File photo used only for illustrative purpose
Enyidiya is an interesting female name among the Igbo. In traditional Igbo society, it is one of the pet or endearing names husbands give to their wives. If your husband calls you “Enyidiya,” it means your relationship originally started at friendship level until he found out that you are more than someone he would like to continue to keep as just girlfriend but to have as a life-partner or wife.
As a girl or female child, if your parents call you by the name “Enyidiya,” it means both a name and a wish. By it, they are saying to you: “May you find a man who will love you so much as to make you, not just his girlfriend but ultimately his wife.” They are saying: “May this one transit from being a man’s girlfriend to the man’s wife” or “May your future husband love you so much as to treat you not just as a girlfriend but as truly his wife.”
When a young, pretty lady, Enyidiya James, known as “Oree” among her friends and acquaintances, from Oso Edda, in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, left her younger sister’s husband’s house at Ogbor Hill, Aba, on the New Year Day, January 1, 2018, to spend time with a man she felt her heart was beating for, she must have had, at the back of her mind, the coming to pass of the meaning of her name, the blossoming of that relationship from the level of boyfriend/girlfriend relationship to the level of husband-wife union, even though she was said to have been married before leaving her former husband in Abiriba, Abia State, for some undisclosed marital issues, to come stay in Aba.
But, alas, that was not to be, not in this life, nor in the next one to come. This is because she was allegedly murdered in cold blood by the man she had, apparently, given her heart to, after her first marriage, but who was not too keen on making the feeling a mutual one. So, in anger he killed her. Reason: she tried to use her phone to call someone. And, after killing her, he, in company of a friend, set her body ablaze, apparently to cover up their crime by making it appear as if she was killed and set ablaze as a suspected thief by an irate mob. At least, that is the details of the sordid story as told to Saturday Sun, by her younger sister, Mrs. Ijeoma Okoronkwo.
Phone call from the fatal visit
In tears, she recalled how she tried in vain to stop Enyidiya, her elder sister (born 1972), from embarking on the love journey that eventually ended her life, although she had tried to assuage Ijeoma’s fears by assuring her she would be back that day or the next.
“My late elder sister came to our house on December 31, 2017 with some gift items she said was given to her for the Christmas and New Year,” she recalled. “She dropped the items with us and, after staying a while, told me she wanted to see someone.”
Enyidiya, she added, neither disclosed who she was going to see nor heeded her warning not to leave the house to any place until her husband comes back. Ijeoma, still sobbing, recounted her last encounter with her elder sister: “I asked her where she was going but she simply told me she was coming. I warned her that my husband said she should not go anywhere but that she should stay with us. But she said I should not worry, that she was going to prepare the New Year meal for her boyfriend and that she would be back soon. She left our house to her boyfriend’s house who she did not want to tell me his name nor the direction to his residence. But the following morning, I received a phone call that my sister had been murdered, that she was tied with rope and burnt to death.”
In the words of Ijeoma, those who called told her that her sister’s boyfriend accused her of using his phone to call somebody and the man asked why she did that and they started quarrelling. That, indeed, was the beginning of the cock-and-bull story that today surrounds the chilly and untimely death of Enyidiya.
“According to what people who are in the know told me, the boyfriend said he would collect all the money she came with to his house and my sister resisted and the man said since my sister wanted to prove she was strong, he would show her something.”
And, truly, the boyfriend from the pit of hell did show her “something.” He reportedly solicited the help of a friend of his and together the partners in crime tied Enyidiya’s hands and legs together with rope like a common criminal, then gave her deep machete cuts all over her body.
Chilly, isn’t it? After committing the dastardly act, her boyfriend who lives at Ama Ohafia, off Omoba Road, Ogbor Hill, Aba, dumped her body in the middle of the road, hung a disused car tyre on her neck and set her ablaze.
This death could have been averted, her sister laments, had Enyidiya listened to her ex-husband with whom she had some marital issues.
“Her former husband called days before her death and asked her to come back so that they could reconcile but she refused saying she was not going to stay in the village with the man,” Ijeoma recalled. “The ex-husband even promised to start a business for her if she could come back, but she refused, preferring instead to stay in Aba.”
If Ijeoma is devastated by her sister’s death, Prince Amaru, a businessman who lives within the neighbourhood is confounded. “The late lady was a fine woman; she never made trouble with anybody within this area when she was alive,” he said. “So I wouldn’t know why someone for whatever reason will murder her the way they did. I saw her a few days before she was killed; she never complained that she had any problem with anybody.”
Amaru, playing the role of a good neighbour, vowed not to allow the matter to die soon as he promised to make sure that those who killed the lady were brought to justice to serve as a deterrent to other like-minded killers.
Tracking and catching the alleged killers
After killing his girlfriend, the man reportedly ran to Iheorji, a suburb of Aba, where police is said to have traced him to before arresting him and the second suspect. A police officer who would not want his name mentioned in print told Saturday Sun that the suspects who he refused to disclose their names have been helping police in their investigations. The officer disclosed that while the principal suspect, that is, Enyidiya’s boyfriend, admitted being the one that tied her with rope, he, however, denied killing her, choosing to put the blame on the second suspect, the man he invited to help him deal with the lady. He claimed to be the one who gave her the machete cuts that led to her death.
The accusations and counter-accusations have, so far, done nothing to make matters surrounding the murky case any clearer. According to the policeman in charge of the case, “the second accused person in his defence said the late lady’s boyfriend knocked at his door about 2am on the night of the incident and when he opened the door, the man, with machete in his hand informed him that there was something he would like him (second accused) to help him do. He said by the time he came out, the lady was already set ablaze and that they battled hard to put out the fire. By the time they did, according to him, the lady was already dead, and that it was the first accused who knew what happened to the lady.”
The policeman said that, after investigations, the two men would be charged to court for murder. The younger sister believes that publishing the story would help to keep the case in public focus.
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