#MySARSStory: A Family’s Pain

In November 2018, on one of many previous few events Chile Okay.M.I Chile noticed Onyekachi Ugwuiro, he was packing scrap metals from the railway with another younger males. Upon asking why he was doing that, Onyekachi advised Chile, one of many neighborhood leaders in Uzuakoli city, that the Nigerian Railway Corporation had given his grasp the job, and his grasp had handed it on to him.

Apparently, Onyekachi’s grasp, a person whose identify Chile can not recall, would all the time rent Onyekachi and another younger males in the neighborhood in Uzuakoli city (Abia State) to collect railway scrap metals, which might then be taken away by a truck. 

#MySARSStory: A Family’s Pain 2

Indeed, later that evening in November, Chile noticed a truck coming to select up the scrap metals Onyekachi and the opposite males had gathered in the course of the day. The truck had ‘Railway Task Force’ written on it. 

On December 6, 2018, some law enforcement officials from the Uzuakoli police station within the Bende Local Government Council arrested Onyekachi whereas he was gathering scraps from the railway. The police alleged that he was stealing the scraps. 

It was a false allegation, Chile opines, as a result of Onyekachi had been legitimately tasked to collect the scraps in alternate for fee. “I had to even call the man in charge of the railway, who confirmed that it was he who had assigned Onyekachi to do the job,” Chile says. 

Just a few days later, Chile learnt that Onyekachi, with whom he shared prolonged household ties, had died in police custody.

After Onyekachi’s arrest, Chile requested his mom, Madam Charity, what had  occurred. 

“Madam Charity told me she took food to Onyekachi at the police station on December 7, 2018, a day after his arrest. Onyekachi wasn’t released that day,” Chile says. 

“The next day (Dec. 8, 2018), Madam Charity prepared food again and took it to Onyekachi. When she got there, the police officers weren’t straightforward about information concerning Onyekachi. She says the officers just told her stories. She became confused and insisted on seeing her son.” 

Sadly, when the police opened the cell, Madam Charity was met with the sight of the lifeless physique of her expensive son. She says she may hardly imagine her eyes. The police forcefully took Madam Charity out of the cell and advised her they’d take her son’s corpse to a morgue on the Royal Cross Hospital at Ugwueke in Bende city. 

Onyekachi’s physique remains to be there until date – over two years on. 

Madam Charity returned to the neighborhood in tears, telling her household what had occurred. She mentioned the police had advised her that Onyekachi hanged himself contained in the cell.

“Everyone in our community became enraged, because we knew the police were trying to pull a fast one on us,” Chile says.

“Angry young people in the community prepared to storm the police station and burn it to the ground, but our elders asked them not to take laws into their own hands.” 

Later, the police held a gathering with the neighborhood’s conventional ruler, Eze J.E. Okorie, pleading with him to restrain the youth whereas they tried to seek out methods to settle the case. The chief did plead with the youth, calming them down. 

“But, up till now, the police are yet to hold up their end of the deal,” says Chile. “They have done virtually nothing about the case.” 

Chile has identified Onyekachi since he was born. “His family is highly respected in our community because they are honest people. I can vouch for his mother, Madam Charity, because of her credibility and honesty,” he says.

Onyekachi was an electrician. He mounted defective electrical connections in Port Harcourt and in his village, each time he travelled there. To make some extra cash, he often employed buses from folks to hold passengers.

He was 30, and had three kids along with his spouse, who died in 2017. Despite being a widower, Onyekachi was a vibrant younger man, stuffed with vitality and new concepts. 

“He was one of the many sons of the Uzuakoli community who gave us hope about the community’s future,” Chile says. 

“When the allegations against Onyekachi were made, we were all surprised, because we’ve never known him to be a thief. Anyone you ask would tell you that he was innocent. The police have not done anything to prove their allegations either.”

When the federal government arrange the judicial panel in October 2020, the neighborhood offered Onyekachi’s case. They needed justice for his three kids, who’re all underneath ten years previous, in want of schooling and parental care. The panel determined and made suggestions for compensation, however the neighborhood is but to listen to from the state authorities.

“It is really difficult surviving under the present economic conditions in Nigeria, yet Onyekachi’s children now find themselves being orphans in such a cruel system,” Chile says. “We are appealing to the government, the police and other Nigerians to assist his family. We want to make sure these innocent young ones don’t suffer. 

“When the breadwinner of a family dies, the family starves. It’s been difficult for Onyekachi’s folks. Whenever Madam Charity visits me, she cries bitterly. Onyekachi was her third son out of six, but he was the one the family looked up to.” 

Onyekachi was the one one among his siblings to have the ability to go away the village to study a vocation. The household despatched him to Port Harcourt to function {an electrical} apprentice as a result of that they had earmarked him to be the one to alter their fortunes. 

But all of those hopes have come crashing down. His different siblings are at present studying one commerce or the opposite, however they’re nonetheless struggling to seek out their toes. The first son is sick.

Madam Charity has now taken one among her three grandchildren to her youthful sister in Port Harcourt. Now, even with the remaining two grandchildren to handle, she struggles, as a result of she is a widow who barely makes ends meet by farming within the village. 

Onyekachi was expert in electrical points, utilizing his data to repair electrical faults in automobiles and energy connections for households in the neighborhood. 

“His death is such a huge loss for us,” says Chile. 

“Today, his family is begging everybody to come and support them, especially because of the children he left behind. I have tried to support his mother, but I do not have enough money to sustain it.

“We are crying and praying to God to use other members of the public to put smiles on the faces of his family members, because, honestly, it has not been easy for them at all.”

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