By Ikeugonna Eleke
An Anambra indigene, Mr George Okoye, from Ogbunike in Oyi Local Government Area, has killed his younger brother’s wife over a protracted tussle on ownership of property.
Okoye allegedly led his wife and children into his brother, Mr Emenike Okoye’s compound, to beat him and his wife, Mrs Nkiru Okoye, who died out of beating.
Emenike however survived, sustained a broken hand, a fractured waist, and an injured eye from the beating, and was still recuperating in a hospital.
The sick man who spoke to journalists from his hospital bed narrated the incident that led to his 40-year old wife’s death on 19th July with tears, saying he was only abandoned by his brother and the thugs they brought because they thought he had died.
Though the suspect, Mr Okoye, had been arrested and currently in police custody, the whereabouts of his wife, Mrs Uzonna Okoye, twin daughters and son, Somtochukwu Okoye, who participated in the beating, were still unknown.
Mr Emenike Okoye, narrating the story of his wife’s death said, ‘We did not do anything. I was preparing for work that day, and my wife was preparing the children for school and to also travel home for a meeting in Abba, Njikoka Local Government Area, where she is from, when George and his wife, Uzonna, and their son, Somtochukwu, and twin daughters, invaded my house around 7am to 8am.
‘They overpowered us, beat us to stupor and left. Later when my children had gone to school, they returned with some persons and dangerous weapons, including an axe.
‘They dragged my wife outside the house, hit and killed her with an axe and chair. She fell and died. When I resisted their move to drag me outside too, they broke my hand with an axe, dragged me outside; hitting me with the axe all over my body until I passed out.
‘You can see the cut on my eyes. They left me, thinking that I was also dead. But God helped me to wake up later. I reported the incident to our local vigilante and they drove me to hospital.’
The father of five begged for help, and also for justice against his elder brother, who, he said, had been at logger heads with the family over property for several years.
‘George, right from when our mother (Mrs Adaoba Okoye) was alive, said he was our landlord. He is not our first born, yet he claims ownership of the entire compound and always fights with all of us.
‘I lived and worked overseas, but when the company where I was working folded, I returned home. We had our first three children overseas, and our last two here (Ogbunike).
‘My wife has nothing to do with this. Why killing her for nothing? After we returned home, trouble started. The crisis led to the death of our mother and our eldest brother. He reported us to the kindred, and our property was shared, with him taken the larger part. I took mine without complaining. Later, he started laying claims to my house.
‘He reported me to our kindred but it was settled in my favour. He disagreed and kept on troubling me. When I laid a dwarf perimeter fence, he pulled it down, and even reported me to the kindred,’ he lamented.
The Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, Tochukwu Ikenga, said he was aware of the incident, stating that investigation on the matter had long commenced and was still ongoing.