■ Body set ablaze
By HENRY UMAHI ([email protected] yahoo.com)
WHEN Mr Emmanuel Uchenna Udeh (aka Tootoo) relocated from Aba, Abia State to Togo to do business some years ago, expectations were high. As the only male child of his aged parents, he had great hopes that he would do well there and take care of them.
Those who knew him said he was a hardworking and easy going youngman. Steadiy, his rug business grew even as he fell in love with a Togolese girl. And to demonstrate his love for the lady, he opened a shop for her and filled it with goods. At 32, marriage was on his mind.
However, the bubble burst last month and Emmanuel’s plans went up in smoke just like his body.
Indeed, for the Michael Udeh family of Ejighinandu village, Awka Etiti in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, these are, certainly, not the best of times. Wicked fate, like a mad bull in a china shop, recently attacked the family in a heart rending manner, destroying its priceless possession. On June 30, 2016, the family was drowned in the ocean of anguish and sorrow. Emmanuel was murdered that fateful day, in Togo.
Worse still, Emmanuel died in a most dehumanising manner. He was killed in the manner of the four University of Port Harcourt students in 2012. He was burnt alive allegedly through the conspiracy of his pregnant live-in lover. He was stripped naked and clubbed to unconsciousness before a crowd. Then they hung a tyre on him and roasted him like a sacrifice for the gods. His aged father is thoroughly devastated while his bed-ridden mother has not been informed because, according to his cousin, Mr Chukwuka Ezenwaka, “if she hears this kind of news, she will die.”
Why he was killed
Emmanuel died on the altar of love gone awry. Take this from Ezenwaka: “It happened that he impregnated a lady in Togo. According to eye witnesses, he really loved the girl and wanted to marry her. In fact, they were living together and he even opened a shop for her. But along the line, they had a little misunderstanding. You know, as a man, you are supposed to act or react. But instead of the lady pleading or begging, the quarrel continued. So, he told the lady that she will leave and that he will go and pack the things in the shop. Instead of the lady to ask for forgiveness, she ganged up with her brothers and they laid ambush for Emmanuel. They killed him by stoning and hitting him with clubs. Later they set him ablaze. He was the only son of his father and had only one sister. His parents are too old and the mother cannot even walk again.
“His corpse has been retrieved and deposited in a mortuary in Togo. Arrangements are being made to bring his remains home. We are appealing to the Nigerian government to step into the matter because the way they are killing Nigerians outside the country is getting out of hand. He did not steal or violate the laws of the land. He only had issues with his girlfriend which is normal. Even husbands and wives quarrel.
“They ganged up and attacked the boy on the way. The Igbo community in Togo is trying to raise money to pay the hospital bills so that the corpse can be retrieved.”
Another source said that the lady claimed that she didn’t know that her brothers would kill Emmanuel.