From C O C Onah
Hundreds of women protested in Umunze Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State against the gruesome murder of 72-year-old woman by suspected ritualists believed to have invaded her residence from neighboring Community in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
On Tuesday, protesters, demanded for mass exit of all Abakiliki (Ebonyi) indigenes out of Umunze town over the atrocious and condemnable rape and murder of the Septuagenarian identified as Mrs. Charity Okolie.
TheNewspad reports that the suspects allegedly harvested her reproductive organ, tongue and breasts for alleged ritual by a three-man gang who live in Umunze area, had swooped on the elderly woman, raped her and took her mutilated body to a yet to be identified voodoo priest, practising a perversion of traditional “muti” medicine in a nearby Community.
The severed body parts of the victim’s corpse are thought to be used in rituals designed to benefit the murderers.
But the long arm of the law, caught up with one of the blood thirsty suspects who was later nabbed by youths in collaboration with team of the Community’s vigilante outfit after he fell into a deep asleep under the diceased’s bed after carrying out the atrocity, apparently due to the influence of hard drug and alcohol.
Our Correspondent gathered the suspect, is now helping the police in their investigation at the State Criminal Investigative Department (SCID) of the Nigeria Police Command in Awka, Anambra State Capital, while two other culprits are at large.
The aggrieved female protesters, took their complaints to the Umunze Area police Command headquarters, the palace of His Royal Highness, Igwe Promise N. Eze, the Abilikete II of Umunze, and the Transition Committee Chairman of the the local government Hon Neville Uchendu, for prompt intervention.
Spokesperson and President of the Women in the area, Mrs. Enekwechi Bridget gave a brief history of how the tragedy occurred and appealed to concerned authorities to come to the rescue of defenceless women in the locality.
According to her, “The entire Umunze resolved to come together today for a peaceful protest because Abakiliki people resident in our community raped one of us in Ubaha Village and cut off her tongue, one of her fingers, two nipples of her breasts and her private part.
“We are demanding for justice and that the suspects should face the full weight of law because women are not supposed to face such torture and suffering in the hands of heartless criminal elements,
The President-General of Umunze Progressives Union, Mr. Hippolitus Uchechukwu Olua who addressed the women, commended them for their peaceful conduct and urged them to go about their protest in peace as their complaints would be given prompt attention by the police and other relevant authorities.
On his part the traditional ruler of Umunze Community, HRH Igwe Promise N. Abilikete II, described the incident as sad and shocking to every resident of the Community.
He noted that the victim died due to loss of blood which made her to be unconscious after she was rushed to the hospital in Anambra, where she later died, a development that angered everybody.
The monarch however urged the people of area to remain calm as police and leaders of the Community are working round the clock to ensure that justice is done at the end of the day.
“I have told the PPRO who’s closest to us here that the suspect must be charged to court for murder and he has assured me that the matter would not be swept under the carpet. I have instructed the youths to exercise restraint pending the outcome of the case”, he said.
Igwe Abilikete II, also threw his weight behind the appeal by the protesting women for aggressors to leave the Community for peace to reign, stating that the worst of the crimes being committed by the Abakaliki (Ebonyi) residents of the town is raping of you d girls and the latest killing of the innocent woman.
He appealed to Indigenes and residents of the area to strive to live peace with one another and to obey the laws of the land, the state and the Country at large.
He stated that plans were on to make the Abakaliki Indigenes residents in the area to sign social contract forms to be of good conduct or they leave the Community to avert a reoccurrence of such heinous crimes in future.
The Police Police Relations Officer (PPRO) of Anambra State Command, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga confirmed the incident to TheNewspad
He said one of the suspects had been arrested in connection with the crime.