How 31-Year-Old Sabattarian Was Drowned By Villagers Who Accused Him Of Voodoo, Witchcraft
THE INYERE story as told by Human Rights Defenders(Huride) Abakaliki.
According to Huride investigations the late Okechukwu Nweke is a 31-year old son of Mr Oliver Nweke of Ohaechara village, Ezza North LGA of Ebonyi. His father lives in the village while he lived in Onitsha doing a legitimate business.
Before he was drowned in the river, Okechukwu was a well known Sabbatarian (a believer in Sabbath Church) and was a popular patent medicine dealer at “ögbö ögwu” market, bridge head, Onitsha Anambra State.
A week ago (on Saturday), Okechukwu was said to had returned to his community (Inyere) to see his father, and upon his return, he observed his prayers after which he proceeded to Akadoro River for an accompanying sabbatarian sacrifice.
Unfortunately, while he was at the river bank observing his sacrificial routines, in white and red regalia he wore; some suspected christians (villagers) in the village accosted him and demanded to know what he was doing at the river bank. Okechukwu told them he was a Sabbatarian and that he had come there to pray in line with his faith.
However, his explanation seemed to have made no meaning to the surging village christians. They questioned why he should appear at the river bank in white and red clothes and insisted Okechukwu was a witch and must have been responsible for many deaths ravaging the village, and with such, he deserved not to live. Right from there, they began to torture him and from his prayer point, dragged him to the village square where they continued to matyrize and crucify him.
For about eight good hours, Okechukwu was helplessly tortured and humiliated just in a bid to break him and extract incriminating confessional statements. But in the face of the agonizing torture, Okechukwu’s shaky voice of innocence never waned. He had continued to plead innocent but no one came to save him. He looked his killers in the face and begged them to spare his life. In tears, he swore to God almighty he was innocent of all accusation; yet they continued to kill him.
Already dying slowly, Okechukwu, in a very weak and fragile voice, kept explaining to his killers that he never planned evil against anyone and that he was only at the river bank observing a routine prayer in line with his faith. Yet, in the face of the tearful and pathetic imprecation of Okechukwu, his attackers grew more stone-hearted and continued to torture him in a most dehumanizing manner until they confirmed he was giving up the ghost. Then, they quickly tied him up,took him back to the Akadoro River and threw him into the River where he reportedly does the invocation and the water carried his body away.(HURIDE sources).
Meanwhile, a top member of Inyere Vigilante Group(IVG) told HURIDE that he wouldn’t have allowed them kill Okechukwu if he was around, regretting that Okechukwu was a victim of mere speculations.
Moreso, in an interview with HURIDE, some Inyere villagers who pleaded anonymity, condemned the killing of Okechukwu, stating that there was no concrete evidence worthy enough to have led to his barbaric killing. Some of them told HURIDE that the young man was a well known business man who had never been indicted in any evil acts or death of anyone in the community. They requested that the matter should be thoroughly investigated to avoid sweeping same under the carpet.
Sampson Oko Nweke
Ebonyi Chairman, HURIDE reports.