How co-tenant slaughtered neigbhours' children


… Benin couple on their horror after a neighbour slits their children’s throats, injuring the rest

For Oliver Udeh and his family, Wednesday, September 17, 2014, was like any other day. There was no premonition to suggest that a calamity of immeasurable proportion was about to befall the family of eight, made up of husband, wife and six children, consisting of four boys and two girls.

However, in the evening of that day, the unexpected happened. Their co-tenant, a 50-year old man, identified as Mike Okeze from Abia State, reportedly got hold of a machete and descended on Oliver’s children, hacking them down one after the other.

At the end of the attack, two of the children, Favour, three, and Destiny, nine months, both boys, laid dead. Two others, Gift, seven, and Goodness, five, had their nose and wrist, respectively cut off by the rampaging farmer, who later fled into a bush.

Narrating the tragedy that befell him, 30-year-old Oliver Udeh from Nsukka in Enugu State, who farms at Okha II community, along Benin – Sapele Road in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State, said he was on a journey when a call came through that one man, called Mike Okeze, had killed two of his children and their bodies had been deposited at Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Benin, while the other two, who sustained serious injuries were at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).

“He wanted to kill my wife but my wife escaped to go and call neigbours. Before they came, Mike had fled into the bush. We are still looking for him,” he said.

“I did not have any quarrel with the man. But I learnt he complained that my children obstructed his way. My wife told me that he then proceeded to push one of them down. I think he didn’t like seeing my children. Because I traveled, he then had the opportunity to attack them and killed two,” Udeh said.

He is, therefore, asking government to give him justice in the matter and to assist him to settle the hospital bills of the other two, both of them girls, who are still receiving medical care in hospital, as he barely survives on subsistence farming.

In an encounter with Daily Sun, his wife, Chinyere, gave a blow by blow accountof how account of what transpired on the fateful day.

According to her: “Three days ago, my children were playing within the compound when our neigbour arrived and began to question why they ran past the front of his room. He then used a wheelbarrow to block the way.”

“I went to beg him to forgive the children but he said my husband and I were sending them to insult him. In a short while, he pounced on me and held me by the neck. Next, he seized a cutlass and pursued me, but I ran for my life.

“When he could not keep pace with me, he returned to a spot in the compound and sat down. Thinking that his anger had simmered down, I went to the kitchen to take care of my cooking but I didn’t know he had locked the doors, with my children inside. A little while later, I heard the children, screaming for help and there was no way I could get in. All my six children were inside at that time. While I was outside, he was busy dealing the children machete blows.

“While that encounter lasted, he killed two while the two grownups escaped though the window. He succeeded in killing my baby of nine months and the other, who was three years old. The dead were both boys,” she said.

She then pleaded for government assistance, saying: “I want government to find the man and kill him just as he killed my children; we are a poor family.”

Giving an insight into what led to the dastard act, she said: “He had a quarrel with my husband three years ago. What caused the quarrel was that he brought a chameleon from the farm and smoked it in my kitchen. My husband warned him about it, saying a chameleon was dangerous. So, my husband had to throw it away. Three days later, my children fell sick. Since then, he has been chasing my children around but we didn’t know he haboured such evil intention.

“When I realised that he was killing the children, I struggled to break into the room. But by the time I succeeded, part of the horror I saw was that he had sliced my baby’s throat; he had also cut my other son’s head. He cut off my girl’s wrist and sliced the girl’s nose. Thereafter, he escaped through the window and fled into the bush.

“We need help now. We don’t even have any money to pay for the x-ray or operation on the rest of the children, who are alive,” she said.

At the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, doctors described the condition of the two children on admission as “stable but critical.”

Spokesman of the Edo State Police Command, Noble Uwoh, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said police were hunting for the fleeing murderer and would bring him to justice.

Source: Sun

Publish Date: 

Monday, 22 September 2014