A 26 year-old, Friday Nwankwuda Nwachi, and his brother have recounted how what was considered a mere tussle over village leadership claimed the life of their 70 year old father, Mr. Nwankwuda Nwachi.
Nwachi, a native of Amuzu village, Igbeagu in Izzi LGA of Ebonyi State was allegedly murdered in cold blood last week by a group of five-armed bandits who allegedly invaded his Amuzu residence and ordered him to follow them to an unknown destination.
Mr. Friday Nwankwuda who narrated the incident to newsmen in Abakaliki Thursday alleged that the investigating police team had allegedly arrested many people who were not concerned with the alleged murder before making a U-turn to arrest two out of over 20 suspects who, he said, either participated or aided the killing of his father.
His words: “On that fateful Tuesday, we were at home and I was at home with my father. Some people came in and asked about my Dad. I told them that he’s around. Later, my Daddy came out from where he was. They left us and apprehended my father and started beating him up. They used a sharp cutlass to cut his face, he fell down before they took him away, killed him and took his body to another compound. We began a search for his body and we later found his dead body.”
Mr. Nwankwuda added that the police later aided them to deposit his father’s dead body at the Iboko General Hospital while all the suspects fled.
His younger brother, Nwankwuda Ogobuchi Nwachi, 20, corroborated the claims of his brother and urged the government not to shield those behind the killing of his father, particularly those who are either in government or using those who have influence to thwart justice in the matter.
Investigations showed that the police had arrested some suspects who reportedly had no link with the murder and detained them until a petition was written to the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone Six, Calabar, before a few arrests of the actual suspects were made.
The said petition, a copy of which was made available to Newsmen alleged that one Maurice Nkwuda Nnanna, whose wife is Development Area council Coordinator in the area is behind the killing of the said Nwachi and was yet to be arrested allegedly because he’s using government’s influence to shield himself from arrest and prosecution.
It detailed that the village leadership tussle has pitched the people into two camps: a faction loyal to Mr. Clement Okemini Otozi, who was ousted by the villagers and another loyal to Mr. Anthony Nwite who recently took over the leadership of the village from the former occupant of the position.
According to the petition, to cover up the crime, “Maurice Nkwuda Nnanna named seven persons among whom are: Uzuka Anselem O., Alloy Nwankwuda Nwachi, Sunday Nkwede, Friday Ogodo, Nwibonshi Egwu, Monday Njoku who are the supporters of Anthony Nwite as the killers of the said victim who are presently under investigation at the SCID, Abakaliki.”
It stressed that the action of Maurice Nkwuda Nnanna is a calculated attempt to pull wool over the eyes of the Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State Command and added that he has so presented a false case and identified wrong persons as the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
Meanwhile, the police are said to be on the trail of the suspects still at large while seven suspects have been arrested. Those earlier arrested by police on account of the alleged frame-up charges include: Onyebuchi Uzuka, Friday Ogodo, Monday Nwibo Njoku, Nwiboshi Egwu, Ede Nkwede, Sunday Nkwede and Aloy Nwankwuda Nwachi (one of the sons of the deceased ).
It was gathered that following the statements made to the police by the son of the Late Nwankwuda Nwachi who was held in custody for days that he knew those behind his father’s killings, two suspects; Ukpa Ndubuisi and Clement Okemini Otozi were recently apprehended over the murder of the deceased.
There are allegations that some powerful forces in government have continued to mount pressure on the government to shield the said suspects from facing the wrath of the law. Findings however indicated that the susects have been transferred to Zone 6 Calabar for further interrogations and investigations.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ebonyi State Command who confirmed the report said the police had visited the scene of the incident and promised to brief the press on the arrests so far made by the command on a later date.