By Chidi Nkwopara
Palpable confusion, tension and disbelief have enveloped Amainyi Ukwu community in Ihitte Uboma local government area of Imo State, following the reported death of a Septuagenarian, Nze Sebastian Uwazie, in questionable circumstances.
Vanguard gathered that Uwazie, who left his Owerri municipal residence for his country home, to attend to a pending land case at Ihitte Uboma Customary Court, was later found, struggling for life, near the base of a tree along Aguneze road, Obowo local council area of the state.
Narrating the family’s ordeal to newsmen, the deceased man’s second son, Mr. Ugochukwu Uwazie, recalled that his late Father’s twin brother, who resides in Lagos, dragged his father to court over an ancestral land, adding that “the case was billed for Monday, February 17, 2020, and my father normally returned from Owerri, two days ahead of the hearing date of the case”.
He also recalled that his mother, Mrs. Margaret Uwazie, called later in the day, to find out if the man was safely home.
His words: “Apparently alarmed that my father hadn’t reached home at the time of my mother’s call, I tried his mobile telephone line but it was switched off. We all became apprehensive and we quickly constituted a search party. I tried my father’s line again, at about 7pm and a strange male voice responded.
“Not knowing who I was talking to, I told him that the phone belonged to my father. The unknown voice directed me to Aguneze, where we found our father lying at the foot of a tree unconscious and oblivious of our presence.”
Answering a question, the aggrieved son said that at Chukwunyerem Hospital, Obowo, a scan showed that he sustained injuries in the head and neck.
“We were referred to the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, but he died before we could conclude arrangements to move him to Owerri. We then deposited his remains at Mercy Hospital mortuary, Umulogho, Obowo”, Ugochukwu said.
For the late man’s widow, “His death remains a mystery that ought to be unravelled”.
A concerned villager, who spoke to Vanguard on strict grounds of anonymity, said: “It is baffling how a man that was heading to Seven and Half Junction from Owerri, was found unconscious, along Aguneze road. Only a very careful investigation into the incident will ultimately unravel the killers of the harmless family man.”