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Anambra man beaten to death by masquerade, family seeks justice

After receiving money from the friend, the masquerade still demanded payment from the deceased, and when he didn’t comply, he was punched in the chest at close range and subsequently left to struggle for breath before passing away...

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Anambra man beaten to death by masquerade, family seeks justice

Story from, Hamzat Ibrahim ABAGA

Members of the Okoye family in the Umuawulu community in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State are demanding justice for the alleged killing of their father, Chief Shadrach Okoye, by a renowned masquerade.

It is claimed that Okoye was fatally assaulted by the masquerade after he refused to give it money.

Chidubem, the first son of the deceased, spoke to our correspondent in Awka on Friday, detailing the events of December 26, 2023, when his father was accompanying a friend who had visited him that day.

Chidubem expressed frustration that his father’s corpse has been in the morgue since his murder due to challenges faced by the family in seeking justice and arranging his burial.

According to Chidubem, his father and his friend encountered four masquerades on the road, one of whom obstructed their path even after the other three had moved on.

He explained that despite his father’s explanation that he had no money and had just come to see off his friend, the masquerade insisted on being paid, even resorting to physical threats.

READ ALSO: Police in Akwa Ibom say ban on masquerades still in force

After receiving money from the friend, the masquerade still demanded payment from the deceased, and when he didn’t comply, he was punched in the chest at close range and subsequently left to struggle for breath before passing away.

Chidubem revealed that his late father, a petty trader, had a serious heart condition, and the ordeal worsened his health before his demise at the hands of the masquerade.

He mentioned that the culprit, identified as “Ifechukwu”, a 19-year-old from the community, has since fled.

Although the incident has been reported to the Central Police Station in Awka and the traditional ruler of Umuawulu, no significant developments have occurred, with the police indicating they would not act until the suspect is apprehended.

The traditional ruler, Igwe Egwuonwu, informed that a committee is handling the matter, refraining from further comment until the committee completes its task and provides a report.

State police spokesman, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, verified the report at the CPS Division in Awka, stating that the matter remains under investigation.

As the Okoye family continues to mourn their loss, they remain determined to seek justice for Chief Shadrach Okoye’s untimely demise, hoping that those responsible will be brought to account for their actions.

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