Alleged money ritual: Anambra commissioner vows justice for slain 72-year-old woman


The Anambra State Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Mrs. Ify Obinabo, has reassured of her commitment to bringing to book the killers of Charity Okoli.

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Obinabo stated this in her office in Awka while reacting to the news of the death of the septuagenarian, whose organs were allegedly harvested for ritual purposes.

This was according to a press statement by the commissioner’s media aide, Chidimma Ikeanyionwu, on Wednesday.

The deceased was last week attacked at her residence in Umunze, in the Orumba South Local Government Area of the state, where her nipples, private parts, lips and fingers were cut off by her attackers, allegedly for a money ritual.

She was rushed to the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Awka, where she was receiving treatment, but later died as a result of injuries sustained.

The commissioner expressed sadness over the death of the 72-year-old woman and vowed to use everything within her office to bring justice to the deceased.

She also urged everyone, especially the women in Umunze, to give the court some time to follow the law and make its judgement.

She explained that she would not relent until other fleeing suspects involved in the dastardly act were apprehended and arraigned before the special court in Awka.

The women and social welfare boss also debunked the news that the state government had asked Ebonyi indigenes and residents in Anambra to leave, stating, “If you must reside in the state, you must abide by the order or go to another state as Anambra government will not condone any act that will distort the peaceful relationship of its citizens.”

Following the development, some women from the community on Tuesday, protested the death of the 72-year-old woman as they paralysed commercial and economic activities in the area while demanding the exit of all Abakaliki indigenes from their community.

The protesters wielding placards with various inscriptions and green leaves marched towards the Umunze Area Police Command headquarters, the palace of the community’s traditional ruler, Igwe Promise Eze, and the local government area as well as other relevant bodies.

Speaking to journalists, the spokesperson of the protesters, Mrs. Enekwechi Bridget, said, “The entire Umunze community resolved to come together today for a peaceful protest because Abakaliki people resident in our community raped one of us in Ubaha village and cut off her tongue, one of her fingers, two nipples of her breasts and her private part.

“So, that is why we are here to complain to the transition committee chairman of the local government area so he can take our report to Awka, the state capital, for necessary action.

“We are demanding justice and that the suspects should face the full weight of the law because women are not supposed to face such torture and suffering in the hands of heartless criminal elements.”

The President-General of the Umunze Progressives Union, Hippolite Olua, who also addressed the women, commended them for their peaceful conduct and urged them to go about their protest peacefully as their complaints would be given prompt attention by the police and other relevant authorities.

The traditional ruler of the Umunze community, Eze, in his reaction, lamented that his subjects have suffered so much at the hands of non-indigenes.

The monarch, however, urged the people of the community to remain calm as police and leaders of the community are working round the clock to ensure that justice is done at the end of the day.

“I have told the police command that the suspect must be charged to court for murder and they have assured me that the matter would not be swept under the carpet. I have instructed the youth to exercise restraint while awaiting the outcome of the case,” he added.