Two sons among suspects
We are under pressure to withdraw case — Family
BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE, WARRI
On May 23, 2014, when Mr. Sunday Obi, a retired staff of Chevron Company Ltd, Warri was served breakfast by his wife, Dora, little did he knew that that was going to be his last meal on earth. The late Obi was alleged to have been served acid instead of water to go along with the food. Two of his sons are fingered as among the three suspects.
Narrating the incident to Sunday Vanguard in the family’s No.2 Okumagba Street residence, Warri, the bereaved wife said, “We woke up that morning; and i made his (husband) breakfast before I left for church. While in church, I received an urgent call from his last son, Ikechukwu, that I should come home, that my husband had been rushed to hospital.
“When I tried to find out what actually happened to him, Ikechukwu said he drank acid. At the General Hospital Warri where he was rushed to, we were referred to Delta State University Teaching Hospital (DSTH), Oghara where the doctors said the case was beyond them. We were again referred to University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) when they could not handle the case. He died four days later at the UBTH and has not been buried.
“Ikechukwu was the only one at home with him when the incident occurred. I was told that when my husband was eating, he asked for a cup of water and he was served with acid instead of water. I was told that Ikechukwu allegedly confessed that it was one of his siblings who brought the acid, claiming it was drug and that he did not know that it was acid before giving it to his father as water. The motive of the action was probably as a result of his wealth. He did not offend them in any way; they wanted him to die so that they will inherit his wealth”
She disclosed that her husband was hale and healthy before the incident. “I have no say on what should be done; it is only his family that can decide that. They are not my children; if they are my children, I would have known what to do. Since his death, we have been surviving through the grace of God”, she added.
Corroborating her mother’s story, Miss Esther Obi, a hairstylist, who lives with her fiancée at Okumagba Layout, Warri, said she was informed on that fateful day that her father was hospitalized although she was not told immediately what happened to him. “I hurriedly dressed up and, on getting to the hospital; I was dumbfounded on what I saw. Already, my mother and brothers were there and, when I asked what happened to him, Anayo said that it was Ikechukwu that gave him acid to drink and that he had reported the incident to the police at A Division who later came to the hospital to interrogate my father”, the daughter said.
“When the policemen left, I asked my father why he should drink acid, and he said that he asked for water and he was served with acid; he said that he did not know it was acid and that it was Ikechukwu who gave him. I observed that the mouth and chest were burnt. We were later referred to Oghara by doctors in the General Hospital, Warri at about 5pm after battling to save his life for several hours. Again, at Oghara, we were referred to UBTH where he was admitted and died four days later”.
Esther, who claimed that her father has four children, two males and two females, said that she did not know the motive for the killing, saying her brothers were the ones in the position to do so.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that three suspects: an automobile mechanic and the two siblings, Ikechukwu, 30, and Anayo Obi, 36, were arrested by the police and interrogated in connection with case.
A relative of the late Sunday Obi, who did not want his name in print, however, claimed that the family was pressurized by a top government official to withdraw the case just as he appealed to relevant authorities to ensure that justice was done on the issue.
The deceased, from Umukwata in Ukwuani local government area of Delta State, retired from Chevron Oil Company Ltd in 2009.
Attempts made to reach Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Celestina Kalu, for her reaction, failed as she was said to be on annual leave.