|Late Mrs Florence Nwati|
But that was what befell her that fateful Monday March 19, as she was allegedly stabbed dead by a young man, identified as Huli (other name withheld).
Even when Huli, described by a little boy, who usually assisted Mrs Nwati in her shop, as a ‘familiar face’ and customer, sauntered in, nobody, including the victim, suspected that he had a sinister motive.
But when a quarrel ensued between the two, the suspect allegedly gave her a deadly stab which turned her only son, Jesse, to an orphan, having lost his father, Akema Azever, to the cold hand of death last year. The victim was said to be still mourning her late husband’s death, before the incident occurred.
According to a source, the suspect broke a bottle and stabbed the victim, leaving her to bleed to death. Crimewatch also gathered that she was already dead before efforts were made to rush her to a nearby hospital, where she was confirmed dead.
An eyewitness narrated how the suspect came in and requested for a sachet of ‘pure water,’ which the woman turned down on the grounds that she was already preparing to go home.
“She gave an excuse that the water was not cold and continued packing the wares,” the source said.
But the suspect, who allegedly insisted on having the water, forced his way and picked a sachet from the deep freezer. It was gathered that it was when the victim struggled to stop him, that he picked a bottle, broke it and allegedly stabbed her on the chest and other parts of her body. Efforts by other customers to rescue her were said to have been frustrated by the man, who scared them with the bottle, as he threatened to stab anyone who tried to intervene.
They, however, alerted the police and Huli was immediately arrested. It was gathered that the woman had been catering for herself and Jesse, a Computer Science student of Benue State University, Makurdi, since her husband died. The reporter was also told how she was on the verge of completing the mourning rites of her late husband before she met her untimely death. However, there is a twist in the case as the suspect has debunked the allegation preferred against him by the police. Unconfirmed sources said he was claiming that he shared an intimate relationship with the woman but went out of his way to kill her over a disagreement.
However, Jesse said: “As her son, I was supposed to know this character but I didn’t know him prior to this dastardly act. She never told me anything about Huli before he killed her. Even the little boy (aide) that stays with her, knew and simply described him as “a customer.” After preliminary investigations by policemen attached to Katsina-Ala Police Station, the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Mr. Emmanuel, told our reporter that the case was immediately transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Makurdi, for prosecution. And with the damage already done, all that the family members, relatives, friends and even sympathisers are asking for is justice.
Jesse, who is yet to come to terms with the death of his mother, lamented: “My world has been turned upside down and I don’t know where to start from now. As the only son of my parents, I’ve been rendered an orphan. My future is bleak. After my father’s death a year ago, the responsibility of catering for me, including my education, fell on my mother and now, she’s no more. It’s like a Hollywood movie to me.”
Jesse described the tragedy as the biggest blow to his life, saying: “I was trying to sort out other challenges before going back to school but as it is now, confusion is the word. My academic pursuit in the university is threatened now unless there’s a divine intervention. At SCID, where the suspect is being detained, the IPO, Inspector Ambrose, confirmed the incident and said investigation had been concluded, adding that the accused had been charged to court.
However, when the case came up on Wednesday March 28, it was stalled as the presiding Judge was said to be unavoidably absent.
By SAM ANOKAM