Inside Abuja

Wumba: A community of incredible crimes

In less than two months, Wumba has recorded two major heinous crimes that could earn it the inglorious award of the most crime-infested community in the Federal Capital Territory. CALEB ONWE reports

 

Wumba community is one of the squatter settlements that survived the furious bulldozers of the Department of Development Control Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

 

It was probably spared because the compensation and resettlement packages due the original inhabitants have not been completed. This sprawling suburb is located around the Lokogoma District and is surrounded by over 50 well planned, developed mass housing estates.

 

On Saturday 18th July, Chukwuma Uzochukwu, popularly called Manches, was brutally murdered in broad day light. The assailants attacked and hacked him down front of his bar and relaxation centre in Wumba and before his helpless employees.

 

The family members of the 35-year-old businessman are still bewildered over the gruesome murder of their son by people suspected to be cultists. A resident, who craved anonymity, lamented that life had become very precarious in Wumba community, due to incessant activities of cultists and other criminals who harass people both day and night.

 

According to the man, all the cult groups dislodged from various parts of Abuja seem to have reassembled and found Wumba community, a safe haven. Inside Abuja gathered that the deceased,

 

Manches, was busy attending to customers at his bar around 3.00pm, when some dreadful looking boys suddenly surrounded him. A heated argument ensued and before anyone knew what was happening, the boys started shooting sporadically to scare people away.

 

An eyewitness account has it that people around the scene, including customers who were drinking beer, scampered to safety, and when the tensed atmosphere normalized and those who ran away returned, the victim was already gasping for breath in the pool of his own blood. It was also learnt that those who had the courage to stand afar off to watch the attackers, confirmed that beside the guns, the gang wielded both matchetes, axes, and other deadly weapons which were used to kill their victim.

 

Tracing the family members for fact finding, was an uphill task. Everybody around the area was still apprehensive and suspicious of every movement around them and would not talk to strangers.

 

This may not be unconnected with their suspicion that the attackers who disappeared immediately after killing their target, belonged to one of the deadliest cult groups terrorizing many communities within the Abuja Municipal Area Council. Inside Abuja’s investigations also revealed that the style of the attack was symptomatic of cultists rivalry .

 

While it could not be confirmed if the victim belonged to any of the cult groups, there are feelers that he may have had either active or inactive link with some of the groups. There were also few dissenting views that he may have had some business deals that were not properly resolved with interested parties or associates.

 

Resilience however, paid off, when a young girl appeared, though, very suspicious of the stranger standing before her. She still summoned the courage and led the reporter to the home of the victim. Typical of a mourning house, sympathizersstillsurroundedthedeceased’s wife and his aged, sick mother. Mrs. Chiamaka Uzochukwu, a young mother in her early 20s, still had swollen red eyes, an ominous sign that tears had poured out in torrents.

 

She was so emotionally broken and struggled to overcome the overwhelming grief. With tears still dropping intermittently, she narrated her dad story. “I was not  around when this thing happened. I was at the National hospital with my mother-in-law, who was sick.

 

My husband’s brother came to the hospital and took me away from my sick mother-in-law just to break the sad news of my husband’s death to me. “I had to abandon my motherin- law in the hospital without letting her hear the sad news. I came back home on the Sunday. I am not aware that my husband had any issue with his killers.

 

He has been deposited in the mortuary, waiting for burial,” she said. While the family of Uzochukwu is mourning the sudden death of the victim, they are also praying that the octogenarian sick mother of the victim who was discharged from the National Hospital Abuja, two days after the incident, survives the shock.

 

The old woman, who was down with an undisclosed illness, managed to speak on the death of her son. Inside Abuja learnt that the victim called his mother in the afternoon of the same day he was killed to find out if the doctors had prepared her bill and also fixed a date to discharge her. Mama Uzochukwu was feeble but accepted to speak out her broken heart.

 

 

She said: “I have been at the National Hospital for three weeks before this incident.

 

The last conversation I had with him was that very Saturday that he was killed. He asked me on phone when the doctors said they will discharge me and how much is the bill. I told him that I have confirmed that the hospital management said my bill will come on Monday and probably be told when to go home.

 

“On that Saturday 18th July, I had no premonition of any evil occurrence. But I became unnecessarily tensed up and worried when my first son called me from Enugu and asked me where I was. I answered him that I was still in the hospital, of course.

 

He abruptly bounced the phone on me. I couldn’t endure such rash behaviour. So, I quickly and curiously called him back, and asked him, if hehadforgottenthatI wasadmitted to the hospital. He said he wanted to know if I have returned home. “On Sunday morning being 19th July,

 

 

My nephew who didn’t know that I was in hospital also called me and was asking me if I had been discharged. I was still wondering why he called, when he asked if my  senior daughter had called me. While I was yet to figure out his intent for calling me, he asked me to tell him about what happened in Abuja. “I was shocked at his question. Worried about that, I quickly enquired. I was told that somebody was killed somewhere around Gudu.

 

That was when I started calling my son and the lines were not connecting. I also called other people, but they all refused to tell me exactly what happened. ” I also called my son’s sales girl who also gave me deceptive responses. Everyone tried to hide the actual situation to me.

 

“My suspicion and apprehension was further increased when my husband’s brother and his wife who live in Durumi, Abuja, but never asked about my welfare suddenly appeared in the hospital to see me. I was enraged and furiously asked them what they came to do.

 

They softly told me that they have come to see me, because they heard that I was sick. “I became more curious and still asked them about my son, Chukwuma. Their answer also was very elusive.

 

“When they couldn’t bear my probing any longer, my senior daughter, now told me that my son Chukwuma was arrested by the Police where they were drinking. I didn’t know that my son was already dead and his corpse taken to the village immediately.

 

“On Monday morning being 20th July, I was eventually discharged from the hospital and on my arrival to my son’s house, I saw a crowd of moody people in the house. At this point, they were still hiding the incident from me. Everybody around were pretending that they came to receive me from the hospital.

 

“When I insisted to know what happened, it was then that I was told that some group of boys came here and killed my 35-year-old son. Chukwuma never told me that he had any problem with any body. “I was told that the killer’s attacked him with several dangerous weapons, and also scared away people with sporadic gun shots and before people who ran away could return, my son was already lying dead in the pool of his blood.

 

The killing and burial of a widow in septic tank Around the first week of June 2020, Wumba was also in the news for the killing of a 55-year -old widow who was allegedly lured by her 35 year-old facebook loverboy, a resident of the community, who laced the woman’s drink with drugs, and killed her.

 

The widow, who reportedly was still mourning her husband, left her family house in Gwagwalada, drove her Toyota Highlander Jeep to meet her cruel and untimely death at Wumba. According to a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP,

 

Frank Mba, “the suspects, having killed the victim and buried her remains in a septic tank, went ahead to reach out to the family of the victim using her phone and demanded N5 million ransom as pre-condition for her release,”.

 

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