The Uwagbaokwu family of Ohobo Afara in Umuahia North Council Area of Abia State are still in shock following the gruesome murder of their 21 year old son, Ikechukwu Uwagbaokwu, by alleged police operatives.
Ikechukwu, a student of Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo, was alledged to have been killed because of a land dispute between two other families, Ndukwe and Uwaga families.
The berieaved family said they believed the two warring families connived with the police to kill Ikechukwu because of the land dispute, Vanguard reports.
The land dispute was said to have lingered and was getting messier when the community’s traditional peace makers, Ibeku Okonko Arbitration Panel waded into it and had indeed fixed a date to hear from the families involved before one the parties lost one of the witnesses, prompting the rescheduling of the matter.
However, five days to the rescheduled date, Ikechukwu was murdered leading to the Uwagbaokwu family suspecting the rival families in the land dispute.
According to their petition to the Abia State Commissioner of Police, Uwagbaokwu family hinged their suspicion on an allegation from one of the rival families which had earlier accused them of being responsible for the death of their family member.
The Uwagbaokwu family, in the petition, written by their lawyer, Godwin Oriaku of Overcome’s Chambers, claimed that days before the burial of the deceased from the rival family, “there have been threats issued at various occasions” by the rival family that lost a member that they were “going to avenge the death from the family of Uwagbaokwu”.
The petiton reads in part: “On the 10th of September, 2015, Mr. Ikechukwu Vincent Uwagbaokwu, a Marketing Student of Imo Polytechnic went to bed at about 9.00pm but at about 10.50pm there was persistent banging on the door of the family house of the Uwagbaokwu.
“When Mr. Anthony Uwagbaokwe (elder brother of deceased) came out to see who was banging on their door, lo and behold, there were about ten fierce men in Police uniform who had taken strategic positions in the surroundings of the house. “One of the men in uniform, who came with Hilux pick up van and black Camry Saloon Car, hit the door of one of the occupants of the house and forced it open. When the occupant came out, the men in police uniform, who refused to identify themselves, said that he was not the person that they were looking for.
“The Police went to the direction pointed to by those who allegedly brought them. The armed policemen forced the next wooden door open and on sighting Ikechukwu Vincent Uwagbaokwu, one of the policemen allegedly shot him and he died immediately. “Our clients raised alarm but nobody came to their rescue. The matter was reported to Ehimiri Police Station in whose jurisdiction this area falls, where the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) gave them order to deposit the deceased at Madonna Mortuary in Umuahia,”.