The story has been told of Nigerians living in diaspora who came back home on holiday only to be met with brutal deaths.
It has been said several times that there is no place like home. Beyond this refrain is are unending calls by successive Imo State governors, to their citizens in diaspora, to put home first.
It therefore baffles sane minds, why periodically, Imo sons get senselessly murdered on their return to their fatherland. Nnaemeka Obiekea, who was based in the United States of America, came home to spend his Christmas and New Year, with members of the family and never lived to tell the story.
On getting to Owerri, Nnaemeka who interestingly wore braided hair, was told that his brothers had gone to the All Seasons Hotel night club in the municipality. He quickly traced his brothers to the night club.
They had their fun and when his brothers announced that they were leaving for home, Nnaemeka told them he would prefer to stay on and go to the nearest Catholic Church to attend the morning mass. He left the night club at a time he was sure to reach the church for mass. He neither reached the church, his family home nor attended the morning mass. Nnaemeka was murdered in cold blood and branded an armed robber by his killers!
The Obiekea family would probably, not have known the killers if their brother’s Nissan Infinity sports utility vehicle was not taken to the 34 Field Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Owerri West local council area of Imo State. Armed with this development, the Obiekeas mounted pressure on both the police and army until the two serving soldiers involved in the murder, were fished out and prosecuted in court.
The presiding judge, Hon. Justice Bernardine N. Ukoha, eventually found them guilty and sentenced them accordingly.
If the Obiekeas were lucky to have obtained justice at last, the same cannot be said about the Nduka and Okeabata families, as their killers have remained elusive. Information available to South East Voice had it that late Friday Nduka, a native of Egbuoma in Oguta local government area of Imo State, returned from Indonesia, to celebrate the Christmas and New Year with his kith and kin, as well as get married to his heartthrob.
This was not to be as he was gunned down by a trigger happy police inspector, Michael, at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, mega station, Control Post, Owerri, over a very minor incident. Nduka was sadly murdered in front of his mother and bride, where they stopped to refuel their vehicles. According to a man who claimed to have seen everything said that “everything went on fine until one of the female attendants complained that her mobile telephone had been stolen and naturally, everyone within the fuel station became suspects.”
Continuing, the eye witness said that the armed security personnel immediately ordered that nobody should leave the premises until they must have conducted a thorough search of all cars and persons around.
“Some customers saw the order as most embarrassing and tempers hit the roof top and arguments ensued. Nduka and his passengers, who were irked by the development however remained in the vehicle”, the man recounted with grief.
South East Voice was also told that Inspector Michael approached Nduka and ordered him to “get out of the vehicle or be prepared to face the consequences of his disobedience.”
It was also gathered that a serious argument ensued thereafter, between Nduka and the police inspector.
“The inspector took a few steps backwards, pointed the barrel of his rifle and shot him thrice in the chest. Realizing the gravity of what he had accomplished, the inspector quickly dropped his rifle and fled the scene,” South East Voice was told.
Imo people were still trying get over this sordid incident when a serving officer of the United States Army and an Imo indigene, Chuks Okebata, was kidnapped January 12, 2017, in broad daylight, from his country home, Umuomumu, Mbieri, Mbaitoli local government area of the state.
Members of his family were shocked beyond description, when his lifeless body, which was riddled with gunshot wounds, was later found at Atta Junction, Ikeduru local council area. South East Voice was told that late Chuks Okebata is survived by a wife and two sons. The family has equally announced a cash reward of N2.5 million for anyone with credible clues that would lead to the arrest and prosecution of the murderers.
When contacted on his mobile line, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, confirmed the last two incidents, but quickly added that his Command was on top of the matter. “Yes, the incidents happened but I can’t disclose what we have done or what we are doing. Just be assured that we are working,” he said.
The question on the lips of concerned Imolites is: Do we derive any joy in killing our sons who are home to celebrate with their kith and kin?
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