A feeling of anger, trepidation and confusion now pervades Amaewula village in Umuezeoka, Ezza North Local Government Area and Ebonyi State in general, following the tragic news of the murder of a former permanent secretary, Chief Cletus Nwezza by suspected kidnappers.
The corpse of Pa Nwezza in his late 70s was said to have been discovered in a shallow grave by a search party at Ntezi community in Ishielu Local Government Area at the weekend, four days after the family paid the ransom requested by the kidnappers.
The head of Pa Nwezza was said to have been almost severed from the body with a small strand of tissue connecting the head from the neck, even as there were also gunshot wounds on his body.
Nwezza, father of immediate former Special Assistant on ICT to Governor Martin Elechi, Mr. Lawrence Nwezza, was a 1963 graduate of Physics, at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and had served the old Anambra and Enugu states respectively in various positions as a career civil servant, and lastly the position of permanent secretary in Ebonyi State where he retired.
But when contacted the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Ebonyi State Police Command, Mr. John Eluu, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) told our reporter that he was yet to be briefed by the officers in charge of the matter and that we (reporters) should call back later.
Speaking with journalists in Abakaliki yesterday, son of the deceased said that the family went through hell and at the end, the kidnappers murdered his father in cold blood after receiving N1 million ransom as negotiated and agreed on by both parties.
Lawrence said that his father visited him in Abakaliki on April 7, after he lost his political appointment and travelled back to the village only for the abductors to strike the following day in the village.
His father’s abductors who went to his house around 2am, knocked at the door saying they had a message for the old man, but Pa Nwezza demanded that they identify themselves before he could open the door.
When the intruders couldn’t identify themselves properly, the old man raised an alarm which attracted neighbours, but the abductors started shooting into the air and manhandled the first set of his neighbours that came out.
In the confusion that ensued, they broke the door to Pa Nwezza’s house, abducted him and sped off on a bike.