Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
The family of one Ebube Akah has accused the convoy of Governor Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi State of crushing him to death in Abakaliki.
The family also accused the Governor and the Police of attempting to cover up the incident.
They are therefore asking for justice after a convoy of the state governor, Francis Nwifuru, killed the student of Ebonyi State University the previous week.
Ebube was killed alongside a commercial motorcyclist he was riding with in Abakaliki on 1 December.
He is from the same Izzi clan as the governor and hailed from Okwunyionu village, Nkaleke Echara Community, in Ebonyi Local Government Area.
In a report of the incident first published by Premium Times, the governor was said not to be in the convoy of three cars involved in the incident.
The deceased student’s older brother, Isidore Akah, was quoted as saying that the tragic incident occurred on Friday, 1 December, in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital.
Mr Akah accused the police of a cover up of his brother’s death.
“The governor’s ride that went for school runs for the governor’s children, knocked down Ebube with the bike man, and they both died instantly.”
It was gathered that Augustina Ogbodo, the Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi State, met with members of the Akah family on Monday, but no action has been taken regarding the accident, Mr Akah said.
“The commissioner of police in Ebonyi State is aware of this, but she’s playing to the government’s tune.”
The police spokesperson in Ebonyi State, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, confirmed the incident.
She, however, did not respond to specific allegations made against the police.
“I am currently in Abuja but I have forwarded your enquiry to the Commissioner of Police. The family of the deceased are already meeting with the commissioner,” Ms Onovwakpoyeya said.
Ebonyi Governor, Mr Nwifuru, did not respond to calls and an SMS sent to his mobile phone as of the time of filing this report.
Also, Mr Nwifuru’s media aide, Monday Uzor, did not respond to phone calls or an SMS sent to his mobile phone.
How the accident happened
Mr Akah said Ebube left home on 1 December to get something along Afikpo Road through Onwe Road in Abakaliki metropolis.
Tragedy struck when the motorcycle he boarded was hit by a car in Mr Nwifuru’s convoy that had gone to pick the governor’s children from school.
Both Ebube and the motorcyclist simply identified as Shahabilu, an indigene of Zamfara State, died at the scene of the accident.
“My brother and the commercial motorcyclist died instantly,” Mr Akah said, blaming the accident on the recklessness of the convoy drivers who had taken over the entire lanes on the road.
He said passers-by mobbed one of the drivers involved in the accident, but he was rescued by the police.
According to the deceased’s family, the police recovered Ebube’s remains but deposited them as “unknown” at the Federal Medical Teaching Hospital morgue in Abakaliki.
“Despite having his Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards on him, the police, in a bid to cover up my brother’s death, registered his corpse as unknown at the morgue,” Mr Akah said.
He further accused the police of removing the sim cards from his brother’s phone to prevent any phone calls from the family.
He lamented that the undergraduate’s corpse was found at the morgue on Sunday, 3 December, after two days of fruitless search in the city and beyond.
“We never knew about this until Sunday morning, when we got information that the person we have been looking for had the same looks and the same cloth as the person involved in that accident.
“This Friday makes it one week since my brother was killed, and we are yet to hear from the Governor or anybody from the government knowing full well that the car that knocked him down with the bike belongs to the governor and the government.”
Mr Akah said Ebube’s death has brought immense grief to the family as their widowed mother grapples with high blood pressure, a medical condition caused by their father’s passing in 2021.
While Ebube’s remains lie in the morgue, the deceased motorcyclist has since been interred according to Islamic rites in Abakaliki.
Governor Visits deceased’s family
Mr Isidore told Ikengaonline on Sunday that the Governor sent an envoy to meet with the family at the weekend.
“But later on Friday the governor sent delegation of his Chief of Staff, Principal Secretary and Igwe of our community who came to identify in our house here in the village.”
“For now they only asked date of the burial and said they will also identify with us again that day,” he said.
The deceased brother noted that the family is waiting to see what the governor will do adding that they are a peaceful family.
“For us we are not troublesome and wouldn’t have come online at (sic) the first place had it been they showed remorse and concern at the onset.
“For us here, I believe the know what the culture and tradition demands. So we are watching for now,” he added.