Protest in Enugu after murder of woman

Enugu on map [Photo: Wikimedia Commons]
Enugu on map [Photo: Wikimedia Commons]

The mutilated corpse of a woman, Pat Ngwu, from Ndiuno Nchatancha community in Emene, Enugu State, was on Thursday found by a stream after she had gone missing the previous day.

The woman was reportedly abducted from her farmland by suspected herdsmen.

A source in the community said there were several machete cuts on the lifeless body of the woman who had gone to her farm Wednesday afternoon with a wheelbarrow to harvest cassava.

When she did not return home, her husband raised an alarm and a search party was raised to look for her.

The search in the farmland and nearby bush Wednesday night yielded no result as only the wheelbarrow and her machete were found.

According to residents, the family received information Thursday morning about the discovery of the mutilated corpse of a woman by the side of a river in the community.

There, Mrs Ngwu’s family discovered that it was her body was found.

“We found several machete cuts on her body, including the head and neck with her pant removed. We are suspecting that she must have been attacked and raped by bandits in the bush,” a native of Nchatancha said.

The development sparked off violent demonstrations in Nchatancha and Obinagu communities as angry youth from the area took to the streets.

They blocked the Enugu -Abakaliki highway at Eke Obinagu market area and Annunciation Hospital junction, burning tyres and harassing travellers.

Some vehicles were reportedly damaged by the youth.

Security operatives from Emene Police Division later brought the situation under control.

The police also took the corpse to Annunciation Hospital mortuary in Emene.

Police spokesperson in Enugu State, Ebere Amaraizu, said the command was investigating the incident.

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He said the Commissioner of Police, Suleiman Balarabe, has directed full-scale investigations.

The Enugu State Government, in a statement, by the Secretary to the State government, Simon Ortuanya, condemned the murder.

“The Enugu State Government condemns in its entirety the alleged murder of a woman in a farmland at Nchatancha community in Emene, Enugu East Local Government Area.

“We condole with the family of the deceased and hereby charge the security agencies to commence a full-scale investigation into the unfortunate incident with a view to apprehending and prosecuting the culprits,” Mr Ortuanya said.

Also, the state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, directed the chairpersons of the 17 local government areas, who are yet to mount vigilante security checkpoints in their respective areas to do so within two weeks, to ensure adequate security operations in their localities.

The statement by Mr Ortuanya added that the state government “deeply appreciates the good people of the state for their cooperation and support” and reassured them that “we are winning the war against criminality.”

The apex Igbo social-culrural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, also condemned the killing.

The group accused herdsmen of carrying out the killing and warned that the people of the region will be forced to resort to self help if nothing is done stop the killings.

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The Publicity Secretary of Ohaneze, Uche Achi-Okpaga, stated this in a statement on Thursday in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital.

Mr Achi-Okpaga called for thorough investigation and prosecution of the killers to assuage the people.

“We therefore call on the Police, to as a matter of urgency, investigate this condemnable killing of this innocent woman and bring the culprits to face the wrath of the law in order to restore the confidence of the people.

“The people’s patience have been stretched to their elastic limits and only a thorough investigation, exposure of the criminals and totally check the seemingly intractably crimes will assuage the frayed and bruised nerves of the people,” he said.

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