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Pastor demands justice over killing of son allegedly ordered by Abuja socialite

By News Express on 24/05/2019

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•The murdered Engr. Chimezie Anyaoha
•The murdered Engr. Chimezie Anyaoha

Residents of Umuchiakuma in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State were treated to an unusual tragic spectacle on January 4, 2018 when an Abuja-based society lady, Monica Ota Uche, allegedly stormed the village with policemen and ordered them to open fire on youths who blocked her way.

On that day, Uche allegedly ordered her police escorts to shoot Chimezie Anyaoha, a 35-year-old engineer, who had come home for a family wedding, for blocking her way.

More than one year after and with the police not filing any charge against her, the father of the late Engineer, Pastor Simon Anyaoha, is calling for justice.

Recounting the tragedy, Pastor Anyaoha, who is of the Watchman Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement in Arochukwu, alleged that Uche ordered the police to kill his son in cold blood and in the full glare of other youths in the community.

It all started when youths of the community blocked Uche from using her police escorts to allegedly abduct a patient at the Mercy Catholic Hospital.

The patient was allegedly earlier shot by the police at the Community Primary School playground on the orders of Uche for reportedly destroying one of the canopies she used for rental in the village.

According to Pastor Anyaoha, the deceased had rushed to the hospital when he heard that a boy had been shot in the leg by some policemen brought into the village by Ms. Uche for allegedly destroying a canopy that belonged to her.

He said: “My son had come to the village for the wedding of the youngest sister of his mother, which was to take place on January 4, 2018. Around 9 on that day, he prepared and went to the primary school where the wedding was to take place. On getting there, he discovered that a boy that used to work with him was shot by mobile policemen brought into the village by Monica Ota.

“The youths of the community rushed the boy to Mercy Hospital. My son then joined others to visit the hospital to see how the boy was faring. But on getting there, the story was that this woman took mobile policemen to the hospital to forcefully whisk the boy away.

“But the youths of the community, who have heard what happened and that Monica was planning to take the boy away to an unknown destination, they mobilised themselves to prevent the policemen from taking the boy out of the village. They blocked road leading out of the village. My son also joined them.

“This woman ordered the police to open fire on the boys again. Even when the boys started running after police started shooting, they were still pursued. The police pursued my son into the bush where he tried to hide behind a house and shot him dead. The bullet fired at him came in from one side of his stomach and came out through the other side. He was dead before they got him to the hospital.”

After Pastor Anyaoha confirmed the death of his son at the hospital mortuary, he reported the incident to the Arochukwu Police Station, where they took his statement and a police officer was asked to confirm the death at the hospital.

The Arochukwu police reported the matter to the Abia State Command in Umuahia and three officials of the State Criminal Investigation Department visited Umuchiakuma village for further investigations.

The father of the deceased was also asked to accompany them back to the state command to make further statements.

Officials of the CID visited the village a second time to speak with eyewitnesses, including the traditional ruler of the village, Eze Henry O. Umachi, all of whom confirmed how the deceased was shot by the police escort of Uche.

A source said: “The family of the deceased rightly expected the police to file homicide charges in court against Ms. Uche and the policemen who did her bidding.

“But two weeks after the CID came to the village, Pastor Anyaoha went back to the state command at Umuahia to find out how the investigation was proceeding.”

But he and the community leaders who accompanied him got the shock of their lives.

“Those handling the case told us that Monica Uche had come and taken the case file to Abuja,” Pastor Anyaoha stated, meaning the case had been transferred to Abuja.

However, to further fuel suspicions that Uche had used her connections to kill the case against her, she came to the village two days after with policemen around 1am to “arrest” about nine youths and whisked them to Abuja.

It was in Abuja that the story changed.

Uche allegedly used her influence to turn the case against the deceased and other youths in the village who had protested her actions.

By the time the police charged the case to court, the deceased and the nine youths arrested by Uche were charged with terrorism.

Uche claimed the youths were shot because they were members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), a claim disputed by residents of Umuchiakuma.

When contacted, the Abia State Police Command said the case file had been transferred to Abuja and the Command would not make any comment.

Ogbonna Geoffrey, spokesman of the Command, said: “That case is no longer with us. It has been taken to Abuja, so I cannot say anything on it.”

Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer, also claimed ignorance of the case.

“The case happened before my appointment, so I don’t have any information to give you. But if I can get the details of the IPO, I may be able to get the information you want,” Mba stated.

Source News Express

Posted 24/05/2019 1:00:49 PM





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