Uchechukwu Nweke, a 65-year-old hunter in Umuiyom, a community in Amanuke in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, has killed his 55-year-old wife, Patricia and son, Obinna, 29, and set his house ablaze.
Although the incident happened on January 28, 2021, the report came out hours after a man, his wife and daughter were shot dead in another part of the state.
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Narrating the incident of the hunter, who also killed himself, Chief Charles Nnawude, chairman of the vigilante group in the community, said the hunter always had problems with his wife and children.
“I had intervened severally when the late Nweke brought cases of how his wife and children had been maltreating him.
“Sometime last week, he complained about how they beat him and chased him away from the house.
“I tried to reconcile them but it was not possible. The man left and went into the bush to stay.
He later showed me the wounds inflicted on him by his wife and children, using a knife. There were wounds all over him,’’ he said.
According to Nnawude, when the man concluded the plan to carry out this act, he told his second wife to take her children and travel, but he did not give reasons.
It was when the woman left the community with her children that he executed his plan, he said.
Sampson Okoye, a neighbour, told Daily Trust Saturday that the man had been complaining about his wife and children.
According to Okoye, because of the severity of the last beating from them, Nweke sought medical attention as he sustained several injuries. He said the man had told him that he would do something disastrous.
“I heard gunshots about 3 am on Thursday, and a few minutes later, he came to me, complaining that his wife and children refused to release money for him to collect the lab test on the last beating they gave him.
“I appealed to him to go back to his house so that in the morning the issue would be resolved.
“I didn’t know that he had killed his wife and son. The man also accused his son of saying bad things about him,’’ Okoye said.
He added that he had also tried to reconcile them, but since it was a family affair, he could not do much.
“It was a family matter, so there is a certain level you cannot push. Sometimes you advise people and they will accept, but sometimes they won’t.
“They always beat the man. My advice fell on deaf ears,’’ he said.
He advised families to always settle problems amicably and urged children not to take side with any of their parents when there’s a misunderstanding.
Confirming the incident, the police public relations officer, Anambra State command, CSP Haruna Mohammed, said they received a report that a hunter in Amanuke allegedly shot his wife, son, burnt his house and killed himself in a circumstance yet to be ascertained.
He said police detectives attached to Achalla division immediately visited the scene and took victims to Uche Hospital, Isuanocha, where they were confirmed dead by a medical doctor.
Their corpses were subsequently deposited in the hospital’s morgue while an investigation is ongoing.
Also speaking on the matter, Dr Onukwube Alex Anedo of the Department of African and Asian Studies, Nnamidi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, told Daily Trust that in Igbo culture and tradition, killing oneself and others is highly abominable.
Anedo, who specialises in Sino/Afrio culture and anthropology said, “It is a sin for one to burn his house, another person’s house or somebody’s farm. It is also a sin to kill oneself or another person.’’
He said anyone who killed members of his household, burnt his house and killed himself was normally thrown into the evil forest because if he was allowed to live, he would still pay by hanging himself.
He said such action was normally induced, either through spiritual or physical means.
He further said there was the need to find out what was responsible for such action and do some cleansing, adding that if nothing is done about it, calamity will befall the family and the entire community.
“It is advisable for the family members to go into inquiry through divination to find out why the man took such a decision.
“If they don’t find out the cause and do the cleansing before his burial, it might bring further calamities to the family and community,’’ he said.
He also said that what happened could be as a result of what happened in the past in the family that was not properly appeased, insisting that the incident was not ordinary.
“Nobody is happy to die, even at extreme pains and sickness. Something is wrong somewhere,’’ he said.
Asked why adherents of Christianity would be expected to make inquires through divination, he said the system was commonly practised among the people, but many pretend about it.
“People don’t openly practise divination, but most of the people who profess to be men of God visit various centres at night in disguise. People are seriously indulging in divination secretly,’’ he said.
A psychologist and lecturer in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Mrs Amaka Okafor, said it was not normal for any person to behave in such a manner.
According to her, the man could have some mental issues that were not detected, and as such, he could choose to act like that.
She also said another possible reason for such action may be that somebody had charmed him.
“No normal person can take the lives of his wife and son, his own life, and at the same time, burn his house. It is not ordinary.
“The man may have equally acted under the influence of diabolic manipulation from evil forces,’’ she said.