BY AGNES NWORIE, ABAKALIKI
A businessman, Okechukwu Achina, an indigene of Inikiri Village, Umuezeokoha in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, has allegedly hit the right limb of a 48-year-old widow, Mary Orogwu, with an hammer while demanding her N4, 500 wage balance after completing the task given to her.
According to Orogwu, after she was done with the task, Achina gave her part payment with a promise that he would pay the balance later. But she said that to her surprise, the man failed to pay the balance as promised on the appointed day.
Narrating her ordeal on her sick bed, the mother-of-four told The Point that the man engaged her to crush some stones manually for 10 days at the rate of N11, 500. However, after completing it, she was paid N7, 000 with a promise that she would be given the balance of N4, 500 later.
She lamented that the man continued to postpone the payment.
She said, “Since my husband died, I have been into menial labour through which I fend for my children. I was engaged to work for Okechukwu Achina for 10 days.
“I was supposed to be paid the sum of N11, 500 but the man only gave me N7, 000 and promised to give me the balance of N4, 500 some days later. A few days after, when there was no money for feeding, I went to Okechukwu’s house with my last child to recover the debt.
“Surprisingly, Okechukwu refused to pay me. Instead, he brought out a bundle of N1, 000 notes from his pocket, showed it to me and boasted that he would not pay me. Out of anger, while leaving his premises, I turned to him and said that since he had decided not to pay my money, perhaps, because I had nobody, God would punish him by bringing him into penury.”
She added, “The man got infuriated and pushed me down. My little child cried. As if my ordeal had ended, when I rose from the ground, I tried to run for my life, but Okechukwu grabbed a hammer and hit my right leg repeatedly, thus shattering the bones.
“Having seen the extent of the damage to my leg, he ran away from home and abandoned me in the pool of my blood. After spending some hours without any assistance, a good Samaritan came around and contacted the officials of the Ebonyi State Human Rights Defenders who rushed me to the hospital for treatment.”
When contacted on the telephone, the Chairman of HURIDE, Sampson Oko Nweke, said that the non-governmental organisation had been responsible for the victim’s medical care.
In a bid to get justice for her, Nweke said that they lodged a complaint at the Kpirikpiri police station in Abakaliki.
“Currently, the injured woman is still in the hospital, though with some appreciable improvement. However, Okechukwu Achina is nowhere to be found. We are considering transferring the woman to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki for further treatment,” he said.