Soldiers attached to the Abia State Forward Operation Base (FOB), 144 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, have arrested two men at Abayioma community in Obingwa Local Government Area in connection with investigations over a case of ritual murder.
The suspects, both in their early 30s, had allegedly conspired to abduct Kenneth Chimezie, 6, and Prince Chimezie, 4, children of one Chimezie Nwaoha. Daily Sun gathered that the two kids whose parents hailed from Nbawsi in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area but based in Abayioma were going to school last Monday when the suspects abducted them.
It was also gathered that the men after abducting the two kids, carried them into a palm plantation adjacent to their school and allegedly killed them. After allegedly removing the kids’ vital organs, they were buried in a shallow grave in the adjoining bush.
When school closed for the day and the two younger sisters of the victims arrived home without their brothers, their mother, who was pregnant, became apprehensive and alerted her husband. The husband, Chemezie Nwaoha, who works in a private clinic as an ambulance driver, immediately returned home and the search began.
The police and traditional ruler of the community, Eze Friday Obioma Alozie were alerted to the incident. However, in the evening, one of the alleged killers of the boys, who it was reported spent greater part of the previous day with the kids and their parents (as they were family friends), came to inform the father of the children that his kids were kidnapped and that he could help locate them. He demanded from the bereaved father an undisclosed sum of money to contact the kidnappers and facilitate the release of his children, of which the man agreed.
Instead, Nwaoha made straight to the army camp at Ngwa High School where he lodged a formal complaint about his missing children and what transpired between him and one of the suspects. Soldiers led by the officer- in-charge of the FOB, Captain Chris Nwogu stormed the home the suspect at Abayioma and arrested him. He, in turn, implicated another member who was also arrested and together, both men led soldiers to where they killed and buried the kids.
When the bodies were exhumed, it was discovered that all their vital organs including brains had been removed. The suspects were promptly arrested and taken to the army camp while the exhumed bodies were handed over to their father.
When Daily Sun visited the Abayioma home of the Nwaoha’s, the house was firmly locked as the man and his wife were said to have taken the corpses to their hometown at Isiala Ngwa for burial. The slain kids’ school at Abayioma was deserted when our reported visited the area as the teachers and pupils were yet to recover from the shock.
When contacted, the Commanding Officer, 144 Battalion, Lt. Col. Tonye Minimah, promised that the army was ready to stamp out violent crimes in the state. He said the suspects had been handed over to the police for investigations and possible prosecution.
At the Umuobiakwa police station where the suspects were taken to, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) refused comments. The suspects had in turn been transferred to the state criminal investigation department (SCID), Umuahia.