Thursday, June 8, 2017 9:07pm (USA) ET/Friday, June 9, 2017 2:07am Nigerian time, is a day and moment I will never forget because it is the time I received the worst call of my life. I was informed that my mother was shot and killed by unknown gunmen, and “fortunately” for me, my dad was not killed as well. You can imagine how I felt, given that I had just finished speaking with my parents over the phone two hours earlier when I got off work before I got that horrible call. Mind you, my mother was supposed to be getting ready to come to the US to visit me and my family including her newborn grand-daughter on June 23, 2017.
When I called my dad, he was already at the hospital where he and a family member rushed my mum in an effort to save her life. Of course he was distraught at the time. He could not even communicate with me because he was crying so deeply. When he finally got himself together, he managed to tell me how the incident unfolded, and how the love of his life was shot in few seconds without him having a chance to protect his wife. He went on to tell me that he had gone to the Police Station at Otoko (the headquarter of Obowo Local Government) to report the horrible crime that just happened; however the police first asked for money before they could follow him to the hospital and the crime scene. Upon getting there, police demanded that my dad call a photographer to take pictures of my mother and the crime scene (Mind you, this is a man whose wife had just been killed in a horrific way, yet police is making him run around in the early hours of the morning). My dad finally found a photographer who was willing to take the pictures, but not until he was paid for his services by my dad.
Two days later my Dad was notified of the whereabouts of some of the suspected young, evil boys who killed his wife, and they happened to be from my community. My dad was able to call people, whose identity I will not mention for security reasons, to ensure that those boys were caught. Fortunately, they were able to catch three boys who admitted they were involved in the crime.
Photo credit: Linda Ikeji’s blog
They were immediately taken to the police station and were handed over to police. My family was informed that there was an additional person involved, but when they went after this person, the suspect got away from them. I would expect police to spring into action in searching for this boy, or even go to his house to obtain a photo of him and make the public aware of his identity, but unfortunately none of these happened. As days went by, we learned that there were more people involved, and that the individual on the run knew their identity. The three suspects in custody where transferred to the State CID in Owerri. At this point, I was hearing that police in Owerri would come see the crime scene, but there was no haste in action from them in doing so. As a matter of fact, they were given money because they claimed they needed it for gas (petrol) and to charter more vehicles to enable them to make more arrests when they get to my community. When they arrived, they also asked for money for food, and it was given to them.
As days went by, police demanded an autopsy to be done on my mother, and of course the payment to the doctor for performing the autopsy came out of my family’s pocket. That was not the end of it. It was said that the doctor who performed the autopsy would not be the one to stitch my mum’s open body. Now the person who was supposed to do it collected his own payment. But wait, that is not the end. Do you know that my dad had to also pay the photographer who was documenting the autopsy process for his services?
Now I ask myself, what is the job of the government and the police in protecting and serving her citizens? To know that a crime of this magnitude was committed, yet there is not much activity in catching the remaining suspected perpetrators who are on the run and no news in arraigning those in custody to court in order to begin their judgement proceedings baffles me; although I would not say I am surprised.
I was told that police even obtained pictures of those suspects on the run, yet I have not seen any publication in the news warning the public of these evil doers and the threat they pose to the public. Who knows, you, your family or friend may be interacting with a suspected killer and armed robber without knowing because police have not made the faces of these suspected killers known to the public.
Photo credit: Linda Ikeji’s blog
I really do respect the police and all the hard work they put in protecting our nation, Nigeria every day. I know most of them, if not all, have family members they have to return home to at the end of their shifts, and I commend them for putting their lives on the line for us all. However, I wish in this case, that they would put their good hearts and all energy into making sure that all those involved in murdering my mother are brought to justice
I hope that Imo State government is aware of this hideous crime, and are able to provide all the necessary support that police need to carry out an effective and swift investigation. I am also calling on the justice system of Imo state and Nigeria at large to not let this case to be “swept under the rug.” Finally, I beseech the public not to let this case rest until justice is served appropriately, and hopefully the rest of these evil doers are caught to face justice. I do not pray for anyone to experience this kind of horrific act, and go through what my family and I are going through at this time.
Thank you all and God bless you as you join me in the fight to seek justice for my mother, Mrs. Maria Nwosu, she was gentle and kind. I pray for her gentle soul to rest in perfect peace.