Mother of Slain Son Demands Justice


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By Ruth Oginyi

 

Weeks after the death of Ibiam Eyinnaya, a staff of Federal Poly Uwanna who was shot dead by the former coordinator of Ubeyi Development Centre, Uchenna Ibiam, the deceased’s mother, Mrs. Uche Ibiam said justice should take its course on the death of her son before she could be happy.

She said it was very difficult for her to believe the death of Enyinnaya who was very close to her when he was alive but she can’t question God.

Although the coordinator have been sacked by the State Government, arrested and arraigned in the court, the bereaved mother still demand for Justice for her son’s murder.

Citizens’ Advocate reporter interacted with Mrs. Ibiam and other family members on their relationship with the deceased.

While speaking with Enyinnaya’s mother, Mrs. Ibiam, she reintroduced herself as the mother of Enyinnaya and also a farmer.

Mrs. Ibian said, “My name is Mrs Alu Uche Ibiam. I’m the mother of Enyinnaya Ibiam Uche, who was killed by the former Coordinator of Ubeyi Development Centre, during the PDP Councillorship primary election, in the State, last month (February, 2020).”

“I am a subsistence farmer. I farm to take care of my family. Most people in my age, around this area, are mostly farmers. So, we are an agrarian community. “

When asked how her son was murdered in cold blood in broad day light, whether she knew what happened and how.

She said, “I can’t really say how it all happened, because I was at home that day. It was on a Friday, the day that the People’s Democratic Party did its Councillorship primary election, across the state. I’m not a politician, and so, I didn’t go to the venue of the primary election, so as to be able to say this was what happened. But I was at home, when my little son, I call him, little son because he is the 11th in a family of 15 children. He came in from work that very day and after eating, he decided to go to the field, venue of the election, maybe to exercise his franchise.”

“He was not a politician; he was not contesting for any position. He is a staff of the polytechnic here. So, no sooner had he left the house, for the venue then people started rushing to the house and said Enyinnaya Ibiam, had been shot by one Uchenna Ibiam, who was until two days, after the incident, the Coordinator our Ubeyi Development Centre. And lo and behold, it was true. I couldn’t believe it.”

“I was at home, and all of a sudden, people started running to my compound to say that my son had been shot dead. I was not there. People who where there, who attended the Councillorship primary election, came and announced the ugly news to me at home. That was how I got to hear about it.”

“He was born in 1979. He should have been 41 years old this year, but his life was cut short”

“He was a staff of Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana-Afikpo, Ebonyi State. He was until his death, attached to the marketing department of the polytechnic. After his National Youth Service Corps experience, he was employed at the polytechnic. He wasn’t idle.”

“I am above 70, although I can’t say precisely the date of my birth. I am an old woman now. I used to have 15 children, although I have lost two of them. And many of my children have their children now, and so, I have many grandchildren.”

“Enyinnaya was not married. But I can say he was making every necessary move towards getting married. Although he was not married, he was a responsible young man, who was always assisting in any little way he could, to the welfare of the family. He was a nice young man.”

Mrs. Ibiam said his son was so close to him that he would do nothing without informing her first and that she was his confidant.

She said, “I am his mother and he is my son. Both of us were very close. We were very close that, there was nothing he wanted to do, that he wouldn’t let me know about it. He always confides in me and I confide in him. He was such a nice son, that I couldn’t resist being close to him. So, we were very close to each other.”

When she heard about Enyinnaya death on that election day, she couldn’t believe what she heard that she had to confirm it before she knew that she had lost another child.

She said, “At first, I couldn’t believe it. At another point, it was like a dream. Truth is that this sort of incident is unheard of, unusual and is purely against the way of life of our people. Our people are not known for this sort of behaviour. But, I leave all in the hands of God, He who knows my weaknesses and understands that I’m powerless, will fight for me.”

“Ibiam was a respectful and obedient young man. He hasn’t fought or quarreled with anyone. So, for someone to do this to him, was the height of wickedness and barbarism and my prayer is, let justice has its way.”

Elder Brother to the decease, Inya Uche Ibiam narrated part of the incidence that happened on the fateful day Enyinnaya was murdered.

Uche said, “My name is Inya Uche Ibiam. I am the second son of the family. Enyinnaya Uche Ibiam, the one who was murdered, by the Coordinator is my kid brother. In our family order, I think we are about 15 of us and I think he is the 11th child, if am not mistaken. “

“Like I said, he is my kid brother. He is the 11th in the family. But first and foremost, I want to thank the Chief Security Officer of this state, Engr. David Umahi. He has not in any way hindered the investigation in the development of this matter. His zero tolerance to cultism and gangsters is equal to none. This is not just a fluke; if not, he would have politicized the entire thing, in the course of investigation and all that.”

“It is a difficult thing for me, but I have to start somewhere. We are all PDP and I’m a card carrying member of the party and I’m always a stakeholder. We were all there at the primary election venue waiting for the final outcome of the election and incidentally, people had started going home and before we knew what was happening, the Coordinator and his team of boys, came in three Sienna buses. And as soon as they drove in and he (Uchenna Ibiam) the ex Coordinator now, alighted from one of the cars, he pulled a Pump Action (Double barrel gun) and it was like a movie.”

“I beckoned to my colleague, who was seated close to me and I said look at the Coordinator, he had pulled a gun. That was when he took the first shot. The moment he fired this first shot, I started withdrawing, because I don’t have a gun, don’t plan to have one and don’t plan to shoot any day. Again, he took the second shot, that was when I knew this thing wasn’t ordinary and that he meant what he was doing. At this point, I hastened my withdrawal backwards.”

“At the third shot, I heard a shout. Someone said, “Brother, come back; come back. They have shot your brother.” And I turned back and saw my brother in the pool of his own blood. And I said, “Enyinnaya Ibiam, who shot you?”

“He said, “Coordinator.” And as soon as he said that, he dropped. We rushed him alongside others to a point and I don’t have a car and my brother who owns a car, was close by and I called him and my in-law and told them to rush Enyinnaya to the hospital, while I get myself ready with certain things in the house. By the time I was going to Mater Hospital Afikpo, I saw some policemen who encouraged me to get to that hospital first and by the time I got there, my brother was already dead. I came back immediately and reported to the police and said, the guy is gone. They advised that I should go back and deposit him in the mortuary and I did and got back home. That was exactly what happened. “

“There are so many things I remember about this brother of mine. One, he was very humble. Two, he was very calm and friendly and jovial. He doesn’t talk at random, especially when he sees me, he calls me Honourable. This is because I was once a Supervisory Councillor in the Local Government Area. So, he calls me Honourable, not by my name. There are so many things about Ibiam, if I begin to enumerate them now, we won’t leave here. He was such a nice guy. He wasn’t married , but was planning to get married. He doesn’t talk much, he doesn’t insult people. Even in his department, at workplace, people know him to be a quiet guy. They know him as a very humble person. This is not mere claim.”

“This is a fact. If you get to his department they will confirm this to you. Many of his colleagues have been here. He was in the marketing department of this our polytechnic here, as staff there. I didn’t sleep three days ago. I thought about him all through and at every point, I felt he was seated close to me. He is not someone we can forget so easily. The memory will always be there.”

“Our father is gone to meet his ancestors. We lost him some years back. May his soul rest in peace.”

“Like I said, it had really affected us in several ways. Something had gone out from the family, something we cannot see again. It is a very terrible thing. He wasn’t sick when he died. He was hale and hearty and very strong and very energetic. All of a sudden, this ugly news came. So, it is bad. Besides, our mother is still alive, they are many people before him and after him. So, this is sad. It is so sad. “

“He had a lot of dreams and aspirations. He is not the idle type. Most times, when he was on leave, he would travel to Lagos to go and do business. I’m into business too. So, we share a lot of business ideas. He would go to Lagos and do business to make sure, that whatever he was getting from the polytechnic, as salary did not set him back. He did that, so as to always have something as add-up to his salary. And so, with him, there was never a dull moment. He was always busy. He must always look for something genuine to do. He doesn’t spend time idling about and drinking. He doesn’t even drink. He was a perfect gentleman. This is not just a mere claim. He was down-to-earth.”

“He was very humble. He was very friendly and very accommodating. I guess that is why so many groups have come here to console us, since the ugly incident happened. Individually and collectively, everybody has been coming from the polytechnic and outside of it.”

“I’m sure if he was that bad, people wouldn’t be pouring in the way they do since he died. Yes, I went to school. So many of us are literate and understand what and how things should be done according to the law. We have not tried to take the law into our hands. We have been following the course of justice and trusting that this God of justice, will show us justice.”

We talked intimately and the last thing we discussed was a business idea that he had on importing textiles in the country.

Uche said, “Like I said, we do talk intimately each time, he came back from work. The last thing we talked about was his desire to start importing textiles into the country. I asked him who will fund the business, he said, “You, Honourable, you will fund it.”

“And I told him, but I don’t have the money, he said God will give you the money. That was the last thing we talked about, amongst other. This was our discussion just two days to the incident.”

“We believe in the sincerity of Governor Umahi, over this matter. Like I said, he had not in any way, undermined the court process or investigation moves of this incident. No sooner had the incident happened, than he (Governor David Umahi) called for the sack and arrest of the former Coordinator. So, we believe in justice, and we will abide by whatever would be the verdict of the court, over the matter. We are watching and waiting. But justice must be done.”


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