspected to have a hand in someones death, directly or distance suspicion, the custom is that the body of the deceased would be washed and the water given to the accused to drink and within a year something terrible would happen, but if it didnt, then it is assumed the person is innocent. My sister said if that was the case, she was willing to take it, these were the things we all thought would surface.
Normally, if there is an accident of such nature, its either the vehicle is set ablaze or driver is attacked, but not that somebody came to visit someone in the hospital and on his way to pick something he had an accident and died then the person he came to see will be accused of killing him.
So on Sunday, my parents and others went to their compound armless, and if we had insisted on the date being shifted, there would have been natural reason for anger. That was why my people left every thing, brought back the girl from the hospital to be there for the whole community to know that there is nothing hidden.
He said on getting to the compound that Sunday, while his father was trying to park his motorcycle properly, the chairman of the family allegedly told him not to park the motorcycle and that if he tries to move it further he would be a dead man.
Then they started beating my mother and my father rushed them and was asking whether it had reached to that level. That was when one of them spat on my fathers face.
My sister went along with that bread and ‘five alive juice’ ifeanyi had bought because my father told her to. My father before then had told them he had never collected anything from Ifeanyi and that the deceased never came to him to say he wanted to marry his daughter. So that in the process of proving her innocence, my father will tell them to see the only thing from Ifeanyi that has entered his hands” Ngozis elder brother added.
He said that while the father was being beaten, the immediate elder brother to Chukwuemeka, Nwabueze Nwani Ogori, 34-year-old rushed to the rescue of his parents. But before he could even lay his hands on their mother who was already lying unconscious, they started beating him with planks from left, right, front and back. There was even a plank that had nails they were trying to hit him with, but he was able to hold that one. But one of them drew him back and when he landed on the ground they were hitting him mercilessly with the plank and gave him a deep cut on his head. On seeing he was lying unconscious and bleeding on the head, they thought he was dead and left him, he narrated.
By then, Chukwuemeka who was exchanging pleasantries with some people outside the compound heard what happened and rushed to the scene, on getting there, about ten men pounced on him, Even as he fell down, my father said they used one big stone and landed on his head and he collapsed” he stated.
He noted that Chukwuemekas attackers fled the scene, and that was how his sister who was also attacked and other sympathizers rushed Chukwuemeka to the hospital. But when they knew the beating was severe was when he bent his neck while inside the vehicle and blood was gushing out from his two ears.
He was taken to Ugwulangwu Health Centre, from there they were referred to General Hospital, Okposi, he was rejected there and at about 11pm that same day, they were further referred to Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA) and on getting there Chukwuemeka was confirmed dead.
He said they contacted Uburu Police Division and they came and helped in depositing the corpse in the morgue, while Nwabueze who had deep cut on his head was attended to at Ugwulangwu Primary Health Centre.
Franklin said after Chukwuemeka was confirmed dead and the matter reported to the police, they went for arrest in the suspects compounds but everywhere was deserted.
He said the wife of the man who came and invited his father for the meeting was arrested but she seemed to have been released by the police.
He said another culprit, Sunday Ngbom aka Ntuoyi was arrested at Izuogu in Imo State, adding that they have the names of those that were responsible for the heinous attack.
Ngozs elder brother further said that the chairman of the council as well as the Coordinator Ohaozara East DC, have been supportive since the incident.
Speaking with the deceased father, Chief Charles Nwani Ogori, he pleaded with the government and security agencies to help him bring killers of his son to book.
He said they should be punished according to the law to serve as a deterrent for others who may want to toe the same path.
He also thanked the chairman of the Local Government, Hon. Nkechinyere Iyioku and the Coordinator Hon. Igu for their support.
Chukwuemekas mother, Mary Ogori who spoke in an emotion-laden voice pleaded with the office of Her Excellency, to come to their aide, stating that the family does not have the financial strength to battle the case to its end. She appealed to state government to assist them to make sure that the suspects were arrested, tried and prosecuted.
They said I dont have anybody that will fight this case because they see themselves as being connected. My own connection is God and I know that he can through the State Government give me victory on the killing of my innocent son who was beaten to death, she pleaded.