The Suspect, Blessing Nwatu
The 73-year-old man, Chief Oforbuike Ani, a native of Amodu Akunanaw in the Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, who died after a widow allegedly plucked out his eyes, has been buried.
The 38-year-old widow and mother of five, identified as Blessing Nwatu, was alleged to have hit the old man with a brick, where he was sitting in his compound on February 21, 2020.
After the victim had fallen down, Nwatu allegedly used a knife to pluck out his eyes and left him in a pool of his own blood.
It was gathered that neighbours, who got wind of the incident, called one of Ani’s sons living in Enugu, the state capital, who came and took him to hospital, where he died on February 28.
Our correspondent, who visited the Okpebe community in Amodu on Tuesday during the victim’s burial, reported that residents described the incident that resulted in the man’s death as a taboo.
One of the sons of the deceased, Barry, told PUNCH Metro that his father’s killing hit him like a thunderbolt, but thanked God that the perpetrator had been arrested.
He stated, “On February 21, 2020, I received a call from my father’s best friend that I should come home immediately because my father was seriously ill. I thought maybe it was his usual illness. So, I rushed home.
“While on my way to the village, I started receiving calls that I should come home because a woman used a knife to pluck out my father’s eyes.
“When I got home, I saw my father lying down in a pool of blood in the compound with his two eyes plucked out. I asked a woman I saw in the neighbourhood where the perpetrator was, but she advised that I should take my father to hospital first. I took her advice and rushed my father to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla.
“I met a doctor at the Emergency Unit and he asked me what happened to my father; I could not tell him much, because I didn’t have the details and he told me to get a police report before the hospital would start treatment.”
Barry explained that he begged the doctor to commence treatment to save his father’s life, while he went to the police station to report the incident.
He added, “He accepted to commence treatment and I went to the Agbani Police Division, where I reported the incident. Immediately the DCO saw the pictures of the incident, he followed me to the hospital to see my father. It was at the hospital that the DCO called his men to go to my community to arrest the perpetrator.
“When I left the hospital with the DCO, I got a call from the doctor asking me where my father’s eyes were and if I picked them. I told him no and he said that I should go and bring the eyes. I came back to the village but could not find them. I went back to tell the doctor that I couldn’t find them.
“Since February 21, 2020, the doctors started battling to save my father’s life, but on February 28, he passed away and because he had instructed that his body should not be kept in the mortuary, we had to bury him today (Tuesday) according to his last wish.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe, who confirmed the incident, told our correspondent that the perpetrator had been arrested and was charged on Friday and remanded in a correctional centre.