By Chinonso Alozie – Owerri
Confusion has trailed the story of a caretaker of Eziwanne lodge, Daniel Okufuwa, in Federal Polytechnic, Nekede in Owerri, Imo State, who allegedly beat his tenant into a coma and later died in the hospital, a first-year student of building technology, Anthony Chinweotito Emmanuel, as the relatives to Okufuwa, have said to have intensified through petitions to authorities in defense of Okufuwa, that the incident was a case of self-defense.
Vanguard investigation Thursday in Owerri uncovered that this alleged move to twist the case against the deceased has continued to anger some of the students who witnessed the incident.
One of them who preferred the name Kelly told Vanguard that, “Yes, the caretaker has been arrested by police, but what we are not happy with is what the brothers and sisters of Okufuwa, are planning to do now is to turn the case against late Chinweotito.
“They want to turn the story against the victim, that it was Chinweotito, that first attacked the caretaker but it is not true, we were there when the thing happened as the caretaker was the one who first started attacking the students in the lodge. In the process, the caretaker used heavy wood and hit on Chinweotito’s head.
“We will not allow them to turn this case against us and what we are asking from the police is justice for Chinweotito, nothing more or less, if we allow this to continue to happen what it means is that all of us are going to be victims.”
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Part of the said moves to whittle down the heaviness of the case as explained to Vanguard, from a reliable source, said: “They have planned to write in their petition that Chinweotito, is a known cultist who specializes in stealing peoples phone. That Chinweotito had been having a running battle with the caretaker, for stealing his (caretaker) phone.
“That Chinweotito had agreed to return the phone and that Chinweotito, having failed to do so was the reason for the beginning of the fight. That Chinweotito came to fight the caretaker, to intimidate him with some of his cult members.”
However, Vanguard has been following this case, when it started, that it was as a result of a disagreement between the Caretaker of Ezinwanne lodge and Students, following a meeting between “The school management, landlords and the Student Union Government, had a meeting and they agreed that final year students should be allowed to pay half payment for accommodation and other students should pay full payment. Some landlords agreed while others said they would not accept it. This decision was taken as a result of this covid-19 lockdown challenges.”
A student from the lodge who pleaded not to mention his name said: “In this our Ezinwanne lodge, our caretaker has been preventing us from seeing the landlord even when we ask for the landlord’s phone number he will give us fake phone numbers and it has been very difficult to connect the number sometime it will to another person.
“We pleaded for the landlord’s phone number so that we can reach out to the owner of the house so that we can explain our plights for him to accept us especially the graduating students to pay a half payment and that by April all of us will go.”
“On the 2nd February 2021, after our meeting with the caretaker, he gave us quit notice that since we can’t pay a full payment that all of us should pack out from the lodge, he did not stop at that, he disconnected our light, including water.
“So, the students reconnected the water back at least to use it take their birth and go for examination while others use the water to wash their clothes.
“When the caretaker came back and saw that students have pumped water, he got angry and used a sword to cut the pipes linking water into the buildings, as he was doing it students pleaded with him to stop but he got angry and started fighting the students, beaten them.”
“It was in that process that the caretaker accused Chinweotito of stealing his phone and immediately used a heavy wood and landed it on the neck of Chinweotito, and the boy felled down and entered into a coma. Chinweotito was in a coma, from that Tuesday to Saturday, when he died.”