A 50-year-old widow in Anambra state, Obioma Theresa Igbokwe, is on the throes of taking her life.
This is as a result of the alleged brutal murder of her 24-year-old son, Chima Ekenna Igboekwu in their hometown, Egbeagu, Amansea, Awka in Awka North LGA of Anambra state, two months ago by one of the leaders of their town’s revenue generation committee.
Family members and other relations are keeping vigil around her with a view to monitoring her movement and stopping the mother of five from taking her life.
Her grouse is that her son was wrongly accused of stealing a phone by their neighbour.
The distraught petit trader whose husband died three years ago said life is meaningless to her because of the circumstances that led to the death of her son.
She alleged that in spite of the fact that elders in the village exonerated her son from the accusation, one of the leaders of the town’s revenue collection committee still refused to release his son.
“He gaged and chained him, took him to their office where they tortured him for days only for his lifeless body to be discovered inside a bush close to their office later.
She told her pathetic story in tears. “I am 50-years-old. My child that was killed would have been 24 years old on September 24 this year. He worked as a gardener with the traditional ruler of our hometown.
“He was a builder and erects shops for owners in the village. He stopped his education at SSS 2 and learned handwork.
“What happened was that on Saturday, May 14, 2022, I was at home in the village when a woman who lives behind our house said her phone got missing.
She went to report to the elders in the village. The woman that made the allegation is my friend but she did not tell me that her phone was missing.
“I sell little things in front of my house in the village. She went to report to the elders in the village and they called one of the leaders of revenue collection committee in our village on phone to notify him of the woman’s complaint. She didn’t name anyone as being responsible for her missing phone.
“When the leader who works as an ‘area boy’ at the junction came, he said he knew the person responsible for the stolen phone and pointed accusing fingers at my son.
He told his security boys and they stormed where my son works, tied his hands with ropes and took him to their vehicle.
“They later brought him to the community and nobody notified me about anything. The elders deliberated on my son’s case behind my back.
I didn’t know what was going on because one of my daughters who is married gave birth recently and they invited me for ‘Omogwo’ so I was still making preparations for my travel to my daughter’s place when this was happening. My son was helping me prepare casava I used to make garri and native delicacies.
“They didn’t think it necessary to let me know what was happening or send anyone to call me or any of our kinsmen.
The elders interrogated my son and he said he wasn’t with the phone. After the interrogation, the elders said he wasn’t with the phone and that the revenue committee leader should let my son go since he said he was not with the phone, that they will investigate properly.
“Instead of listening to the elders, they took my son away from apple junction to UNIZIK school gate in Awka and were boasting that they will treat him so that he would confess to the crime.
The elders didn’t know where my son was taken to. I wasn’t even aware of what was happening to my son. The woman who’s phone was missing didn’t say anything.
If I knew what was happening, I would have bought another phone for the woman whether or not my son took it because I don’t like trouble.
“The leader of the revenue committee know me, I used to greet him anytime I see him. We have never had any misunderstanding.
“He took my son there on Saturday and on Sunday, I travelled to my daughter’s place for ‘omugwo.’ I did not bother to ask after him because, sometimes, my son stays at his boss’s place, so I thought he was there.
“On Monday, cultists attacked those security people where they took my son to. They said my son used the opportunity to escape.
LIt was while I was at my daughter’s place that I received news that they killed my son at school gate.
“I asked what he went to do at school gate? It was later we discovered that they have killed my son, dumped his corpse inside the bush even before security and cultists had issues with them.
“It was when they recovered his corpse and wrote unknown person that was when we found out that he was dead.
“My husband married three wives, I am the last wife, he died in 2006 that was when I started suffering and singlehandedly trained our children.
My son had no issues with the revenue committee and he greets them unknown to my son that their leader had evil thoughts towards him.
“ My greatest agony is that the leader of the committee who supervised the torture of my son has continued to openly boast that nothing will happen, that if it is too much, he will use money and close the case and we can’t do anything.
“I haven’t done anything, what can a poor widow like me do? I can’t go behind my inlaws to do anything. Since the incident, the community has not said or done anything.
When my husband’s family asked for his corpse, the leader said he deposited it in the mortuary in Abatete.
“When they got there, the mortuary attendant refused to allow them see the corpse because he was already instructed not to allow them see it.
They claimed that they are treating the corpse and we wondered what treatment they were talking about for a dead person. We haven’t seen his corpse yet, no burial plans nothing,” she lamented.
Police sources at Zone 13, Ukpo, Dunukofia hinted that following the petition to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in the area, detectives stormed the village within the week only to discover that the suspected killers of the victim had disappeared to an unknown place.
According to sources, detectives have spread their dragnets in the state with a view to arresting them to face justice while efforts are being made to console the mother of the victim.
Constant calls made to the suspected leader of the killer of the victim could not get any positive responses as the man on the other line kept on denying his identity.