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Woman in search of firewood raped, strangled in Ebonyi

Charles Nwankwo, Abakaliki

A 25-year-old woman has had her life callously cut short in Okarelu Village, Okoffia Community in Ezza South Local Government Area Ebonyi State.
Miss Chidimma Nwebo who roasted groundnut for sale at a busy junction known as Ukwuagba in Okoffia Community met her untimely death when she left home to fetch firewood.
When Chidimma did not return home as expected, her parents raised an alarm.
The concerned villagers formed a search party that combed the nooks and crannies of the village to ascertain the whereabouts of the young woman.
The search party soon found a wheelbarrow that Chidimma left home with as well as her footwear in a bush in the community.
Further investigations which the villagers made revealed that Chidimma was raped to death and buried in the bush by Anayochukwu Nwonyi, a resident of a neighbouring community.
Nwonyi, after satisfying his illicit sexual desire with the young woman, strangled her and buried her corpse inside the bush to cover his heinous crime.
The lifeless body of Miss Chidimma was exhumed the following day by the accused person in the presence of the villagers.
A resident, Mr. Christopher Mba told The Nigerian Xpress that on that particular day the villagers were enjoying the serenity of the area until in the evening when it was found out that Chidimma who went to fetch firewood earlier in the day had not returned home.
The development threw the woman’s family and others into confusion and the people embarked on a search till late but could only find her wheelbarrow, water bottles, and footwear.
The villagers called off the search late in the night and returned home.
When the search party returned to the forest early the next day, they suddenly sighted Nwonyi from afar. He took to his heels and this act raised suspicion. Some of the youths gave the man a hot chase and caught him.
The Nigerian Xpress learnt further that it was while being beaten that he admitted being responsible for Chidimma’s disappearance and led the villagers to the grave where he buried her corpse.
“Mr. Anayochukwu Nwonyi is from our neighbouring community called Amudo, who has been running away from his home because of the atrocities he has committed but nobody knew that he was hiding in the Okoffia forest until this incident happened.
“How the suspect started exhuming the lifeless body of Miss Chidimma from the grave starting from her legs showed that he was responsible for the crime” another resident simply identified as Maria said.
Okoffia Town Union President, Mr. Ifeanyi Opoke, when contacted, confirmed Chidimma’s killing, adding that Nwonyi had been arrested and handed over to police officers from Onueke Divisional Police Headquarters.