Home » Arrest my son’s killers, – Slain Imo judge’s mother cries out

Arrest my son’s killers, – Slain Imo judge’s mother cries out

by OkeomaNews

Mrs Bridget Ugboma, the 78-year-old mother of Nnaemeka Ugboma, a Customary Court judge, who was murdered recently by a group of gunmen in Imo State, speaks with CHIDIEBUBE OKEOMA, about the last moment with her son, among other related matters

Who was Nnaemeka Ugboma to you?

He was my son; Nnaemeka Ugboma was my first son. He was the Customary Court judge who was shot dead while presiding over a session in his court at Ejemekwuru in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State. We are from Nnebukwu community in Oguta Local Government Area.

How about your husband?

My husband is late.

What could have resulted in the murder of your son? Do you suspect anybody?

I don’t know. His killing is still a shock to me. Nnaemeka was an easygoing person, a dedicated professional who never socialised with people. He was always reading and writing. I couldn’t have believed that my son who was to bury me is now the one we are discussing as a dead person and is now in the morgue. It shocks me to my bone. This is most unfortunate. I am highly traumatised; I didn’t see this coming.

Are you aware of any disagreement he had with anybody?

Not at all, like I said earlier, Nnaemeka  was an easygoing person. He barely went out; he was always reading and writing and going to court. His career mattered a lot to him. He never complained to me that he had any issue with anybody or that anybody was after his life.

How did you learn of his death?

It is my daughter, Chioma, who practises journalism in Lagos that called to tell me that Nnaemeka was sick, and he was taken to a hospital. She told me that I will be coming to Owerri to stay with his children (my grandchildren). By the time I came to Owerri, many people were already in Nnaemeka’s house. I even saw Chioma and was asking her (Chioma) if it was because Nnaemeka was sick that she returned from Lagos. I also saw Nnaemeka’s son who is studying Medicine and Surgery at Ebonyi State University in the compound. At that point, I became curious and started asking if all was well. When the news of my son’s death was broken to me, I was depressed. Though it (news of my son’s death) was difficult for me to swallow, I held myself and said that ‘if I die now, it will be a tragedy and a difficult task for my children to carry’.

What did they say about his death?

My second daughter who is also a lawyer was the one who saw his corpse. She was the one who narrated how he was killed. According to her, she said that some young men went to my son’s court and shot him dead. My second daughter was called and before she could get to the scene, soldiers had already taken him to the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri. She met the soldiers at FMC Owerri, where he saw Nnaemeka’s corpse. His head was blown off. His head was stitched before the corpse was deposited in a morgue. That is all they told me about his death.

Can you describe your last moment with him?

I spoke with Nnaemeka on the phone on Wednesday and he was shot dead the next day which was Thursday. We spoke very well, and he asked how I was doing and promised to come home soonest to see me. I never knew that would be my last moment with him. I feel so sad. Those who killed him should rejoice. They should celebrate or they should eat his corpse. This is very unfortunate.

What was your relationship with him like?

My relationship with Nnaemeka was very cordial; it was like mother and son. You know he was my first son, and my husband is late. So, Nnaemeka assumed the position of my husband. My children are very close to me. They do competition on who calls me first on the phone on a daily basis. So, when he called on Wednesday, I told him that day that he had taken the first position, and we laughed over it. But I didn’t know it was going to be my last moment with him. He said he was coming to see me, and that his workload was much.

What kind of a person was he?

My son was an easygoing person; he was a great personality. Nnaemeka was a dedicated professional who never joked with his job. He was always reading and writing and going to court. He loved his job a lot. He had three children, and all are young. He was born on August 5, 1967. He graduated from the Abia State University in 1991 as a lawyer.

What are your demands?

My demands are that since Nnaemeka was a government worker and killed while working for the government, the government should take over the matter. They should find out those who killed my son and why he was killed. The government should ensure that justice is not perverted. My son’s blood cries for justice and this justice the government must ensure is served. The inspector General of Police should order the Commissioner of Police to take charge and apprehend the killers of my son. His children are still tender; the government should take over the responsibility of training his three children.

Has the Nigerian Bar Association in Imo State reached out to you?

They are communicating with my second daughter who is a lawyer. My daughter said that lawyers in the state are very concerned, and they promised to ensure that justice is served. They should please work towards achieving it because we want justice. I am even leaving in fear now. The government should ensure that my family, my children and grandchildren are protected.

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