51 year old Emmanuel Orioha, the husband of 36 year old Amaechi Orioha who was burnt to death during a political fight at Okpuala, the headquarters of Isiala Ngwa North Council on November 9th, has cried out for justice, alleging that his family has received letters of threat from some anonymous persons.

Abia State-Emmanuel Orioha
Mrs Amaechi Orioha, wife of Emmanuel Orioha severely burnt by the fire

The deceased who served as the clerical officer in the local government secretariat, was in the chairman’s office when the political fight between PDP members who were electing their chairmanship candidate for next month’s election, broke out.

The political thugs present at the election, hijacked the fight and in the process, set the chairman’s office ablaze. Amaechi and the secretariat’s driver were severely burnt and both died from complications from the fire injury.

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Narrating what happened to Vanguard, Emmanuel said his wife and mother of their four children was sacrificed by politicians for their political gains.

“On Wednesday, November 9, 2016, at about 11.30 am, I was in my house resting after returning from the farm. I got a call from my senior brother, Ugonna, who told me to urgently proceed to the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, that my wife was involved in fire outbreak in her office.

When I got to Umuahia, I saw my wife at the emergency ward and I could not recognize her because of the degree of burns she sustained. I told them this is not my wife.

The doctors who were doing everything possible to save her life told me to call her as she was still managing to speak. I called her and she responded. I lost control; it was like the end of the world for me. After trying their best, the doctors referred us to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu, where the doctors told me in confidence that the chance of her survival was 50-50 because of the level of injuries she sustained.

Before then, I asked her if she recognized the people that set the office on fire. She mentioned three persons, all of them natives of Isiala Ngwa North.

She said that three boys came to the chairman’s office with petrol and one of their colleagues confronted them, they said that the Transition Committee chairman asked them to buy it for his generator. Shortly after, the chairman came to his office and picked few things and left. After that, one of the boys made a phone call after which one of them poured the fuel around chairman’s office and lit it up,” he said.

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Elder brother to Emmanuel, Ugonna Orioha, alleged that some politicians who came to their community to solicit for votes, had made inciting comments which is the root cause of the attack that killed his sister in-law, Amaechi.

“On October 19, 2016, some notable politicians from Ngwa Ugwu and Umuha visited our community to solicit support for their aspirant running for chairmanship of the council.

They addressed us and some of them threatened that if one of the aspirants, Ginger Onwusibe, wins the election, blood will flow, that they will burn down the council. One of our leaders cautioned them over the statement reminding all of us that it should not be a do or die affair.

Now see what happened about two weeks after. Those people and the Transition Chairman are our principal suspects in the death of our wife. We are ready to go anywhere and mention their names. We are using this opportunity to call on the Federal Government to wade into the issue of political killings in Isiala Ngwa North.

The Federal Government should do something about it.” Speaking further, Emmanuel said his family have been receiving letter of threat from some anonymous persons. “Now, they have also sent a letter of threat to my brother, Ugonna. The life of our family is under threat.

We appeal for police protection.” A paragraph of the alleged letter of threat reads “Ugonna Orioha, choose to close your mouth or we shall come for you.” He said the letter has since been submitted to the police.

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