By Chinenyeh Ozor; Nsukka
Tension mounts at the University town of Nsukka, Enugu state, following last week’s gruesome killing of a female classroom teacher at about 200 meters to her residence while returning from the state capital where she attended the swearing- in ceremony of newly appointed commissioners in the state.
Crime Guard gathered that the teacher identified as Princess Uzoamaka Onyishi, nee Ugwuokwor, 40 , hailed from Mbu -Akpoti in Isi- Uzo local government area of the state. She had accompanied one of her relations , Mrs. Eze, to attend the swearing-in ceremony of her husband, Mr M.E Eze, who was appointed Attorney -General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, only to be assailed by unknown gunmen, very close to her Uwani-Ugwu residence in Nsukka metropolis.
Investigations revealed that Princess Onyishi drove herself to Enugu, venue of the ceremony in company of her Kano-based sister, Mrs Ndidiamaka Nnaji, to attend the ceremony. Reports said that soon after the ceremony, both of them cruised in a blue -coloured Toyota Corolla of the deceased back home. It was gathered that after she had dropped her sister at the family house along Ogurugu road in Nsukka, picked up her cousin, Miss Jacinta Okwor, who stays with her and headed to her residence at Uwani- Ugwu, tragedy struck. She was shot dead by two unknown gunmen.
Eyewitness account said the two gunmen ambushed the princess at a flooded spot on the pretext that their motor cycle had problem along the lonely road around 8.30 pm. Reports said the unsuspecting Princess fell victim to the bullets of her assailants as she tried to offer help by directing her head lamp towards the passable side of the road only for one of them to point gun at her and without demanding anything from her, pulled the trigger and shattered her skull. The assailants fled under the cover of darkness.
Visit to son at the campus
Further investigations revealed that the deceased who is the daughter of late Igwe Gabriel Ugwuokwor, the traditional ruler of Mbu Akpoti, a neighbouring community in the area and mother of five children, also visited her first son, Chidera Onyishi, a first year student at the Department of Political Science, at the University campus, unknown to the boy that it was the last he will see her mother. With the joy of the swearing in celebration, the deceased was reportedly singing songs of praises that their relation and close acquaintance had been elevated as a commissioner only for her to be assailed by yet -to -be identified gunmen.
Visit to the family house
When Crime Guard visited the family house at Ogurugu road, members of the family wore gloomy faces, wailing and confused over the fate that befell them. Her elder sister, Uzoamaka. Nnaemeka Ugwuokwor, told Crime Guard amidst tears that the entire family has been thrown into confusion by the killing of their sister.
According to her, ‘’My sister just returned from Enugu where she attended the swearing-in ceremony of newly appointed commissioners. One of our relations was amongst them. On arrival at Nsukka, she drove to the family house to see our mother, Lolo Josephine Ugwuokwor. When she was through with her, she went to see her son at the campus. As she was just driving into her house later, she met two young men carrying a motor cycle, trying to manoeuvre their way in the flooded area of the road. When she tried to evade the young man dragging the motor bike, another young man emerged from the bush, pointed gun at her and shot her, straight on the forehead. She died on the spot. Before she met her untimely death, she was teaching at Urban Boys Secondary school, Nsukka. She was the kind that hardly could hurt a fly. What prompted her killing still remains a mystery to the family that just buried their father, Igwe Gabriel Ugwuokwor. She was driving herself when the incident happened. She never joined politics for one day. Her only business in politics was to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed commissioner. The incident has been reported to Nsukka police division who promptly responded to the call put across to them when she was shot. Both the police and some clergy men assisted in taken her to Bishop Shanahan mortuary where her corpse was deposited. Presently, the matter has been transferred to Enugu state police headquarters. The gruesome killing of our sister has taken the family to a devastating point of agony, mourning, confusion and pity. She is the most endearing in the hearts of members of the family. She was humble, amiable and loving to the people that interacted with her. We are not suspecting any person for now,. Our only prayer is for God to bring out the killers of our sister. She was a mother of five, two boys and three girls. The first is a first year student at UNN, the second will be writing the post UME, the third is in SS 3, the fourth is in SS 1 while the last one is in primary five.
Appeal to the police
“We look up to the police to unearth the circumstances surrounding the wicked killing of our sister. We believe the police will stand to the challenge to fish out perpetrators of the heinous crime and bring them to book. We are equally appealing to the general public to assist us in our moment of grief to give information, if any, about the killing. We cry for help from any quarter to assist us fish out those that assailed our sister to death. We have sent messages across to various communities within Nsukka and beyond to report any suspected person to the nearest police station in connection with the killing. It was pure assassination as the killers never demanded anything from her, neither her car key, nor cash, nothing whatsoever.
Amidst tears, Lolo Josephine Ugwuokwor, 55, the mother of the deceased managed to speak with Crime Guard. She narrated her unbearable traumatic ordeal ‘’ The killers of my daughter will never go unpunished. It is too painful to me that my daughter was carelessly killed by unknown gunmen. I am appealing to the police to investigate and arrest her killers with the fear of God. We have reported to our community and everybody is waiting for the outcome of police investigation. I spoke with her immediately she returned from Enugu unknown to me that it was the last to speak with her before she went to UNN to see her son, Chidera.
Eye witness account
The lady who was with the deceased when the ugly incident happened, Jacinta Okwor, narrated their travail. “ I was in the vehicle with her when the people emerged and shot her. The two men demanded nothing from her, only pointed gun and shot her instantly. When she was shot, she fell on my laps. I did not know she was dead. When the two men left, I started calling her to wake up for us to go, unknown to me that she was dead. As my efforts to wake her failed, I took the bush part and ran to a house not too far from the scene and informed her husband that aunty has been shot dead just now. The killers did not demand anything from her. I sat with her in the front seat. It was a horrible experience. I have not recovered from the trauma. The cloth I wore that faithful day is still soaked with the blood of my aunty. God will never forgive her killers. I am an apprentice tailor under my sister’s care but now they have killed her. One of the two men was dragging motor cycle and she flashed light to help him only for another to emerge from the bush and shot her, point blank without uttering a word to her.”
Husband to the fair- complexioned princess, Sunday Onyishi, 57, lamented the circumstances that surrounded the gruesome murder of his wife. “The whole thing still sound strange to me. I still could not believe that my wife was killed like a common thief. We have been married for the past 22 years and blessed with five children.
I am a transporter. Nobody has ever complained to me that she had problem with her. I don’t know why she was killed. When my sister in- law rushed to me and broke the news of her death, I rushed shouting, neighbours joined me, we combed the entire place but could not see the killers. Then we invited the police to see what happened. I am not suspecting anybody but the killers of my wife will definitely be brought to book. We moved in into our own building five months ago. Her killers did not allow her enjoy the house she laboured for all these years of hardship. I want the police to unearth the surroundings of her killing by faceless two young men,” he stated amidst tears.