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She answered a phone call, left and never returned alive

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Mrs. Gloria Chiawa

For the Chiawa family of Aguobuowa, Ezeagu local council, Enugu State, August 1, this year, would remain one of the days they wish had not come, as memories of the day bring deep sorrow.

It was the day its breadwinner and mother of five, Mrs. Gloria Chiawa, was hacked to death by unknown persons in circumstances that have now elicited several questions from the public.

The woman, who was billed to travel the next day to the village for the annual August meeting, had returned from the market where she made purchases for the journey to her shop at the Police Detective College, Agbani road.

Shortly after, a phone call had come and she left to answer the caller, with an instruction to her salesgirl to take care of the shop as she wouldn’t belong. She never returned alive.

She was found lifeless the next morning at Affa street in Uwani axis of the state. Those who killed her had dropped her body by the road, after dispossessing her of the small handbag containing her phone.

The Guardian gathered that Madam Gloria, whose husband, a police officer allegedly died of poison in 2007, leaving her solely with the responsibility of raising the family, had at about 5:00 p.m. that fateful day, left her shop in the care of her salesgirl after receiving a call from her phone.

Although her car, which her mechanic serviced that morning for her journey to the village was parked in front of her shop, she decided to walk her way, an indication that her destination may not be too far.

Chikamso Chiawa, one of her daughters who narrated the incident to The Guardian stated that she was on her way from school when she saw her mother trekking from their shop towards the traffic light near depot bus stop.

“I was on Keke (tricycle) and called out to her and she signaled me that she was coming. I now dropped at the shop to help the salesgirl. There, the sales girl confirmed that our mother just received a phone call and after the call said she was coming, that she was not going far.

“Later, someone came to the shop to collect money owed to him. We didn’t know what to do, so I called her on the phone and she picked and told us where to collect money to pay the person. I now asked again, where she was. She said she was coming.

“We waited till 8.00pm, there were no signs of her coming. So I got worried and called her again. She picked and said she was in Abakpa but the way she sounded elicited worries in me. She sounded as if she was not free. So I ended the call and called again almost immediately but surprisingly her line was switched off. I tried again severally to no avail.

“So I started calling her relations in Abakpa and they said she did not come to Abakpa. So we waited till 11 pm and decided to go home but before then, we tried calling and her phone was switched off. We were actually thrown off by that and our family friends we reported to kept assuring us that she would be fine, that we should not panic.

“The next morning, someone called me to say that she heard they killed one woman at Affa street in Uwani, that we should go and see whether she was our mother”.

Chikamso said they got there and discovered that the body was their mother and that the way she appeared indicated that she was strangled.

“They tore part of her clot, an indication that she struggled with someone. Her face and neck were swollen. I think she was strangled. Her phone and handbags were removed”, she explained

It was not the first time such an ugly incident was visiting the family. In 2007, their father had died from complications arising from alleged poison. The family was sent out of the barracks after their father’s entitlements were paid but late Gloria retained her shop.

“It is not going to be easy for the family. We are all in school. We need support. We appeal to the government to help us fish out the killers of our mother. We appeal for support for her burial. We don’t know where to start. My mother has been the breadwinner of the family and leaving at this stage is a sad one for the family”, Chikamso cried.

Another heavy tragedy befell the family a few years after, when their first daughter, her husband, two of their children and their younger sister living with them were involved in a motor accident that claimed their lives at Aki Na Ukwa junction, in Awgu, Enugu.

The police said investigations have commenced into the matter. Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Ebere Amaraizu, said all would be done to unravel circumstances behind her death.


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