The people of Umueze Ihitte in Afor Ukwu Autonomous Community in Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State were shocked to the marrow recently when a former gubernatorial aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party ( name witheld by us) in 2011, shot two of his late brother’s sons as they tried to cut off a tree that fell and blocked the entrance of their father’s compound.
Oriental News gathered that trouble started when Emmanuel Obasi, the first son of the late Robert Obasi, the elder brother of the former aspirant returned from Abuja on August 15 for the preparation of the memorial service of their late parents.
It was equally learnt that on that fateful day, Emmanuel and his younger brother decided to clean up the compound and started clearing it of overgrown weeds themselves since their uncle Chief Norbert Obasi had earlier warned those they hired to steer clear of the place.
A tree which was beside the House of aspirant which was pulled down by the youths during the community’s liberation prayers had blocked the entrance to late Robert Obasi’s compound and every efforts made to remove the tree had been resisted by the aspirant who threatened to severely deal with anybody who touched the felled tree.
It was also gathered that he had accused his elder brother’s children of being the brain behind the spiritual cleansing carried out in the community which resulted in the pulling down of alleged four “evil trees,” which included the one beside his house.
According to them, the politician had also vehemently opposed the liberation and stayed away from the community during the church programme in February this year.
According to Emmanuel Obasi, who was hit on his chest and stomach by the bullets, about four trees which were tagged evil trees had been pulled down by the youths of the community during the village liberation crusade in early February.
He said that one of the trees were in the front of his uncle’s house and when it was pulled down during the church liberation it blocked the entrance to their own compound, saying that every effort made to have it removed was resisted by his father’s younger brother.
“I came back from Abuja early last week because of the memorial service of our parents and since we are not at home the compound has been overtaken by weeds and needed to be cleared to keep the place neat since we are preparing for the memorial service of our parents. Even the entrance to the compound also needs to be cleared from the main road. So, on Friday being 15th August, I engaged a labourer in the morning to weed the path up to the main road, since we will be having visitors and church members for the memorial service. But when I came back in the afternoon the labourer I had contracted in the morning told me that my uncle had warned him to stay away from trouble.
“The following day which is Saturday, 16th August, I and my brother Ezenwa decided to clear the weeds ourselves and while we were doing that some of the boys in the village came to help us, again my uncle came out from his house and ordered the boys helping us to leave the compound, but I asked them to continue and even the man who I had contracted to help me cut the trunk of the felled tree which is blocking the entrance of our compound so that those who are coming for the memorial would have access to the compound was chased away by our uncle. So, it was at this point that I sent for one of our uncles Mr Ethel Ugwuh who came in company of my cousin Obinna and his father Theodore. They all pleaded with him to allow us continue with our work so people could easily access our compound and the tree would have to be removed from the way.
“However, since he had scared everybody away I and my younger brother Ezenwa started cutting the trunk of the fallen tree and as we were doing that our uncle had gone into his house and came out with a pump action riffle and started shooting sporadically into the air and as we were running he aimed at us and shot my younger brother on his back, leg and stomach and two were lucky because only two of the bullets hit me on the chest and stomach. But for the quick intervention of uncle Ethel Ugwuh who rushed us to the hospital after the matter had been reported at the Ahiazu Mbaise police division we would have been dead by now,” he said.
He disclosed that his brother Ezenwa was still lying critically ill at Mejex Hospital as over 23 pellets have been extracted from his abdomen alone, alleging that his uncle’s intention was to eliminate their entire family because after he had shot them he fled the village thinking that they were dead.
He revealed that their mother had died on August 22, 2012 and their father on August 6,2013 on a day he was supposed to be discharged from the hospital after a brief illness, saying that their uncle who is supposed to be father to them now has turned to eliminate the entire family.
“Now on 16 August, 2014 he wanted to kill I and my younger brother, sons of his elder brother, this shows that his action was premeditated and he had even accused us of being behind the village liberation which had led to the uprooting of the evil tree in front of his house,” he said.
Corroborating the story of Emmanuel, Engr. Ugwuh, a cousin to told Oriental News that when he was informed by Emmanuel that Chief Norbert would not allow them clear the paths leading to their compound nor allow anybody cut off the felled tree in front of his house which had effectively blocked the entrance to the compound of his late elder brother Robert Obasi, he did not believe it.
He revealed that the politician had earlier threatened to deal with anybody who goes close to the felled tree and had also accused the children of his elder brother as the brain behind the village liberation because he had been opposed to it and had stayed away from the village during the church programme.
“He is my first cousin and when I was told that he will not allow Emmanuel and his brother Ezenwa to clear the weeds or cut off the trunk of the fallen tree in front of his house, which is blocking the entrance to his late elder brother ‘s compound. I had gone to his house around 8.30 a.m on that fateful Saturday morning and he was holding a pump action riffle and was in company of three other elders from the village. I had pleaded with him to give peace a chance and find a way of resolving whatever matter he has with his late brother’s children, but he had told me that it was too late and I said to him that no matter is too late to settle,” Ugwuh said.
“But about 45 minutes after had I earlier spoken with him and left. As I was about to drive out from my own house on my way to Owerri I heard gunshots and rushed back to their compound only to find Ezenwa in a pool of his own blood while Emmanuel was himself hit on his chest and I had to quickly take them to Ahiazu Police Station and made an entry and the Divisional Police Officer had to assign us a police escort to the hospital. Norbert is now on the run now,” Ugwuh said.
Oriental News also gathered that irate youths of the community numbering over 400 set the palatial country home of the former gubernatorial aspirant ablaze.
Meanwhile, the Ahiazu Mbaise Police Division has declared one chief Obasi wanted over attempted murder.