The kids, most times, grow up hating one another. Such a home is often fraught with cold war, tension and hate. The husbands often pray for divine wisdom on how to manage such tension-filled homes.
But the family of Ogbonna Amegu, of Ndebor Nchoko village, Igbeagu community, Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, has never experienced such traumatic situations. Indeed, Amegu, who married two wives, said he, his wives and 18 children, from both women, have enjoyed a peaceful home and co-existence. Amegu said: “The love in my family, and between my two wives, is the envy of our neighbours.
My wives are so close, that my second wife named one of her children after my first wife.” The peaceful coexistence and love in the family was torn to shreds after an unfathomable incident visited the family on September 9, 2016. One of Amegu’s sons, identified as Ogobuchi Ogbonna Amegu, 25, from his first wife, drowned his three-yearold- stepbrother, Wisdom Ogbonna Amegu.
The action of Ogobuchi stunned his family and community members. The action of Ogobuchi was even more shocking, since he was the closest among all the family members to little Wisdom. It was gathered that Wisdom used to tag along with Ogobuchi, whenever the latter was going out.
People tried to make sense of the murder of the three-year-old boy by his elder brother, but failed. People even wondered if perhaps Ogobuchi smoked Indian hemp, but close examinations and questions, showed that he was in his right senses. While being questioned by members of the community and later the police, Ogobuchi said that a voice repeatedly told him to kill one of his stepbrothers if he wanted to be the second Jesus Christ on earth, a messiah of the world and famous.
Why he chose little Wisdom, described as his ‘best friend and pet,’ is yet unknown. There’s, however, no doubt that the murder of his brother, made him instantly famous. Ogobuchi said: “I was relaxing in our house when I heard the voice, telling me that I would become the second Jesus Christ on earth; that I would be a messiah if I killed one of my stepbrothers.
The voice said that if I refused to do it, I would regret it.” On that fateful day, Ogobuchi lured Wisdom to a nearby river, picked a big stone and rope, tied the three-year-old to the stone and calmly pushed him into the river. The boy sank like lead. Ogobuchi returned home, to continue with his normal daily activities, like nothing happened.
When it was evening time, the family became worried over Wisdom’s long absence from home. Friends, relatives and neighbours said he wasn’t in their homes. The family members started searching for him, including Ogobuchi. Soon, the family alerted every community member. Several search parties were organised.
Each party went to different directions, but all returned with stories of failure. By the following day, the mother of the boy was slowly going crazy and Amegu was almost at his wits end, unsure of the next step to take. They were in this worried state when Ogobuchi called the family together and dropped his bombshell.
Without mincing words, he told his family members that he was responsible for the disappearance of Wisdom. He told them that he drowned Wisdom and promised to take them to the scene of the crime. The family was stunned into silence.
They initially thought Ogobuchi was playing game with such a crazy confession and sharply rebuked him, but he stuck to his story. Amegu ran out, screaming for community members to gather and listen to the narration of his son, Ogobuchi. Every time Ogobuchi spewed out his confession; gasps of shock, unbelief and outraged greeted it.
The community members immediately ordered Ogobuchi to lead them to where he ‘kept’ Wisdom. The boy’s corpse was later dragged out from the river by divers. Further confessing to members of the community, Ogobuchi said he heard a loud voice, ordering him to do stuffs.
He added: “The voice said that I shouldn’t waste time in carrying out the instructions. I looked around and saw Wisdom; I asked him to follow me, so that we could bath in the river. He followed me. When I got to the river, I looked around and saw a stone; I picked the stone and with the rope, tied him to the stone and pushed him into the river.”
A devastated Amegu, said: “I married two wives and have 18 children. My two wives have been living peacefully and have never quarrelled or fought since I married them. My children emulated their mothers. They never had any misunderstanding. So, I’m shocked over this type of thing, especially since Wisdom was the closest to Ogobuchi among all my children. Devil has entered my family. I’m not happy at all.”
When the enormity of his crime dawned on him, Ogobuchi tried to feign being mentally unbalanced, but Amegu, knocked off the idea.
Amegu said: “Ogobuchi is not mentally sick; he is a healthy person. I wondered what made him to do this type of thing. This has never happened in the history of this community. This is very strange.” The head of the community, Chief Nwamage Uche, said that when Amegu reported to him that his threeyear- old son was missing, he quickly mobilised members of the community. He said search parties were drafted.
They later heard about the dastardly action of Ogobuchi. The Ebonyi State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mr. George Okafor confirmed the incident. He said the matter was first reported at the Iboko Police Station.
“The matter will be transferred to the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID) for consolidation of the case.” It was further gathered that autopsy has since been conducted on the deceased while his remains have been interred. During the burial last Wednesday of little Wisdom, members of the community broke down and wept uncontrollably.
Ogobuchi was, last Wednesday, remanded by an Abakaliki Magistrate’s Court. He was arraigned on one count charge of murder.
The charge reads; “that you Ogobuchi Ogonna Amegu, on September 9, 2016, at Ndiebor Nchoko, Igbeagu Izzi in the Abakaliki Magisterial District did unlawfully cause the death of one Wisdom Ogonna Amegu and thereby Committed an offence Punishable under Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 33: Vol. 1. Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria 2009.” After the charge was read to Ogobuchi, the presiding Magistrate, Nnachi Olughu, ordered that the suspect be remanded in prison custody till November 18, 2016.
The case file was transferred to the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), for comments.
Olughu said: “The accused person has no counsel to represent him to enable him take his pleas. This court hereby orders that he be remanded in prison custody till November 18, 2016.”