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Imo: Palm wine tapper hacks wife to death in community

The Umuoduku village in Oboama Autonomous Community, Ezinihitte-Mbaise LGA of Imo State was thrown into confusion and wailing when a palm wine tapper, Richard Anochirionye,…

The Umuoduku village in Oboama Autonomous Community, Ezinihitte-Mbaise LGA of Imo State was thrown into confusion and wailing when a palm wine tapper, Richard Anochirionye, alias ‘Okpoka’, hacked his wife to death with a plank.

Daily Trust was reliably informed that the man “had waited until their children were all out of the compound. Then he tricked their daughter to go and buy something for him but before she could return, the wife was clubbed to death,” revealed a native who didn’t want his name mentioned.

Daily Trust recalls that in July 2017, the same man, Okpoka was said to have bought 25 litres of petrol with which he reportedly set their family houses ablaze because his sons had sold his motor-cycles without his knowledge.

One of the burnt houses was a five-room bungalow while the other was a three-bedroom building, according to an indigene of Oboama community, who added that the compound was located directly opposite the Ezinihitte-Mbaise LGA Stadium.

Our correspondent gathered that before the embattled wine tapper burnt the houses, he went round the village and announced to whoever cared to listen that his children should return his two motor-bikes or else he would take an action that would make appear in the newspapers.

“He even contacted the village heads – the chiefs and Nzes – and threatened that if the children did not return his motor-bikes he used for his business, he would take a very drastic action that they would live to tell for the rest of their lives,” the source told our reporter.

Reports say that Okpoka had gone on exile to his maternal home since 2017 he allegedly committed the arson. However, after the children erected another building, he returned recently only to club the wife to death with a plank.

A source said that when the daughter returned from the errand, she saw her mother’s corpse on the ground and raised the alarm which attracted natives who rushed to the scene of the incident and eventually caught the suspect who was quickly handed over to the police.

Okpoka, a former commercial driver who later became a palm wine tapper was said to have been nursing bottled-up anger towards members of his nuclear family since his motor-bikes were sold.

Meanwhile, the woman’s corpse has since been deposited in the mortuary at a neighbouring community, Ibeku in Aboh-Mbaise LGA of the state.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Imo State Police Command, Orlando Ikokwu, said he would contact the DPO of Ezinihitte Police Station and get back to our reporter.

But as at the time of filling this report, Mr. Ikeokwu did not call back, neither did he answer his calls or respond to the text message sent to him.

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