The story of Oluchi Rosemary Okeke and the dreadful manner her husband, Madu Abuchi Okeke, and his brother, Ebere Okeke, were killed has been making the rounds on different media platforms and left sane Nigerians gasping in shock.
The distraught woman, who has a 10-month-old baby, now has to struggle with fending for four children.
Okeke said that the men who killed her husband and her brother-in-law wore masks and came with a government vehicle with the inscription: “Anti-Tout.”
The group not only burnt the two brothers alive, but also shot and injured many people.
The gruesome killing has made many forums to be discussing Anambra State for all the wrong reasons.
The masked group, according to many human rights activists, has constituted itself into a jury, judge and executioner, plunging Anambra State into a state of anarchy and one now synonymous with human rights violations.
It should be recalled that for years and still counting, the South East had been known for lawlessness, with incessant killings, kidnapping, rape and robberies becoming the other of the day.
While some accused state actors allegedly sponsored and supported by some South East governors of being those behind the commission of these horrifying crimes, others blame members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra and its armed wing, Eastern Security Network.
Still, others believe that there was another force called the “unknown gunmen” carrying out these senseless killings.
The fact however remains that people from the South East, for long, can no longer sleep with their new eyes closed.
Oluchi Rosemary Okeke interacted with our reporter and preferred to tell her story uncensored.
Below is her heartbreaking story of the gruesome death of two brothers on the same day:
My name is Oluchi Rosemary Okeke and my husband’s name is Madu Abuchi Okeke. His brother’s name is Ebere Okeke. We are all from Orlu Owerri in Imo State.
This incident happened on the 1st of November, 2023 by 12pm. On that 1st of November, my husband woke up and took his bath, took his keys and went to shop. I needed to go to the hospital because our baby was not feeling well.
Around 8am, Ebere called, asking how the children were and wanted to know where I was. I told him that I was at home. He said that he wanted to see us. I told him that the children had left for school and that his elder brother was at the shop. I asked him to go to the shop and wait for me there, that I would be with them soonest. He dropped the call.
A few hours later, say between 11am and 12pm, I got a call from an unknown number, asking where I was, that there were some men in our shop, shooting guns and that my husband and his brother had been shot, along with three others at my shop, by Markudi Park, Menash.
Before I got there, I didn’t meet anyone. There was this lady that stayed at that park. I asked her what happened and where my husband was. She told me that some masked men came to the park and started shooting, that my husband was shot, including his brother, and many others were injured.
I asked her if she knew where they were from, but she told me that they came in a vehicle, with an inscription: “Anti-tout Anambra State.” I asked if someone could please show me their office or give me the address to their office. Someone later gave me the number. As I was going, I was calling my husband’s phone number, but his was line busy.
I wanted them just to tell me what my husband did that made them say that he deserved to be killed alive. My husband was doing tout work before (Governor Chukwuma) Soludo said he does not want Agbero anymore.
My husband decided to get a tricycle, which he has been using for now. Whenever he didn’t feel like going to work, he used to stay with me at the shop.
So how can they just come to the shop and kill him like that? For what? I wanted to know his offence. At that flyover before Chisco, I had not been there before, my husband called me and before I could say anything, the call dropped.
I went there but he was not there. I met a particular man and described my husband to him, asking him if he saw him with some people.
The man said yes. That he saw them and that they just left. He said that he heard them saying they were going to Awka. As I was about to leave there, someone called, asking me to rush to the White House and then another number called. The caller said he was a tricycle rider, that I should rush to Bida Road, that he was with passengers when he saw Anti-tout people.
He said that he was ordered to discharge all his passengers and carry my husband and his brother to Bida Road, but before they got there, my husband asked them what was his offence, but they didn’t respond to him. On my way, I kept calling his line. It was ringing, but nobody picked up and someone kept busy.
Before I could reach there, all I saw was that my husband and the younger brother had been burnt to death. That was what I saw that day.
The Chief Executive Officer of Esther Child Rights Foundation, Esther Ekwem, to who Okeke ran for help to get justice for her murdered husband and brother-in-law, said she was still in shock over such lawlessness occurring in Anambra State.
Ekwem said: “I believe there is law in this country and believe that the common has rights. I also believe that children should grow up knowing their fathers, not their fathers being killed.
“It is shocking and unbelievable what happened. Two brothers at the same time, killed!
Nobody feels that questions need to be asked. Oluchi has a baby in her hands. What could be the offence that these men had committed? I believe that the Governor of Anambra State, Charles Soludo, is a father and has his children, he should not allow this to go. He should do justice.
“The IGP, Police and human rights fighters should ensure justice. The mother of these murdered men is still alive. So what will become of their aged mother? A woman who lost two sons on the same day.
“People watched as these brothers were burnt alive, but nobody spoke up because everyone was afraid. Nobody rescued them, nobody asked questions. Let there be justice for this family.
“The children are too young to lose their father. Their uncle is also too young to die. I urge all Nigerians to join in the fight and demand for justice.
“I couldn’t watch the video and the young man with children is just 28 years old. I worry for the children. No matter their offences, they should have been taken to court.
“How can a human being set two men on fire? And I have observed that people are becoming scared and nobody wants to say anything. Has it got to the level where people can be killed anyhow, knowing that nobody will be held accountable?”