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About the Fake Unknown Gunman Killed by Police in Abia

About the Fake Unknown Gunman Killed by Police in Abia
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About the Fake Unknown Gunman Killed by Police in Abia

Thirty-eight-year-old Mrs Ebere Ehieze is the widow of a 41-year-old commercial tricycle operator in Abia State, Kelechi Ehieze, who was suspected to have been killed during an exchange of gunfire between policemen and hoodlums who attacked the office of the State Criminal Investigation Department in Umuahia on May 29. The widow tells SUNDAY NWAKANMA what her husband’s death means for the family.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am Mrs Ebere Kelechi Ehieze, the wife of the late Kelechi Ehieze from Umueleke Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State. I am 38 years old and I live at Amuzukwu, Umuahia. I trade in charcoals.

 

What was your husband’s occupation before his death?

He was a keke (commercial tricycle) operator and was 41 years when he died.

 

 


What happened on May 29?

On May 29, the office of the Abia State Criminal Investigation Department was burnt. I was in my store and my husband came in and told me that he wanted to go to the Mission Hill area of Umuahia where our son, Chibunna, is an apprentice. That day, he parked his keke and did not work. He went to my son’s workplace and when they were returning home, they boarded another keke. When they got to Uwalaka Street by Uzuakoli Road, they started hearing gunshots everywhere and the keke driver asked all his passengers to come down and find their ways. So, my husband and my son started running home. My son came home and asked me if I saw his father and I said I had not seen him. We expected him till it was night, but we did not see him. The next day, we went looking for him and asking people if they saw him. We did not see him. On the third day, being Monday, which was also a public holiday, there was no movement around the area. In the morning, we left in search of him.

About the Fake Unknown Gunman Killed by Police in Abia
About the Fake Unknown Gunman Killed by Police in Abia

One boy told us that there were some people shot and that their bodies were deposited at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia and that we should go there and check to see if his corpse was among them. My brother-in-law took me and my son in his keke to the FMC. On getting there, we were asked to produce a picture of my husband and we gave his pictures to them and described my husband to the morticians, after which they led us into the morgue. After a brief search, we saw his corpse. This was how I saw my husband last.

 

How did you feel when you found your husband’s body in the morgue?

I felt bad. It was like the whole world had ended. I cried like one without hope, because I don’t know how I am going to raise alone the children he left for me. I only sell charcoal. Since that day, my world has turned upside down. As I am now, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to run to and I don’t know what to do with five children.

 

Have you found out who killed him?

We can’t tell, but I am suspecting that it was the police who were said to have paraded the corpses as unknown gunmen.

 

 


Was your husband a gunman?

No, my husband was not a gunman. He had a legitimate business as a keke operator and he was not even on duty that very day. We are of the Anglican Communion by faith, and worship at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Umuahia.

 

Have you challenged the police on the description of your late husband as an unknown gunman?

No, we only complained to our lawyer who assured us that he would help us to seek justice.

 

What has the experience been for you and your children since the death of your husband?

We have been subjected to hardship since that day. As I speak now, I am not here with you. I have been facing hardship because he was the breadwinner of the family. I don’t know what to do. To eat is now a problem for me and my children.

 

How are your in-laws taking your husband’s death?

They have been crying and are in a sad mood. No one is happy about what has happened. They said they would engage a lawyer over the issue.

 

How do you want this case to be treated?

My husband is dead. I want the police to come to my aid. My husband has been killed and if they know what to do for the children he left for me, let them do it. I only sell charcoal. The government at all levels should also come to my aid, as life seems not meaningful to me now.

About the Fake Unknown Gunman Killed by Police in Abia
About the Fake Unknown Gunman Killed by Police in Abia

The hardship is too much for us. I don’t have the capacity to train these five children alone. When my husband was alive, we fed well, but now, we only eat when we see what to eat or go to bed hungry. My world has crumbled since his death. Many times now, the children and I go to bed on empty stomach. Sometimes, we only take garri and go to bed.

 

PUNCH

FADAKA LOUIS
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