…Alleges shoddy investigation by police
By Ikechukwu Odu
The mother of the 21-year-old girl, Charity Ngozi Eze, who was allegedly raped and murdered at Imufu, Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State, March last year has cried out for a more thorough investigation into the circumstances which led to her daughter’s untimely death.
The late Ngozi who was living with her parents at Abuja but relocated to her village in Imufu to enable her attend extra-mural classes for last year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations, UTME was allegedly raped and murdered by suspected assailants.
It was gathered that Ngozi’s father, Jonathan, took her to the Township Primary School 1, Ogrute in the morning of March 26, 2019, on his motorcycle for the extra-mural studies as he usually did on a daily basis but on that day, she did not come back alive.
Her half naked body was found in the morning of March 27, 2019 by early risers in a bush behind the Community Secondary School, Imufu where she was allegedly raped and murdered by miscreants.
The mother, identified as Juliet Eze, while narrating her ugly experiences shortly after the interment of her daughter on Thursday, said she was pained when she saw some of the suspects walking scot-free and still challenging the family even before her daughter was buried.
Mrs Eze who was a petty trader at Abuja before her daughter’s untimely death said that it has been difficult providing for the family because she now resides in the village with her family with no means of livelihood, adding that she hardly slept since her daughter’s untimely death.
She said ” Three suspects were arrested in connection with my daughter’s rape and eventual murder. However, when they were released by the police, neither me, my husband nor the community stateholders were aware.
“I heard about their release from police custody as a rumour until I met one of the suspects the day I was going to the market to buy food stuff for the family. That day, my heart was broken. They were even threatening that we cannot do anything to them. Police did a shoddy investigation, maybe because we could not afford to pay them owing to our poor financial standing.
“I want the suspects to be re-arrested and killed just as they killed my daughter. I want the government to follow up this case and secure justice for my dead child.
“I was selling ‘okpa’ at Abuja before this incident happened last year. Since then, I have been in the village. Feeding is even a problem for my family now because my husband is equally poor. We have been working hard to feed our children and give them the best possible education we can afford and I had hoped on Ngozi because she worked hard and had told me she wanted to study nursing at the university. I have not been sleeping since my daughter’s life was snuffed out in her prime. Sometimes, I will wake up by 1 am, sit up and cry in the middle of the night.”
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Comrade Emeka Mamah, who also spoke on behalf of the family said police had named a suspect who the victim turned down his marriage proposals.
“We cooperated with the police in providing information and other assistance but as we are talking, no police man visited the scene of that incident. It is a year and five months now and justice has not been served. Police were only interested in money.
“Why she has not been buried since then was because they demanded money for Corona Inquest Form which is normally issued free of charge.
“We used our neighbourhood watch personnel to arrest some of the suspects at Onitsha, Anambra State. We still paid the police and hired a bus for them to go and bring them. They didn’t do any serious work.
“It was the new state Commissioner of Police who gave order before we got the inquest form. We still contributed about N300,000 to pay for autopsy because left for the police, we would not have buried the girl today. At a point, we wrote a petition to the force headquarters which they didn’t reply.
“We should pray not to find ourselves into trouble because nobody will investigate anything. We are very angry because the suspects have not been punished. The local government chairman and even the state goveror did not even bother to visit the family. If it were in Lagos, when someone is killed unjustly like this, the state will take over,” Mamah said.
N35bn pension arrears, gratuities: Obi replies Ngige
Former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has said that the details of how he cleared off over N35 billion in arrears of pension and gratuity had never and could not be in dispute as all the actions he took as governor were all properly documented and would be made available to anybody who desired to see it.
Obi, through a statement made available to Journalists and signed by his Special Adviser, Mr. Valentine Obienyem, was reacting to the claim by Sen. Chris Ngige that Obi did not pay the N35 billion in arrears of pension as he said.
The statement said that Obi was not interested in what anybody else paid or claimed to have paid as pensions and gratuity except his own payments and would therefore not join issues with anybody in that regard. The statement further said that Anambrarians were aware that the details of Obi’s pension and gratuity payments had always been volunteered by the Commissioners of Local Government during his tenure, Mr. Dubem Obaze and Mrs Azuka Enemo, but that in any case, the records would be made available to any person who desired them.
Insisting that the issues at hand were easy to decipher, the statement said: “There is no point trying to make up issues where there are none. Most pensioners are still alive and very alert mentally; anybody desirous of knowing the truth as it pertains to the payment of their pension and gratuity should go to Anambra State and ask them.”
On the allusion to faulty recourse to statistics by Obi, the statement averred: “In Nigeria today, Obi is a known expert in economics and he is empirical in discussing economic issues which makes him to quote a lot of statistics by heart to almost every purpose. In doing this, he makes sure he quotes the right statistics and in the event where mischief makers had tried to dispute his figures, he rested the case by volunteering the source of his statistics. We therefore wonder what any person wants to gain by resurrecting a dead case.”
Though the statement acknowledged seeing Ngige’s claims clearing over N60 billion in arrears of pension and gratuity, which almost doubled what Obi paid, it said it was not its brief to start interrogating him, as, according to him, anybody is free to claim anything, but that in Obi’s own case there were documentary evidence to show.
On the claim by Dr. Chris Ngige that he returned schools to the Church, the statement said that the Church that received the schools back have continued to quote Mr. Peter Obi as the person that they received their schools from. The statement queried: “From Sen. Chris Ngige’s claims, does it mean that the owners of the returned schools are so confused and irrational as not to know who returned their property to them?”
On the continued claim by Sen. Chris Ngige that he left N13.87 billion in the treasury, including over N2.4 billion in UBE’s funds, the statement maintained that proving such assertion was very simple, as when Obi’s over N75 billion savings were denied, he had to clear the air by publishing the names of the accounts, account numbers and banks where the monies were saved, which were collaborated by the mentioned banks.