‘We are thirsty for justice…
Family asks govt to bring to book killers of prominent APC politician, his children and others in Rivers State
THE bereaved families of the late Christopher Adube and Augustine Ogarabe in Obrikom, in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) of Rivers State, have beseeched the Police to arrest and bring to justice the perpetrators of the gruesome murder of their loved ones.
Though the Police Command spokesperson, Ahmad Muhammad, told The Guardian that the matter was still under investigation, the failure to arrest anyone for the murder of former ONELGA chairman and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Christopher Adube, his three children, Joy, John and Lucky; his driver and Augustine Ogarabe (his cousin) on April 3, 2015 has left the bereaved families with an acute feelings of injustice, distrust, and helplessness, hence their unquenchable thirst for justice.
It would be recalled that six unidentified assailants dressed in military fatigues, invaded Adube’s home at Obrikom on Good Friday night and killed him alongside the aforementioned victims in what has been described by his family as a politically-motivated assassination.
Adube’s emotionally-spent second wife, Mrs. Precious, who lost her three children during the attack, told The Guardian in Obrikom that “it is saddening that the Police have not arrested any of the culprits involved in the killing of our husband and three children since April 3 till date.”
She said it would be difficult for anyone to fathom the deep and bitter grief she would have to grapple with for the rest of her life if the killers are not found and brought to justice. She explained that on that fateful Good Friday, she returned from church at about 5: 00pm and after serving her husband and children their dinner, left home to visit one of her daughters whose child was sick.
Shortly on her arrival, there began sporadic gunshots that lasted close to one hour. Amid the intensity of the gunshots which was coming from the direction of her home, she decided to return home only to find her husband, children and others dead and abandoned in their pool of blood.
Still traumatized by the gory incident, which has been described as the most despicable murder in Rivers State in recent times, she explained that the death of sick younger persons and old relatives might not really jolt us to grief, but the murder that cuts short a healthy, young and old lives, is an act of wanton human cruelty that must not be tolerated by the society.
Joy Adube, 26, was a graduate of Mass Communication awaiting the mandatory National Youth Service Corps service; John Adube, 25, was an undergraduate of Anambra State University, while Lucky Adube, 23, had Ordinary National Diploma in Civil Engineering and was awaiting admission to continue his Higher National Diploma.
“They did not just kill my children. They also killed a family’s future. Life will never be the same again for me and the rest of our family. There can never be a replacement for my husband who loved his family, wives and children, most of all, loved his community,” she said.
The devastated first wife of the slain APC chieftain, Mrs. Patience Adube, who was at home when the gunmen struck, revealed that her husband had, prior to his murder, been inundated with several threats by some persons who had tried to no avail to persuade him to defect to a rival political party. Patience recalled that the gunmen gained access to their home just as the driver was about to leave for his residence.
She explained that they shot the driver in the stomach and his intestines poured out, while one forced his way into her room and yelled at her to lay and face down.
They then went straight to her husband’s office just by the palour where Joy was watching television and shot him, Lucky and Joy dead inside the toilet. Joy was said to have been riddled with over eight bullets. Augustine was killed in Adube’s office.
“They were moving from room to room shooting, maiming and killing anyone they saw. They went to the bathroom where my step-son, John, was bathing and shot him dead.
They chased my last son who ran into his mother’s kitchen and as they were about to shoot him, he started pleading that he had not attained voting age and that his life should be spared. Despite his entreaty, they shot him thrice, set the kitchen ablaze and abandoned him in his pool of blood,” Patience recalled.
Still heartbroken by her inability to prevent the dastardly onslaught that night, she explained that when the gunman who first entered her room returned and noticed she was trying to call people to come to their rescue, he yelled at her again and seized the phone.
Shortly afterwards, another member of the gang walked in, bragging they have accomplished their mission to eliminate Adube’s family. According to her, the gunmen who riddled the building with bullets shot her daughter, Ruth in the leg and waist and almost paralyzed Paul. Both have been in hospital since the April 3. “The gunman aimed at Ruth’s heart, but God prevented this.
The government and the Police should go after the killers and bring them to justice. This is beyond politics. Their intent remains to eliminate our family. We are thirsty for justice.
If those in government fail to act, they must realize that Adube is dead and he cannot die again. But his political colleagues who are still alive might still fall prey to the assailants if they are not arrested and tried. We are now widows and we are begging the State government to assist us take care of our families too,” she said.
A distraught first son of Adube, Henry, who narrowly escaped the gunmen, said his family is in need of security because there are indications that the gunmen might still return to wipe out the entire family.
“They (gunmen) are still threatening to return and wipe out the remaining members of Adube’s family. We need security so that we won’t fall in harms way.
There was a day that my phone rang and somebody told me to stop sleeping in my father’s house because the killers have threatened to return. I want government to provide security for us. This is vey important for us now,” he said.
Grieved by the horrific circumstances of her husband and others’ untimely deaths, the devastated wife of Augustine Ogarabe, Bridget, told The Guardian that it would be awful if the killers are not found and brought to justice as soon as possible.
The mother of four children said life without her husband would be a huge challenge. She explained that she cannot even afford to raise N60, 000 being money for her son’s school fees and would appreciate government’s benevolent intervention to assuage her pains. “For now, I want the government and the security to fish out the killers.
We also need support. Life is tough without a breadwinner. We need assistance,” she said. Similarly, Augustine’s elder brother, Tony Ogarabe, said the abrupt death of his brother has created a void in his life. He narrated that they were both together a few hours before his tragic death. “On that fateful day, we were all together and I later left them.
They did not just kill my children. They also killed a family’s future. Life will never be the same again for me and the rest of our family. There can never be a replacement for my husband who loved his family, wives and children, most of all, loved his community
I was at my friend’s place when I heard gunshots. I rushed home and started calling my brother, Augustine, to know his whereabouts. I called repeatedly but there was no response.
After a while his friend, Silver called to say he had been shot dead. I wailed. I drove to chief Adube’s house and saw my brother and others dead. The government should investigate this matter and I want the killers to be brought to book. We want justice. My brother and uncle’s wives have become widows. They need assistance and justice,” he said.
Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi has inaugurated a nine-man commission of inquiry to probe into the politically motivated killings in the State during the elections. Members of the commission include Professor Chidi Odin-Kalu as chairman, Sir Samuel Egbe Secretary and Professor Nlerum Okogbule. Others are Professor Owunari A.
Georgewill, Dr. Richard Ofuru, Mrs. Asivosuo M. Oriye, Dr. Joy Ejiofor, Mrs. Ayo M. O. Obe, and Rev. Father Michael Akiri as members. “When I visited Obirikom in the Ogba-Egbeme-Ndoni Local Council, in the household of one late Chief Christopher Adube, nine persons were killed by assassins.
Those killed were his three children, his younger brother, two gatemen, and two other persons, while two of the late Adube’s children are still receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital.
There was a day I was arguing with the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State now posted to Enugu and I said, commissioner, I am told 11 persons have been killed, he said, “no, only seven persons.” Again, in the same Omoku, whether it is seven or 11 persons, these are human lives,” said Amaechi. QUOTE: