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Friday, April 19, 2024

Widow cries out over attempt by brother-in-law to send her out  of her late husband’s marital home

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. FIDA, women group condemn action
By Chuks Eke
 Mrs. Chinenye Okonkwo,  wife of late Livinus Okonkwo, a  37-year-old widow and mother of five children whose husband died in 2017,
has called on relevant authorities to come to her aide, following an attempt by her brother-in-law, Boniface Okonkwo to evict her from her late husband’s matrimonial home at Umuodiliogu family of Umunakwa Ifite village, Oraifite in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State.
She lamented that apart from evicting her, Boniface also used almost all the cement blocks moulded by her late husband, when he was still alive for the purpose of building a house, to build his own house and also encroached into her husband’s own portion of their family land where he erected his own house.
Speaking to newsmen at their family compound at Oraifite on Friday, Chinenye disclosed that efforts by the entire Umuodiliogu family to stop Boniface from evicting her from her late husband’s home proved abortive as he had succeeded in forcing her out of the matrimonial home, leading to her currency living in a rented apartment with her children somewhere else for some years now.
She further lamented  that despite the intervention of other community leaders,  the International Federation of Female Lawyers, FIDA and other Women cooperative established by Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, SEOF, the brother-in-law refused to release her husband’s landed properties to her, thereby forcing her and her children to seek refuge outside the Okonkwo compound.
She said, “My husband died in 2017 at the age of 45. Since then, his brother, Boniface Okonkwo, popularly known as ‘Overheat’, encroached into my late husband’s land. He carried the entire blocks my husband had moulded and used them for his own house.
“When I confronted him about my husband’s blocks, he said he has used them. After several attempts of resisting his nefarious acts on me, he forcefully ejected me from my husband’s house with the use of thugs.
“He asked me to leave and that I should go and look for someone else to remarry me since I am still young. Right now, I have become homeless and also struggling to pay both house rent and children’s school fees.”
She, however, pleaded with the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, to intervene in the matter so that she and her children will not remain homeless.
The Chairman of Umuodilogu kindred, Chief Francis Okafor, also condemned the actions of the widow’s brother-in-law, saying that the community has waded into the matter, and the brother-in-law, Boniface Okonkwo is currently in police custody in connection with a petition written against him by another member of the family simply identified as Ogilisi Igbo.
Commenting on the development, the Coordinator of Sir Emeka Of for Foundation, SEOF,, Sir Anthony Obi told newsmen that the foundation had included Chinenye among those that would benefit from the third phase of the foundation’s Touch Alive Housing Project which involved building a bungalow, furnishing it and handing it over to her like they did to over 30 other beneficiaries in Phase One and Phase Two projects over the years.
Mrs. Ogechi Izuka, leader of the widows under SEOF, said she led Chinenye to FIFA to lay her complaint, adding that FIDA is currently considering going court against Boniface.
When contacted, the Anambra State Police Command’s spokesman, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed tBoniface Okonkwo was in the police custody over a petition written against him by another person.
“Yes, he was arrested over a petition brought to us against him. We are about to conclude investigation before he will be arraigned, in court” , Ikenga added.

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