COMMUNITY WOMEN PROTEST ARRAIGNMENT OF FOUR WHO DEMANDED WHEREABOUTS OF RETIRED PRINCIPAL
Chinwe Ugele, Umuahia.
Protesting women of Afugiri community in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia state on Tuesday stormed the state High court on Ikot- Ekpene road in Umuahia to protest the arraignment of four persons believed to be their indigenes at the Magistrate Court 1.
One Mazi Kingsley Onuoha, a retired school principal was reported missing by his family since the 9th of September, 2018.
Ten months after, there are no signs of the man.
His wife and children are however pointing accusing fingers at the man’s younger brother, Mr. Ihueze Onuoha who their father allegedly said he was visiting on the day he never returned.
The matter however took a different turn when the accused turned around to accuse the brother’s children of sundry charges.
The Police instituted a suit with charge number u/353c/2019 against the four; Dick Anosike Onuoha, Chukwuemeka Ahabuike, Ikenna Onuoha and Nzeama Nwakudu on a four-count charge of threatening violence, stealing, malicious damage and conduct likely to cause breach of peace and threat to the life of one Ihueze Onuoha and his family.
They are also accused of stealing property worth N1.630 million, damage to house and household properties valued at N0.620 million and unlawful conduct of selves in a manner likely to cause breach of the peace at Umuokoroala village square.
The matter was adjourned by presiding Chief Magistrate, I. U. Kalu to the 26th of July, 2019.
The wife of the missing man, Lilian and Ikenna Ahamefula, her so while narrating the incident, said that their father until his disappearance liveed in Umuahia urban and had informed them that he was going to Umuokorala village in Afugiri, Ohuhu Umuahia North L.G.A. to visit his (father’s) younger brother, Ihueze.
They claim that since then, their father is yet to be seen while every effort to get his brother Ihueze to tell them the whereabouts of the father had proved abortive.
According to the duo of son and mother, all the places they had gone to seek help traditionally and spiritually, it was disclosed to them that their uncle, Ihueze knows where his father is and is “holding him”.
Ikenna accused the wife of Ihueze, Chisom of influencing her husband to report against them at the police station.
He insisted that all his family and the entire village are demanding is their father and their son, Ikenna Onuoha, “who must be brought back to them alive”.
In her comments, the Vice Chairperson of Afuguri women wing, Lolo Udodirim Chukwuma Ahamba, said the wife of the Ihueze, Lilian of knowing the whereabouts of their son and retired Principal, Ahamefula Kingsley Onuoha, adding that the woman had been threatening the women of the 9 villages making up Afuguri that she would take them to the dreaded Okija shrine in Anambra, probably to intimidate them., “and later dragged us to Zone 9 command of the Nigeria police”, where he was advised to go and settle with the village.
“Instead of doing that, she took us to court”, She said.
She continued, “Ihueze and the wife, Lilian should at least show us where the bones of our husband is for us to gather it for proper burial”
On his part, Ihueze Onuoha said that he was trained by the brother (missing man) who loves him so much from primary school to tertiary institution.
He said that while he lives in Umuokoroala village, his brother lives in Umuahia urban and would frequently visit him in the village.
He claimed he last saw him on the 7th of September last year, when he had as usual visited him, from where he said he would be visiting another person in the village. “And I escorted him”.
“And on the 9th, I was called by my brother’s wife to inform me that her husband had told them he was coming to my house. I later left to my brother’s house in Umuahia urban where I even slept till the next day, and thereafter, reported to the police.”
According to him, his brother is known to suffer from mental problems and “even calls me by the name of his first son, and will even ask me if my wife is my daughter”.
He said he had taken time to trek distances to look for his brother, until when the family and the village decided to seek the help of juju and pastors where he was also exonerated.
However, while this was on, people broke into his home, cart away money and even the wife’s box of clothing, as well as destroying their properties, pointing out that if not for the timely intervention of then Afuguri police division, he would have been set ablaze by the community who had procured fuel and matches for that purpose.
According to him, following the intervention of their traditional ruler, Eze Ngwuli, the Afuguri DPO pleaded with him to withdraw the matter from Zone 9 and that the village should apologized to him and his wife, “they did not”, and the police therefore took the matter to court”.
“I did not take them to court, it is the police and it was only four people, not the women of the village. The men refused to be involved. In all the area they have gone to find out, I financed many of them”.