■ Family deserts village
From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
There was uproar last Sunday morning in Umuokoto Nekede, a community in Owerri West Council Area, Imo State following the killing of one Samuel Ucheihero, a graduate of Federal Polytechnic by one Uche Obiaku, who is alleged to be a cultist.
The youths of the community who were incensed by the killing mobilized to the family compound of the suspect, but when it was discovered that the suspect, his father, Augustine Obiaku and other members of his family, had fled the village the irate youths set the family house ablaze.
Nekede which is the host community of the Federal Polytechnic has been a hot bed of cult related violence, which have resulted in the death of at least 10 persons this year because of supremacy wars between the various cult groups.
When Sunday Sun visited the deceased’s compound, a members of the bereaved family pleaded for understanding over their reluctance to talk about the untimely tragic death of their son, as they were mourning the young man who the second to the last child of the family and had just graduated from the Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri. It was gathered that the matter had been reported to the Police. Sunday Sun further learnt that autopsy as requested by the police had been conducted, thereby clearing the way for the corpse of Samuel to be released for burial.
However, a source close to the family narrated that on the fateful day, the victim was washing his clothes when he received a phone call about 9.20 am and he left to see a relation within the neighbourhood. As he was returning home, the alleged suspect, Uche Obiaku, accosted him. According to the source the deceased knelt down and begged for his life to be spared when his assailant allegedly brought out a pistol threatening to shoot him. Apparently believing that Obiaku had been placated by the plea, the victim stood up to walk away. But, surprisingly the suspect shot him point blank in the back, shattering the spine cord, killing him instantly. Then he fled from the scene. On what could have led to the alleged murder of Samuel by Obiaku, the source said that the only misunderstanding between the deceased and the suspect was a disagreement the deceased had with the suspect’s friend from Umuerim, a neighbouring village and that since then, the suspect had been targeting the victim and eventually killed him before absconding.
The source a chilling revelation about the father of the suspect. He said: “Before the killing of Samuel, the father of Uche, had always boasted that anybody who insults him in the village would be dealt with by his son.”
He added: “But on that Sunday morning when his son killed Samuel, who was an easy going young man and from a responsible family, the youths of the community were very angry and mobilized to the Obiaku family home, but before they got there the entire family members had fled. The angry youths proceeded to set the entire home ablaze, because their mission was to capture Uche alive because he had become a problem to the entire community with his cult activities with the active support of his father.”
The Police Public Relations Officer of the Imo state Command, Mr. Andrew Enwerem who confirmed the incident said that the command had commenced investigation to unearth the root cause of the matter.