By Stanley Ihedigbo
A grieving mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Alo, has demanded that her son’s alleged killer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ali, take over the role and responsibility of her son, who he stabbed to death in Onitsha, Anambra State.
Elizabeth made these demands while mourning her 26-year-old son, Chigozie Alo, a tricycle operator in Onitsha.
She said Chigozie was expected to marry and build a house for her. Chigozie’s wife would have been the one that will care for Elizabeth since she is getting old and will soon become feeble.
She insisted since Ali had killed her son, it was incumbent on the suspect to take over Chigozie’s role and responsibilities.
Chigozie and Ali were friends, when they allegedly had a misunderstanding, before the latter allegedly stabbed the former to death.
Incidentally, the case has become controversial as Ali insisted that he didn’t know Chigozie from Adam and that they were never friends.
The story became more perplexing since both the suspect and deceased were both tricycle operators and in all likelihood should belong to the same association.
Ali explained that the first time he met Chigozie was one night, when the latter, in the company with another man, blocked him on the road and robbed him of his valuables and phone.
Ali explained that on the night he was robbed, he was able to mark one of the robbers’ face, which was Chigozie. When he sighted Chigozie one day at the market, he recognised and confronted him.
He said: “On May 15, I saw two guys riding on a motorcycle; one of them looked like one of the guys that robbed me last year. I moved closer and asked him why he robbed me. He denied knowing me; but after an intense argument, the guy started fighting me. He smashed a bottle of beer and attempted to stab me, but I was able to dodge it. I also picked up a broken bottle and stabbed him. I ran away. I later heard that he was taken to the hospital and died.”
Elizabeth, however, insisted that Ali knew her son. She also stressed that he must marry a wife for her and build her a befitting house.
She noted that her son and Ali were friends until the day Ali killed Chigozie. She explained that when Ali rushed to her son’s home on the day he was released from police custody on allegations of robbery, everyone thought he went to pay his friend a visit. Nobody knew he had murder in mind.
Elizabeth recalled: “I heard that he went to my son’s house and knocked at the wrong door. Later, he went outside to wait for my son. My son came out from the compound and saw Ali standing by the side of the building. He greeted him as a friend and told him that they should go to a nearby drinking joint. My son said that he would pay for the meal after he fixed his tricycle.
“As Chigozie turned his back to leave, Ali brought out a broken bottle and stabbed him on the neck. Before people could take him to the nearest hospital, he had already lost a lot of blood.
He was weak. He died on the way to the hospital; Ali promptly ran away. People went to where he was living, but couldn’t find him. We went to the police and reported the matter. The police started searching for him until they found him in his family home.
“He killed my only son and wanted to escape. We want him to marry a wife for my dead son and build a house for me. Chigozie was my only son. What I’m demanding from Ali, is what Chigozie would have done for me as his mother.”
The Coordinator, Human Rights Defenders Nigeria. (HRDN), Mr. Dede Uzor, who has taken up the gauntlet and is trying to get justice for Elizabeth and her son, alleged that Ali killed Chigozie because he thought his friend reported his robbery escapades to operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Incidentally, SARS operatives arrested Ali a few weeks later after Chigozie warned him to stop using his tricycle for ‘One Chance,’ operations.
Uzor said that the father of the late Chigozie, of Nwokedi Street, Awada, Obosi in Idemili North Local Government Area, alerted them over the despicable and gruesome murder of his only son, Chigozie. Chigozie and his parents are from Amudo in Izza South Local Government Area, Ebonyi State. Uzor noted that the ugly incident occurred on May 13, about 2p.m.
Uzor explained: “Both Chigozie and Ali were all tricycle operators in Onitsha, Owerri Road in Anambra State. Our investigation further revealed that Ali, a suspected criminal, was discovered to have been engaging in criminal activities popularly known as ‘One Chance’ along the notorious Onitsha -Owerri Road. The late Chigozie warned him to desist from engaging in such criminal activities that it could mar his life. A few weeks after sounding the warning, Ali was arrested by SARS men from Okpoko Police Station. Ali was allegedly arrested after he dispossessed some unsuspecting Nigerians of their valuables.”
Speaking in a recorded video, Ali said: “Last year December 24th, I was going to Oba, when two guys accosted me on the road and robbed me of my phone and money. One of them didn’t know that I recognised him. I went home and told my father that two men robbed me on my way to Oba. My father asked if I could be able to identify any of them, I said yes. Since last year, I had been watching out for one of those guys that robbed me. I always used to check whenever I find myself at the main market. When I saw him, I recognised and confronted and then we fought, I stabbed him. Even when I got home, I told one of my sisters that I met one of the men that robbed me last year. I explained to my sister what transpired between of us. I travelled to Enugu State, but my mother called to tell me that policemen were looking for me, that the guy I stabbed was dead.
“On May 16, my father called and instructed me to return to Onitsha. He said that the police were looking for me. I told him that I would come. When I got to my home town, police arrested and took me to Abani Station.”
Ali, who pleaded that killing Chigozie was not deliberate, but an accident, stated that he had, sometimes been arrested after policemen impounded his tricycle. He also recalled that another time, SARS men arrested and took him to their station. He, however, didn’t state why SARS arrested him.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Haruna Muhammed, said that the matter had been transferred to the SCIID and investigation was ongoing.
[Source: New Telegraph]