A community, Etekwuru, in Ohaji/Egbema Council Area of Imo State has been thrown into mourning following the alleged brutal killing of a young man from the area by some soldiers attached to the area. The victim, Declan Obi, 26, was allegedly sent to the great beyond following the invitation of the soldiers by his master, Evans Njemanze, 36, to investigate him over suspected financial dishonesty. Investigation by THISDAY revealed that the hapless Declan, who until his death, sold soft drinks (Coca-cola products) was asked by his master after the day’s business to give account of the proceeds realised from the day’s sales.
This, he did, but having suspected financial dishonesty, his master (Njemanze) in an attempt to extract the truth from him over missing sum of N350,000, angrily contacted some soldiers around to investigate him in order to recover his money. Curiously, the soldiers reportedly deviated from the assignment given to them by Njemanze and began to beat the poor boy mercilessly until he lost consciousness and eventually gave up the ghost. However, reacting to the incident the Brigade Commander 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Owerri, Brigadier-General Kay Isiyaku, claimed ignorance of the incident, insisting his men never participated.
He said experience had shown that some dubious members of the public had formed the notorious habit of using military uniforms to deceive members of the public to achieve their inordinate ambitions. But the brother of the deceased, Mr. Athanasius Ochima-Obi, in his comments, said the entire Obi family felt shocked on hearing the sudden demise of the deceased. He said: “Declan dressed up in the morning for work. He actually went to the work of selling soft drinks in crates for his master, only for us to hear that he was held hostage over a missing N350,000 and killed by some soldiers, his master reported the poor boy to.”