•Community leaders say strange forces behind incident
•Wife narrates how tragedy occurred
By Ike Uchechukwu
EKPRI IKOT ENE— DISASTER struck, penultimate Monday, at Ekpri Ikot Ene community, Akpabuyo Local Government Area, Cross River State, when an enraged 23-year-old son butchered his father, who is the village head, HRH Francis Ekpo Ene, and dumped his remains inside the family’s pit toilet for persistently accusing him of stealing his money without facts.
NDV gathered that killer-son (Francis Ekpo Jnr.) supposedly acted under a powerful and diabolical influence, as he was not known to be a violent person before the sacrilegious incident.
How it happened—Wife
The wife of the deceased, Mrs. Affiong Offiong Asuquo, who spoke to NDV, said signs of trouble emerged in the household when an unnoticeable amount of money, sometimes between N20, 000 to N50, 000 started disappearing from the safe in the bedroom of the late ruler.
Her words: “The problem started when my husband’s money started missing and he had always thought that it was his first son, who was responsible for the theft, not knowing that he was not the person involved, and he had always denied being the one. The height was when he sold his oil and kept N90,000 in a Nido milk can and the money got missing again, he was really angry because he could not fathom why such an amount of money could get missing in his house.”
She confided in NDV that the money was actually being stolen by their daughter, who after her escapade, disappeared to her boyfriend’s place and returned after they exhausted the cash, pretending as she knew nothing and the late villager head would rail accusations on the epileptic son.
She said the boy had always said: “One day, I will steal your money since you are accusing me of what I did not do. He had also been cursing that one day; I will slaughter you and throw you inside the toilet for accusing me wrongly.’ All these came to pass that night as the father started shouting at him to provide the money he took from his room, the boy got angry and picked up a cutlass and pursued his father as I tried to intervene, he almost cut me,” the widow said.
She further explained: “I had to call for help, I went out to call people, including the youth leader because it was a bit late at night, before I came back with the people in a matter of minutes, the deed had already been done, he had already killed his father and dumped him inside the pit toilet behind the house.”
She added : “When I came back with the people I went to seek help from, they asked him where his father was, he replied that he does not know, so they started searching for him, then they saw a blood trail, which they followed right to the pit toilet and saw that he has butchered the monarch with a little flesh just holding his head to his neck, pushed off the mud which covered part of the toilet so that the opening could allow the lifeless body into the toilet.”
Speaking further, she told NDV that they apprehended him and handed him over to the Police and her husband embalmed in the house.
At the deceased’s residence
Meanwhile, when NDV reporter got to the house of the village head, his kinsmen, including the children were seen eating.
One of her daughters, Favour Francis Ekpo, said: “She was not around when the incident took place, but she knew that her elder brother and father had have little issues for some time.
She further asserted: “I was called on the phone when the incident took place because I was not at home I only came back to see what happened.”
A community leader, who pleaded anonymity, told NDV that no village head had ever died under such circumstances in Ekpri Ikot Ene, noting: “It is really unfortunate that this happened like this.”
The chief observed that the sad incident was not ordinary because Francis Jnr was not known to be violent, adding: “We are all surprised about what happened, but we have gone to the palace to inform our clan head that he has become indisposed because in our tradition, until the rite of passage is carried out, it can never be announced that he has joined his ancestors no matter the circumstance.”
Also speaking, one of the elders alleged that there were some forces that did not like Ekpo’s emergence as the village head. He disclosed that there had been a cold war, saying: “This is a traditional coup resulting from that war to dethrone him.
His words: “He became the village head last two years, the people did not know how else to get to him except his children, the boy who committed this sacrilege is just a little above 20, he is also sick; he is epileptic and has never hurt a fly even though some people believe that his epilepsy somehow affected his brain.
No details yet — PPRO
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Irene Ugbo, said the matter has not been transferred yet, so she could not give any detail, but promised to call back when she get”s details from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
However, NDV gathered that the suspect was now cooling his heels at the Divisional Police headquarters, Akpabuyo, which is awaiting the transfer of the case to state headquarters.