By Agnes Igwe
A law student of Ebonyi state University Abakaliki Mr. Chidi Nweke, a native of Umuezekoha in Ezza North Local Government Area of the state has been accused by his in-laws of causing the death of their 26 year-old pregnant daughter.
The dead mother of three daughters, Mrs. Stella Nkechi Nweke, who owned a big drinking joint at number two Chinedu Ogah Avenue, Abakaliki, was said to have bled to death under the close and deliberate watch of the husband, who is accused of being conscious of securing just the baby’s placenta allegedly intended to be used for diabolical aims.
The about 30 year old law student who allegedly could not scale through the Nigerian Law School recently was accused by the wife’s family led by the eldest sister, Mrs. Njideka Chibuike of forcing her to give birth in their apartment and refused to take her to hospital when she started bleeding or alert neighbours for assistance.
They alleged he hired unqualified patent medicine dealer to attend to the woman during labour instead of taking her to Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki where she had registered earlier.
Mrs. Chibuike further stated that when they took her sister’s corpse to their church to plead for God’s mercy for her revival, they got many revelations which include that the husband has some explanations to make as pertains to her death.
Speaking with some neighbours during press visit to the compound, the yard chairman Mr Peter Clement who is also their close door neighbour said Mr. Chidi did not alert them about the happenings till the woman was almost dead and that by the time she was taken to Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki by neighbours, she was already dead.
The incident occurred between 11: pm and 3: am on Saturday.
The death of the woman led to a melodrama in the compound as the deceased family went to mortuary and return the dead body of the woman to her husband, insisting that he takes care of her dead body, having left her in the house to die while putting to bed.
The drama attracted police from Kpirikpiri division who came and rescued the man from being lynched by the angry in-laws.
The corpse was returned to the mortuary while the suspect was taken to the police custody for further investigation.
Chidi, had since been arrested by police over the incident.
He was alleged to have expressed displeasure over his wife giving birth to another baby girl. The couple already had two girls.
Chidi was alleged to have refused to take Nkechi to hospital when she started bleeding, angry that she delivered another baby girl.
He was further alleged to have watched his wife, who had previously delivered twice through caesarean section, battle with labour pains in their bathroom. It was claimed that Nkechi, during labour, was locked up in the bathroom by the patent medicine seller invited by Chidi.
The medicine seller was said to have brought the baby out after administering injections on her. The woman was allegedly given injection after her husband pinned her down and held her two legs. Her blood and the baby’s placenta were alleged to have been collected and hidden.
A nurse, Ijeoma Chinoyerem, who lives in the same compound with the couple and works with Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital (AE-FUTHA), said: “I went out with my aunt. When I returned, I was called. I rushed to their apartment with my aunt. I thought Nkechi was in labour. But on getting there, I saw Ogo, carrying a new born baby. The baby was already dressed. I saw Nkechi in a pool of blood, on the ground. The husband was standing by the door, while the so called unqualified patient chemist attendant was at her back, holding clothes stained with blood.”
The nurse further said: “I went down and asked Ogo if the baby’s cord has been tied. The birth attendant said yes. I also asked of the placenta; I was told that it was safe. I bent down to check her; I found out that her body was cold. I checked for pulse, I couldn’t get any. I touched her neck, it was cold, I raised alarm. Other neighbours gathered.
“As we carried her, blood continued to gush out. When I got to that apartment, I did all I could to restore life, but it was all to no avail. After that, we now decided to take her to the mortuary .”
In interview with the barrister in charge of the matter Ikenna Okey Esq he assured that they shall follow it up to a very logical conclusion to serve as deterrent.
As at the time of filing this report the accused person is held under police custody,the new born baby and other siblings were taken by their maternal family while the victim is deposited at the mortuary.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Loveth Odah, when contacted, said that she had not been briefed on the matter.
Reacting about the matter, the Chairman of Family Law Center, Abakaliki who brought the sad news to the press, Mrs. Elizabeth Nwali described the incident as barbaric and called on the police and judiciary to ensure speedy dispensation of justice in the matter.