A widow has cried out to the government of Abia state, Non Governmental Organizations,Human Right Organizations and leaders of Ike Mgboko Autonomous Community in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State and other relevant authorities over the continuous disappearance of her husband’s corpse,which was exhumed after he was buried and deposited in an undisclosed location by her husband’s strange son.
The widow by name, Lady Blessing Chioma Ben Nwankpa, wife to the late Hon Ben Nwankpa, a former People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholder, who served in various capacities under the Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s administration, before defecting to the Young Progressive Party (YPP), expressed worry over the missing corpse of her late husband, demanding immediate return.
Hon Ben Nwankpa who died on the 23rd of July 2022, was laid to rest, December 28, of the same year. On the day of the burial, shortly after he was committed to Mother earth, a supposed son of his, by name Amaechi Nwankpa, age 36, whom he got out of wedlock, stormed the burial venue with thugs who were armed with guns, disrupted the burial ceremony, chased guests away and went straight to the grave of Chief Nwankpa to exhume the corpse which was already lowered to the ground.
Narrating the incidence to Newsmen, Lady Blessing Ben Nwankpa, said she is brooded over the continuous disappearance of her husband’s corpse, calling on relevant authorities and stakeholders in the State and the late husband’s community, to take the bull by the horn and get to the root of the bizarre situation.
Lady Blessing Chioma Nwankpa said she never wished to get entangled in a triangle of love, deceit and emotions and regretted the whole treatment meted on her.
Narrating her ordeal, she said when she got married to her husband in 1991, few weeks into the marriage,her husband called her that he has a son for a black American lady and suggested bringing him home.” This news got me heart broken, as i felt betrayed by my husband who never told me about his strange son before getting married to me. Because of the love and respect i have for my husband i accepted the boy into my home”.
In her words, “The mistake i made was that I accepted to nurture a strange son, who was only 4 years old when my husband brought him to the house,due to my compassionate disposition as a young bride that was primed to love and cherish her husband, albeit unconditionally and without reservation”.
Lady Blessing revealed that her first experience as a Mother,was devoted to raising a strange son who now has sworn to exterminate her children.
“I took this boy in,showed him love and gave him motherly care as i did to my other six biological children”.
Lady Nwankpa disclosed that situations turned sour in her family when Amaechi Ahuama also known as Amaechi Nwankpa (my husband’s son), was incarcerated for engaging in an Advanced-fee fraud(yahoo) in America. According to her, he was jailed for four years, then stayed two years under house arrest and one year probation, making a total of seven years before he regained freedom.
She said after regaining freedom, Amaechi Nwankpa got bittered as everyone in the family had experienced one level of success or the other leaving him behind.
Narrating further, Lady Nwankpa stated that already at this time, three of her children had graduated from the college and the family was beaming light.
She said Amaechi started exhibiting unlawful behavior which was in contrast to the culture of respect and obedience to the family and started making life unbearable.”He hated everyone and became bitter towards members of the family, nothing we do as a family that he would agree to participate.So when my late husband died, i called him severally so we could plan for the burial, he would tell me he was not interested, that i should go ahead with my plan.
“I tried severally to get him involved but he would decline, i never knew he had a different plan.I pleaded to add his tributes and other information on the burial brochure,as well as on the Invitation cards, he also declined it.
“I went ahead with the burial preparation, got a court order to go ahead and bury my husband, i also got approval from the Abia state government”.
She said during the Wake- keep service organized in America in honour of late Ben Nwankpa, the said Amaechi stormed the venue for the wake keep service with thugs who were fully armed as usual, disrupted the event,chased everyone away and scattered the event she spent millions of naira to host. “An event i spent hugely on because i had wanted to give my husband a befitting burial.
“He continued to threaten, harass, and label anyone that seems to show any kind of support to me and my children, this happened because of the cultural travesty against women.
“We came down to Nigeria for the burial rites proper, not knowing this Amaechi had a different plan all together.Nobody saw him during the burial ceremony. We did all the burial rites, welcome my husband home with 21 gun shots. But shortly after my husband was committed to Mother earth, Amaechi surfaced with thugs carrying heavy arms,who shot several times when they arrived the burial venue, destroyed everywhere, chased my children and i away from the house i built with my husband.Despite pleas from the traditional ruler of the community, political leaders that attended the event including the gubernatorial candidate of the Young Progressive Party, Engr Enyinnaya Nwafor, this boy refused to listen to anyone but went straight to my husband’s grave alongside his gang of thugs to exhume the body of my husband and ran away with it to an unknown destination, maybe he wants to use it for rituals or something.
“He went ahead to put our house under lock, contracting two hoodlums,who smoke indian hemp and rape under age girls in the community.
“This is about two months after the incident took place and nothing has been done about it.Even the community has not reacted to this sacrilegious act, everyone is silent over the matter.How can this happen in Abia state and everyone is keeping quiet”, she queried.
“I can’t continue to remain silent,something needs to be done.We will consider all legal actions that will help us to put to rest this issue. Though the traditional ruler of Ike Mgboko Autonomous Community, Eze Onyedilazu and some community leaders, pleaded with Amaechi on that faithful day to hold on after the burial so that whatever issue he has with me could be settled, but he played deafness and preferred to expose his acclaimed late Dad to ridicule and shame”.
Lady Nwankpa, however, called on the state government, the judiciary and the various security agencies to rise to her challenge and help in finding her husband’s corpse, so his soul can rest in peace.
“My husband doesn’t deserve this treatment,he was a good man.He deserves to be in his grave”she cried.
Interacting with late Ben Nwankpa’s children, Benjamin and Whitney Obiageri Nwankpa,they begged Amaechi to return their father’s corpse, questioning why they would go through such ill treatment from their supposed step brother.
“We are good people, we have never planned evil against anyone,all we are after is our education and how to be better people. We never knew something like this could ever happen to us,we feel betrayed.Despite my mother’s efforts in raising up everyone.To raise a child in America is very expensive,let alone the seven of us.Our mother single handedly raised everyone, including Amaechi, we wonder why he could treat us this way. This is a big trauma”,they added.
The son of the late Ben Nwankpa also demanded that Amaechi returns their father’s corpse,as well as, the keys to their house in the village.
A close family member who refused his name disclosed, said it was insensitive of Amaechi to disrespect his father’s only legitimate wife and the only woman who nurtured him from the infant age of 4, stating that Amaechi’s tragic behaviors is a fallout from their late brother’s inability to simply tell Amaechi the circumstances behind his birth. How can a son disgrace his father while he was already lowered to his final resting place? He asked.
Another close friend of the family giving her account said Amaechi was loved and well taken care of by Lady Blessing Chioma Nwankpa, who would always tell friends that Amaechi is her biological son, having had 6 children herself. She said that it was almost impossible to notice that Amaechi is not her biological child due to the extra ordinary love she gave him.
In a similar vein, one of Chief Ben Nwankpa’s close relations, asked
if it was wrong for a woman to insist on giving her husband a befitting burial? A man who fathered 6 well accomplished children? Where was this Amaechi when our dutiful wife was sweating to build the family of our late brother? “I don’t understand why disgracing a man who you claimed to be your biological father. She stated that Amaechi’s inhuman actions against the widow, totally violates her rights”.
Speaking on the issue, Mr Iheanyi Onyenma, who served Chief Ben Nwankpa for over 20 years said that Amaechi’s action was abominable to say the least. Alleging that Amaechi, was misled by one Nkiru Amaefula, who is a distant neice of late Chief Nwankpa.
in a telephone interview with the Traditional Ruler of Ike Mgboko Autonomous Community, Eze Onyedilazu, who expressed sadness over the issue,said they tried all they could to stop Amaechi from carrying out the dastardly act but he overpowered them because he contracted youths of the village, saying they are doing their best to ensure the corpse is returned, describing Amaechi as hard hearted.