Two young men, Emeka Chinedu, 27, and Peter Obido, 28, have set the sleepy community of Awara in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, on fire after they allegedly kidnapped their aunt, Ogo Omereji, a 63-year-old grandmother, who raised them up, and went further by torturing the woman to death and burying in a shallow grave even after collecting ransom from her children, the Sun Newspaper reports.
Chinedu and Obido along with their accomplices, Gift Emeka, 26, and Sunday Uchenna, who is 28 years old, were arrested by operatives of the Imo State Police Command who stormed the village to exhume the body of the woman to the consternation of thee indigenes who would have lynched the culprits if not for the police.
It was gathered that the late Omereji was kidnapped in her farm on September 26, 2015, with the kidnappers who turned out to be her nephews and their partners in crime, making a ransom demand from the larger family.
They kept the woman in the forest for three months in the most inhumane condition after demanding N2 million ransom from the family. After much effort, the family could only raise N510,000, which they paid to the kidnappers but while they were waiting for the balance, the woman died and they buried her in the bush.
Chinedu, the ring leader of the gang narrated how they plotted and kidnapped their aunt and events leading to her death.
“We kidnapped the woman in her farm at Awara in Ohaji/Egbema, tortured her and took her to a forest and demanded N2 million from her relatives. The family paid ransom of N510,000.00.
We held the woman for three months. After the relatives paid part of the money, we started waiting for the balance of the ransom. But after two weeks, the woman died in the forest.”
Obido, another nephew of the woman added:
“She is our relative and we are all from the same Awara Community. Immediately after the victim died, we quickly looked for a shovel and dug a grave in the forest where we buried her corpse. We didn’t inform the family that the victim who was in our custody had died.
When we waited for the balance of the ransom and we didn’t hear from them again, we shared the N510, 000 among ourselves and left the forest.”
The youths of the village through their leader, Chukwudi Obi, also said the search party set up to search for the woman had almost given up by the time the police arrested the culprits.
“We tried to comb everywhere to assist the family of Mrs. Omereji. We want justice to be done and we don’t want them to return back to Awara community again.”