By Dirisu Yakubu
The family of Ebuka Anikwata, the 31 years-old Nigerian businessman allegedly shot dead by yet-to-be-identified gunmen, has cried out to the Nigerian government, particularly the security agencies to fish out the killers and serve them justice.
Young Ebuka was allegedly killed in Anambra state on September 28, 2021 following his return from Turkey where he was based to witness the birth of his first child in Nigeria. It was the same day Professor Chike Akunyili, husband of former Minister of Information Dora Akunyili was murdered by gunmen in the South-East state.
Speaking exclusively to Vanguard, elder brother of the seasoned, Chuma Anikwata called on well meaning Nigerians with useful information to volunteer same to assist security agencies in unraveling the identity of the killers of the promising young man.
Narrating the ugly incident, Chuma said: “My little brother did not know that he would die before his parents and that he would not be there to show all the love in his heart to his family. His son was baptized on Saturday, at two weeks old and he was shot dead the following Tuesday while returning from Oko Polytechnic where he had gone to drop off his family in their lodge. He wanted to branch to our village, Agulu, and inspect the progress of the factory he is building. He planned for the factory to start producing, at least, sachet water by December. So, part of our Christmas celebration would have been the opening of the factory.”
On how his brother met his untimely death, Chuma had this to say: “He was shot around 1:00 PM on 28th September 2021. I received a call around 6:00 PM from Chidi the last child of the family, that our brother Ebuka Vincent Azubuike Anikwata was shot dead in the afternoon. I did not believe it so I asked him to send me proof. He sent me a video of my brother in his car with his skull opened by bullets. More than thirty bullets were shot at his car. I broke down in tears.”
The tragic news according to Chuma immediately cast a pall of agony on the entire family saying, “Chidi was worried about breaking the news to other members of the family. When he told my father, the old man cried his eyes out. He asked me if Ebuka had any issues with anybody. I told him that anyone who knew Ebuka would not shoot him. Ebuka can easily be killed by poisoning his food or drink while hanging out with friends. So, anyone who would go through the stress of getting a gun and hiring assassins to kill him, does not know him at all, and I don’t know anyone who would want to harm him.”
He continued: “In the night, my mother called. She was screaming uncontrollably. I can hear Chidi trying to hold her. She said to me, “Chiboy, where is my son, Ebuka! Where is Ebuka my son! Give me my son, I want to hold him in my hand the way I held him when I gave birth to him,” he recalled amidst tears.
For Chuma, no price is too much to pay to unravel the killers of his younger brother that fateful day in September, 2021.
“I urge every good citizen of Nigeria to stand with me and help find those who murdered my brother Ebuka. I am offering the sum of five million naira (
N5,000,000) to any person(s) who will provide information that would lead to the arrest of the culprits.
“This offer is also open to prophets, spiritualists and soothsayers who can connect to the incident and provide useful information that can lead to the arrest of the killers. All I want is justice, it doesn’t matter where it comes from or how it comes about. The murderers need to be exposed and punished,” he added.
He shared a touching conversation he had with the deceased this way: “While we were talking on the phone that Saturday evening, I noticed that he was not happy about leaving his family behind. He could not travel with them because his wife is a student at Federal Polytechnic, Oko. He told me that he would be returning to Nigeria every three months to spend time with his family.
“He said he would work hard to become established within the next five years. He wanted to build a hostel at Unizik campus and a hostel at Oko Poly campus, then, he would use the factory as his main business. He had hope to complete these projects within the next five years so that he would return to Nigeria permanently to be with his family. The money from the hostels would be used to feed his family and pay their bills while he grows the factory as a big business that would have branches in different parts of the country. He said that our mother would remain the Chief Executive Officer, CEO of the factory until she dies, then, he would take over as the CEO. But they cut short his dreams,” he lamented, even as he sobbed uncontrollably.
While calling on the Nigeria Police Force and other relevant security agents to unmask the killers of Ebuka, Chuma dismissed any link of the incident to “unknown gunmen,” adding that “my brother’s car was shot more than thirty times, so I believe that the killers must have been very angry with him. His killers cannot be the unknown gunmen. They must be people that wanted him dead.
Relying on the narratives of eyewitnesses, Chuma alleged that the killers of his brother must have been political thugs who terrorized Anambra state in the build up to the November 6, 2021 governorship election.