By Tony Edike
ENUGU—THREE persons have been arrested by the police in Enugu State, for allegedly battering a widow and mother of two, Mrs Ozioma Onovo, who lost seven teeth in the attack by her in-laws.
The incident, which was described by some people as one of the worst acts of violence and torture against widows in the South East states, almost claimed the life of the victim. It occurred at Nomeh community in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State, last month.
Those arrested yesterday, in connection with the battering of the widow and are currently being detained at the State CID, Police Headquarters Enugu, are Mr. Monday Onovo, Mrs Mgborie Onovo and Mrs Mgbeke Orji.
According to a petition on the alleged conspiracy and attempted murder dated August 30, 2010 by Mrs Onovo’s lawyer, to the state Commissioner of Police, the widow came under the attack of her late husband’s relations, who accused her of masterminding her husband’s death in a fatal auto crash.
Her trouble started in their Nomeh home, when news hit the village that her husband of 23 years, Mr. Okafor Onovo and two other passengers died following a fatal road accident along the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.
The late Onovo was said to be on his way from Onitsha, where he had gone on the invitation of his younger brother, Mr. Augustine Onovo, for financial assistance. It was further revealed that the initial reaction by a faction of the late
Okafor Onovo’s family was that the younger brother, who invited him to Onitsha might have killed him for money rituals.
But they were said to have later dumped that theory, claiming that the wife must have been responsible for the death.
The late husband’s cousin and ringleader, Monday, armed with a machete, was said to have matched to the farm where Mrs Ozioma Onovo, yet ignorant of the development, and had gone to fetch palm fruits, allegedly threatening to behead her at sight.
Luck was, however, on her side as the assailant missed her, but only for her to return later to the waiting hands of Monday and her late husband’s uncle and sisters, who were soon joined by Monday to batter her the fateful night.