There was bedlam in Umudagu Mbieri in the Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo state on Wednesday after one Ifeanyi Ibeawuchi allegedly kidnapped and murdered his 22-year-old cousin ,Ifeanyi Ogu over a missing laptop.
The killing of the 22-year -old made youths of the community to take laws into their hands by setting ablaze the family house of the suspect on Wednesday morning.
Other buildings around were equally affected by the ragging fire as a combined detachment of police operatives from the state police command in Owerri and Mbieri division battled to stop the inferno from wrecking more havoc.
When our correspondent visited the scene of the incident ,policemen ,villagers and Special Adviser on security to the state governor, Olu Chizoba ,as well as the Transition Committee Chairman of Mbaitoli LGA,Collins Ugorji ,were seen on ground .
The elder brother to the deceased,who identified himself as Uchechukwu Ogu,told our correspondent that Ibeawuchi had on Sunday accused his younger brother of knowing the whereabouts of his missing laptop.
He said while ,the victim tried to deny the allegation, the suspect who is now on the run took him away in company of three other young men who were armed .
According to him ,the next news they heard after three days he took his younger brother away on the premise that the armed men were police operatives was that Ifeanyi had been murdered .
The distraught elder brother informed that every effort he had made to establish contact with the suspect had proved abortive as he refused to answer his telephone calls .
He said on inquiry ,he found his brother’s corpse at Umuguma General hospital mortuary on Tuesday.
Uchechuku said “Ifeanyi Ibeawuchi came on Sunday and dragged my younger brother away with three other men who were in possession of pistols on a trump up charge that he knew the whereabouts of his missing laptop.
My brother who maintained his position that he was innocent of the allegation was dragged away.Ifeanyi Ibeawuchi told us that the men were policemen but they were not in any police uniform neither were they wearing any police insignia.
That incident happened on Sunday in the morning but later in the day he called and asked me how we were going to settle the matter and I told him that hence he had involved the police that it showed that peace was possible.
It never occurred to me that the men he came with were not policemen. It was when he refused to pick my calls that I visited the police station but I was told that my younger brother was never brought to the police station.
I called him repeatedly but he never picked my calls. On inquiry ,we visited some morgues around and regrettably we found my younger brother’s corpse at Umuguma General Hospital Morgue .We were told that my cousin ,Iheanyi Ibeawuchi brought his corpse .
Youths of the community who were embittered by the death of my younger brother revolted and set the family house of the suspect on fire on Wednesday .”
The father of the deceased, Nathel Ogu ,told our correspondent amidst tears that he needed justice to be served.
According to him “those who murdered my 22-year-old son should not be allowed to walk the streets as free men. They should be made to face the full wrath of the law .”
Our correspondent learnt that the parents of the suspects had gone into hiding as the youths of the community threatened fire and more destructions.
The special Adviser to the governor on security, Chizoba ,told our correspondent that the state government would ensure that justice was served.
Confirming the development, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Andrew Enwerem, a superintendent of police, told our correspondent that the police men from the command had restored normalcy to the area.
He said that investigation had been launched into matter, even as he disclosed that the command contacted men of the state fire service who quenched the inferno.