From CHUKS ONUOHA, Umuahia.
A 72-YEAR-OLD retired electrician, Pa Christopher Onyekwere Anyagu, who escaped death by the whiskers is so grateful to be alive, though he is still coughing out lumps of coagulated blood at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, where he is on admission.
Anyagu was attacked in his farm at Amaibo Ubakala, in Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia State by three young men, who dealt machete cuts on him. He was also beaten to an inch of his life. Today, he writhes in agony; his chest, legs, waist, head and other parts of his body are all aching.
It is believed that the men attacked him after their attempt to sell his land without his knowledge failed, so they may have decided to eliminate him.
Recounting how he came so close to death, Pa Anyagu, who hails from Elugwu na Ngwa Ukwu village in Amibo Ubakala area of Umuahia South LGA of Abia State said that his problem started on Saturday, 16th April, 2016.
Anyagu told Sunday Sun reporter: “I went to my farm which I cleared two weeks earlier to prepare it for planting by burning the cut bush, and to ensure that the fire would not spillover to another person’s farm. I went with one of my relations.
“He was working at the one end of the farm while I was at the other end. We had not spent up to 10 minutes when he sighted three people armed with dangerous weapons coming towards us and he raised the alarm and I turned and saw them with cutlasses, big iron rods, log of wood, axe and rushing towards us.
Before I could make any move, they had gotten to me and shouted, “so this is where you are.’
“I stood there embarrassed, as I did not have any quarrel with them over that land. Then one of them (name withheld) hit me on the right hand with the iron rod and the cutlass I was holding fell off and he then cut me with his own cutlass on that hand and the hand became numb. They started beating and hitting me with the iron rod and other weapons.
“As I lay on the ground, his brother, (name concealed) concentrated on kicking me on the chest while the other one was hitting me on the back with a cutlass, wood etc and I was shouting in pain. As I stood up to run, one of them hit me with the rod and I fell down. They continued hitting me all over my body. In pain I screamed and asked if they wanted to kill me. They chorused “yes,” adding that I should die.
Two men who heard my shout for help, rushed into the bush, asking them whether they wanted to kill me. The two men said that they would tell the police if they killed me. My attackers rushed after the two men, asking why they jumped into the matter. They said they were ready to face murder case because of me. The two men ran away.
While I was lying on the ground, my phone rang in my pocket. They took the phone and the sum of N3500 I had in my pocket.
“They used my phone to call a particular number and asked the person to come, that they had caught the thief. I was still lying down there. Then when the person came, they told him to shoot me that I am an armed robber. I raised my head and saw that he is a policeman. The policeman looked at me, started calling my name, but I could not answer him clearly. He put his arm around me and dragged me to the road as I could not walk.
“When we got to the road, he called a commercial cyclist and put me at the middle, sat at my back and took me to Apumiri Ubakala police station. He dropped me there and I was there shouting that they should please give me some water, and take me to the hospital. As I was shouting, the policewoman on duty shouted at me that there was no water. The other policeman asked whether I could recognize those who attacked me and I said yes, that I would recognize them if I saw them. He asked me where they were and I said that I did not know.
Anyagu said that when the policewoman informed her colleague that the men who attacked me were coming to the station, the policeman said that they should be detained. Curiously, the policewoman said that the alleged culprits could not be detained because they made an entry about the matter prior to the attack.
In annoyance, Anyagu further said, the policeman asked her whether the people made an entry to kill somebody, that she should look at his condition.
“By this time, I was still shouting that they should take me to hospital, but the woman ignored me, but later she said that the men who attacked me would have to come to the station first, so that they would pay the hospital bill.
“I was on the ground when one Elder Livy Nwankpa came and took me to Zenith hospital at Apumiri Ubaka, and from there I lost consciousness of what was happening around me. It was on Sunday night that I gained consciousness and started recognizing people and things around me. When I opened my eyes, I saw my son and he told me that I was at the General hospital, Umuahia.”
Explaining how he became the target of the vicious and near fatal attack, Anyagu revealed that the men who attacked him happened to be his blood relations, and the land in question is not in contest.
“I think they purposely came to kill me there, so that no one would stop them from selling the land which I learnt they have been making efforts to sell without my knowledge.
In a petition written by his lawyer, Ngozi Ukweni & Co. to the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 9, Umuahia, titled “Case of An Attempted Murder, Threat to Life, Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm and Aggravated Assault” the legal practitioner urged the AIG to arrest the suspects and investigate the matter before they succeed in killing his client as they had threatened.
When contacted on the matter, the Zonal Police Public Relations Officer for Zone 9, Mr Emma Jiakponna said that he was outside the zone and could not comment. However, an impeccable police source from the zone confirmed that the suspects had been arrested and that the matter would be investigated in accordance with the laws of the land.