Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Mass-servant allegedly killed by businessman for stealing N30 sachet of milk





By Okechukwu Onuegbu

A motorcyclist (Okada rider), Mr Vincent and his wife, Florence Edeh of Mgbo in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have demanded for help of the general public to get justice over the death of their son, Chukwuka Edeh allegedly killed by one Ebuka Okonkwo, an indigene of Aguluezechukwu in Anaocha Council area and businessman at Eke main market, Awka-etiti, Idemili South Local Government Area, Anambra State.

news48hrs.com learnt that late Chukwuka, who died at age of 13 in August 17, 2017, was the bereaved first child and recently finished his Common entrance examination at Central Primary School Ogwugwuobi, Awka-etiti and was waiting for an admission into JSS 1 before his life was cut short.

Father of the allegedly killed mass-servant
According to Vincent Edeh, at about 4 pm on August 4, 2017, he was busy with his transportation business when his wife phoned him to come home, and on returning home, he was further directed to Eke market square where he discovered that his second child, Ifeanyi Edeh was beaten to stupor.
Summons from shrine

He said, “Ebuka complained that my eleven year old child, Ifeanyi stole a sachet of peak milk which cost N30 from his provision shop. But the boy explained that he picked it from the ground. I quickly rebuked the child over the unruly act and pleaded for forgiveness on his behalf since the shop owner has equally caned him.

Ebuka's shop after been locked
“But the man (Ebuka) asked me if I was truly Ifeanyi’s father. I told him ‘yes, I am’. He said I shouldn’t ask him for forgiveness because his shop and properties are under the protection and guidance of one great shrine and deity. And as a result, he can even leave his shop open and go home and whoever steals from it must die.

“I tried convincing him to tell me what should be done to appease the gods but he refused to honour my visitations even at his home until I came with one of the people he so much respected. He said that if not the woman, he couldn’t have spoken with me on that matter again. He told the woman that he cannot forgive my child because the deity would turn to kill him if he does”.

news48hrs.com obtained a copy of a letter entitled ‘a notice of summons’ allegedly served on Edeh family on Sunday August 6, 2017, by Obi Ogwugwu Umuhu Ukpor (Obi Eziokwu bu ndu) EMEREMGINI (loosely translates as truth is life deity of Umuhu Ukpor).

According to the piece, the shrine has as its address, Umuhu village, Ukpor, near Nnewi South Local Government Area with phone number, 08050501750. The summons reads “Mr Samuel Vincent Edeh (defendant), you are by this notice of summons required to appear in person at Obi Ogwugwu Umuhu Nkpor on 13th August, 2017 at 9 am. to answer on the complaint. Note that suite requirements are N7000, 1 carton of beer, 8 kolanut, 1 bottle hot, 8 alligator pepper and everything cost N10, 400. Signed by Chief priest.”

Edeh said, “They instructed me to come to the shrine with the N10, 400 because they have all the items listed on it and would not accept anything bought from somewhere else. I went with my brother and the same woman whose presence made Ebuka to reveal to me that it was only the deity that can save my child.

“The Chief priest and others in the shrine asked him to explain why he petitioned me to the shrine, and he told them that my child stole his sachet of milk. He also revealed that my 13 year old child (Chukwuka), who was then a notable mass-servant at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Awka –etiti had in the past, stolen a-N10 biscuit from his shop. He said the deity was responsible for his two swollen legs. The child was then suffering of an ailment which has taken me to different hospitals and laboratories to no avail.

“Ebuka revealed that the gods have declared war on my family and would surely kill all my children if I fail to appease them. The Chief Priest, who I heard them call Leonard asked for my opinion over the allegations leveled against my family. I told him that I have nothing to say because I have pleaded with him for forgiveness and I was there to do that again. I protracted on the ground, asking for mercy.”  

He added that the Chief priest and his cabinet, who were impressed over his reaction, allegedly asked Ebuka to name his price, and he (Ebuka), allegedly demanded that he should pay him the sum of N15m as an atonement for the N30 sachet of peak milk stolen from his shop.

“I told them that I cannot afford to pay such a huge amount of money because my entire asset does not worth it. I pleaded to be allowed to pay N50, 000 but he maintained his ground. The people in the shrine were also furious over my plea, and asked why I should make such demand for a man that is claiming N15m. They alleged that Ebuka is one of their major financier and that N50, 000 cannot buy even one quarter of items he usually donate to the shrine.

“The chief priest further told me and my entourage to go and put head together while also charging Ebuka and his entourage to do the same thing. On returning to the shrine, Ebuka reduced his demands to N2m and insisted that it was the last he can collect from me. I told them I am an Okada rider and can only afford to raise N120, 000.

“As the debate was ongoing, the woman I came with became sober and asked them why they refused to collect N120, 000 for a sachet milk of N30. After her vibration and tears, the Chief Priest hit his ofo (staff) on the ground and gave his final verdict which was that I must pay N200, 000 whether Ebuka like it or not,” Mr Edeh further claimed.

news48hrs.com gathered that the motorcyclist raised the sum of N50, 000 and pay to the shrine and it was instantly used by them (the chief priest) to purchase fowl and other items for sacrifice.

“As my son’s sick body deteriorated, I doubled my effort as Okada rider as well as lent money from people to make sure I gather N200, 000 which I paid to them in full. They later ordered me to bring another N69, 200 for them to purchase he-goat and other items for sacrifice which I did comply to. They now told me to come for the sacrifice next nkwo, I did come but they postponed it to eke. That was how they kept postponing it until my son died on August 17, 2017.

“As I cried to inform them of my son’s death, they told me to go and bring kola nut and drinks before they could listen to me. When I returned to fulfill their demands, they collected the items and told me to go and bring his corpse for sacrifice because he died a virgin. They said they would burn his corpse and use the ashes for rituals. I refused and went home and inform Awka-etiti people what was happening in their community”, he added.

It was further learnt that the villagers became angry when Ebuka allegedly refused to disclose what transpired between him and Edeh family.

Edeh said, “Immediately, some of them went into his shop and started searching everywhere. In the process, they brought concoctions, pictures, little brooms, earthen pots and so on. He started confessing on how he causes death in the town through accidents, biscuits and so on. He even alleged that the deity would also kill his wife for stealing his money but it would be after her child delivery. They were married about three months ago.

“The villagers parked his properties out and loaded them into a vehicle. They took him to village hall and called on the police from Nnobi Divisonal Police Station, who came to pick him up to avoid been lynched by angry mob.”

Other sources alleged that whenever Ebuka wanted to commit the evil act, he would spread N10 notes, biscuits, sweets and others on the front of his shop, while switching on movies to woo children to his shop.

But when contacted on phone, the Traditional Ruler of Awka-etiti, HRH Igwe Engr. Michael Ibezie Ezeudenna (Obi III), while saying that “Some part of the story was true” told news48hrs.com to phone him in two weeks time when he would be available for an elaborate discussion.

Similarly, the President General, Awka-Etiti Improvement Union, John Ikechukwu Unachukwu, while informing news8hrs.com  on phone that he was out of the state when it occurred, revealed that he saw a recorded video clips where youth of his community were packing Ebuka’s goods out of office, adding that the police was investigating the matter.

When News48hrs.com publisher visited Nnobi Police station, where Ebuka Okonkwo was allegedly kept in custody, he was told to go to State Police Headquarter as they have no knowledge of what he was looking for.

In the same vein, the Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, Nkiruka Nwode neither answered nor returned two missed calls placed on her by our reporter to get the police reaction.

Meanwhile, the corpse of late Chukwuka Edeh is still in the mortuary.

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