Naval Officer Sacks Step Mother in Ebonyi…Destroys Victim’s House

From Aloh Ann, Abakaliki

A middle age man suspected to be a navy personnel and indigene of Egbani Mgbom Village, Mr Ogonnaya Okorie Anoh allegedly demolished a bungalow building belonging to his step mother, Mrs Nnennaya Okorie Anoh on Sunday morning 23rd August 2020 at Mgbom Ugwulangwu Community, Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State.It was learnt that the action taken by Mr Ogonnaya and some of his siblings was premised by their decision against their father’s (before his demise) plan to have a polygamous home.The victim and mother of seven children while narrating her ordeal disclosed that her relationship with Late Okorie Anoh who happened to be her former elementary 4 teacher started in the year 2004 when the man impregnated her outside wedlock during the school days.After her parents and other relatives had noticed what happened and wanted to take action, the man in his wisdom and plan to expand his family rushed to her home alongside his brother, Mr Moses Anoh and requested for her hand in marriage.According to the 45 years old woman and daily labourer, following several visits made by Late Anoh and some of his kinsmen to her family, the marriage was approved and consummated.” After my parents had agreed with my husband, he further requested that I should remain with them to enable him make provision for my separate place of abode, so that rivalries commonly found between co-wives will be curtailed.” My parents also accepted the plea and kept me till 2008 when he finally took me to his home but before then, I had already given birth to another baby besides the product of the first pregnancy courtesy of the same man, being Mr Okorie Anoh” she said.MrsNnennaya added that consequent upon her arrival at her husband’s home, she began to face all manners of maltreament from her co-wife, Mrs Mgborie Okorie Anoh and her eight children and based on that, the deceased whom she said was not comfortable over the situation went out of their family compound to build for her but in the process encountered resistance from Mr Ogonnaya and his siblings who stormed the supposed site and stopped the work.She told us that she had in several occasions reported the matter to the villagers under the leadership of Mr Moses Ajah Nwigwe whom after investigating the issue appealed to the alleged oppressors to leave her alone specially as the marriage had been legalized.Around five years ago, Late Anoh went farther from their home and built for the woman without knowing that the children from his first wife had not declined from their agitation being that they do not want  step mother let alone having step brothers or sisters.She said that she was experiencing relatively peace after the structure was built until the fateful morning that Mr Ogonnaya came with a Hilux van fully loaded with soldiers and pulled down the house four months after the death of her husband.” It is precisely four months after my husband’s death that Mr Ogonnaya brought the people who destroyed my house after evacuating my belongings including Lady’s motorcycle.” Before the outbreak of COVID 19, the man, Mr Ogonnaya had brought a large number of police men from Police Headquarters Zone 2, Lagos State who came to the village and arrested Chief David Uke and Mr Okoroafor Igboke for the reason being that the two men were against them over maltreatment meted out on me” she said.The village head, Mr Nwigwe confirmed that the victim had reported the problem to their union and upon their mediation, the accused persons were advised to accommodate the distraught woman and her children since it had been their father’s target to have an expanded family before his death.He expressed surprise as the principal suspect, the naval officer could despise the intervention of Mgbom Egbani people, went further and damaged the building without considering what might be the fate of the little children.The village secretary, Mr Okoroafor Igboke and Chief David Uke, a stakeholder who had allegedly arrested and taken to Police Headquarters Zone 2, Lagos State over the same problem respectively told us that before the incident they had looked into the problem and discovered that Mrs Nnennaya had not committed any evil against her step sons to deserve such inhumane treatment.” The same Mr Ogonnaya and his siblings had arrested and took us to Lagos State over the matter but after the Assistant Inspector General of Police incharge of the zone had found out that the issue is a family crisis, we were released on bail while police investigation continues.” We had advised the accused persons to let go of their grieviances and give the woman sense of belonging but surprisingly, they went and hired thugs  who destroyed the woman’s house” they said.Chief Idika Okoro, a stakeholder, on his part told us that the people of the area were already relaxing with hope that peace had been restored in Mr Okorie Anoh’s family suddenly, Mr Ogonnaya stormed the village with a large number of soldiers and miscreants who demolished the woman’s house.All the interviewees unanimously called for government intervention into the matter as the people of the area are tensed following threats of life allegedly issued by Mr Ogonnaya and his men.We observed  that the village was desserted as many are currently taking refuge in their neighbouring villages while the victim and children are still homeless as at the time of filing the report.Mr.Ogonnaya Okorie Anoh who spoke to our repoter through his lawyer Barrister Ogbonnaya Okorie Nwani told us that the allegations against his client did not exist adding that he has a strong documentary evidence to back his claim up.”Nnennaya Okorie Anoh as people labelled her has a husband who is a staff of Ohaozara LGA in the person of Mr. Okoro Chukwu Owutu, an indigene of Amaegbu village in Ugwulangwu, this is the man who married her and performed all the customary rites of marriage  but the woman being whom she is, jumped board and became mistress to many people” he said.According to the Barrister, there is already a subsiting verdict stating that that the woman’s five children belong to Mr. Owutu which no one had appealed in any court indicating that the woman was not married by Mr. Okorie Anoh”A situation whereby one is only warming bed and fails to fulfill customary rites, all the children born as a result of the illegal affair automatically belong to the suitor who had paid bride price and other intricacies, this is our tradition in Ugwulangwu” he explainedContinuing, “Concerning the demolition of the house my client was not there, he did neither recruit anybody nor see the woman on the fateful day because before now a version of the allegation says that the woman was beaten up by the Navel Officer while another has it that Mr Ogonnaya did not come in person but he sent some persons”.Barrister Nwani further said that his client and siblings never displayed any act of violence inspite of the fact that some stakeholders who are involving in the traditional Alternative Dispute Resolution have made themselves the accusers, witnesses and judges in the case and based on the situation, Mr Ogonnaya is requesting for a neutral body to look into the matter.”Just to sum it up, the woman was never married to mr Okorie Anoh, she has a husband who is still much alive  whom her parents will still confirm that the man is the inlaw whom they know,”All the allegations leveled against my client are false and frivolous fabricated mainly to pursue  vendatta” he added.