Saturday, 27 September 2014

Burial of Assassinated Unizik Lecturer causes panic in community

The Late Gracefield

Barely a week after committing to mother earth, the remain of Engr. Reuben Gracefield Ikwu, a lecturer in the Department of Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, who was assassinated on August 13th this year at his country-home, Agbana Umuawulu in Awka South Council Area, people now ostracize Chief Azubuike Ekweozo (alias Nwanayoeze), the man in whose house the academia was shot dead.
Chief Ekweozo, a successful clearing and forwarding mogul and age mate of the deceased, it would be recalled, sponsored the late Engineer when he contested for President General position of the community zoned to his village, Agbana but lost with 4 votes to a closest rival, Barr. Emeka Oji. earlier reported that hell was let loosed when three unknown gunmen gained entrance into Chief Ekweozo’s compound when his driver whom he sent on an errand returned home unknowingly to him that the assassins had trailed his jeep back home up to the gate.
According to the report, immediately the driver zoomed into his master’s compound, the assassins came down, opened fire on his vehicle, even as they requested for Chief Ekweozo, after which they rushed towards the direction the Clearing and Forwarding mogul and his guest, Ikwu, were both seated and discussing, and shot Ikwu dead instantly probably because he (Ikwu) was better dressed than his host, Ekweozo at the time of their strike.
Speaking to OOBlogspot under the condition of anonymity, a renowned indigene of Agbana village claimed that the mysterious killing has sparked suspicion in the community, because according to him, since inception of the incident indigenes of the town has started disassociating themselves from Chief Ekweozo because a lot of his friend had allegedly lost their lives in the killings believed to have been target at him.
His words: “This is fourth time people died for Chief Nwanayoeze. We don’t just understand what is really happening. For instance, two years back; two of his drivers were kidnapped in a succession, one last year. In all none had been found. Also, sometime last year, the life of one of our illustrious sons was terminated at Lagos when unidentified gunmen fired shots at him while he was dining and winning at the same table with Chief Nwanayoeze.”
Furthermore, the source added that the billionaire always sponsors each of the burial with one million naira or above, a situation which he said has heightened their suspicious movement.
As a result, another source alleged that Umuawulu people turned-down the Chief’s offer to bring-in a cook for them at their New-Yam festival.
“To avoid un-ripe death, we turned down his aspiration to sponsor cooking meant for the celebration. What we did was to collect his money. But that did not mean that we suspected him. It is just that Onye chi nazo nazo onwe.” 
However, in an interview with newsmen, Chief Azubuike Ekweozo refuted the allegation of ostracism, even as he went down memory lane on his encounter with the Late Ikwu.
“Engr. Ikwu was more than a friend to me, a friend that surpassed brother. We were age mate. And as a matter of fact, he had led our age group as Chairman for 8 years now without having fracas with anybody.”
Meanwhile, our reporter who attended the burial rite last Thursday reported that uncontrolled tears swept through the arena as both the families and sympathisers recount their one-on-one joyous moment with the departed academic while alive.



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