By Raphael Onyekachukwu
Eight surviving children of late Mrs. Chinyere Emmanuel-Itigwe (aged 40) of Onuafor Nkomoro Ezza North L.G.A. of Ebonyi State have cried to the Ebonyi State Government to use its might to bring to book the murderers of their mother. This is following legal delay and accumulating mortuary bill.
Mrs. Itigwe was attacked by the relations of her late husband on 28 March 2015 but died on 4 December 2015 after serious suffering. She was killed over the land and economic trees belonging to them. The alleged culprits include Peter Nwusulor Itigwe, Chinedu Nwakpa Ekuma, Obinna Nwakpa Ekuma, Emma Friday Nworie (a.k.a. Gallop) and three others at large. They were being prosecuted for threat to life, assault; occ. Harm/stealing. They allegedly used poisoned machetes to dissect the widow.
The children – Ifeanyi, Chukwudi, Onuabuchi, Olisaemeka, Chika, Mmesomma, Chinonso, Akachukwu – who are now suffering from kwashikor/malnutrition were banned from their father’s compound and from partaking in their inheritance by their relations.
According to the Nigerian Police Medical Report, Mrs. Chinyere was presented at FETHA on April 1, 2015 with diagnosis of soft-tissue injuries resulting from Assault. “She sustained multiple matchet cuts involving the right parietal (head) region, right ribs, both arms, both thighs, left legs and foot. She was treated by the medical officer, referred to orthopedic and plastic surgeons for further management. She is still in an unstable condition” continued the report dated 23/06/15 by a consultant pathologist, Dr. Edegbe Felix.
When our correspondent visited the palace of the Ezeudo 1 of Nkomoro community, HRH Eze David Nworie, the Traditional Ruler admitted that he was aware of usual assaults on the deceased widow but not of her eventual death. He maintained that he had always intervened in the matter while the husband was still alive but he however declined comment since the case is already in court.
Chinyere lost her husband about six years ago and has since been struggling to cater for their children. What is the fate of the orphans now that they are banished from the community by the members of their Extended Family? These and more are moral questions crying for judicial answers.