From GEOFFREY ANYANWU, Awka U
ncontrollable tears, anguish and curses characterised the burial, yesterday, of the remains of the late Ugochukwu Chukwudi Ozuah, the groom who shot dead in Lagos five days after his wedding, in his country home, Mgbakwu, in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Thirty-six-year-old Ozuah was said to have been shot dead by policemen when he went to see his friend off at the Anthony Village area of Lagos. During his burial yesterday, the wailing got to the peak when the brown casket bearing his remains was opened for the lying-in-state ceremony at the family house, as men, women and youths refused to be consoled. In the casket, Ugochukwu was dressed in his wedding suit. The wailing relatives of the deceased had freely cursed those who killed Ugochukwu.
The anger and pains of the young man’s death was so much that even the pastors who normally pray for forgiveness and repentance joined in the pray that the killers should meet their doom. Ugochukwu’s pretty widow of five days marriage, Joan and his mother, Deaconess Chinwe Ozuah, were actually in another world as they could not comprehend what befell them. They stood behind the casket looking absent-mindedly at the lifeless body. While the widow, Joan, muttered words amid rushing tears, Ugochukwu’s mother raised her voice saying:
“Ugochukwu, is it you? Where have you been? You left me, why didn’t you wait for me to go first? Your blood will hunt your killers all the days of their lives. Amen.” Before the casket bearing his remains was lowered to the grave at about 11.33am, Rev. Kevin Ohamara of the Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Awka had, in his sermon at the funeral service held in the compound by the church, urged the family and all those his death affected to be consoled. Taking his text from Ecclesiastics 7:1-2, the pastor said that though the pains of the family and all were that Ugochukwu was lost at his prime, the consolation should be that he has gone to stay with his maker.
He further said: “Whoever has a hand in the death of Ugochukwu will also go; the only difference is that he has gone ahead of him. Death is an appointment which every human being must keep and Ugo has kept his. God will bring judgment upon those that killed him.” He, therefore, urged the living to prepare their ways so that when death comes knocking, they would not be caught unawares. Speaking to Saturday Sun, Eldest sister of the slain Ugochukwu, Mrs. Nkay Nnonyelu, described the death as shattering.
She said the family was waiting for the report of the committee set up by the Inspector General of Police to investigate the incident, adding that the family wants justice in the matter. The Anambra State Police Commissioner was represented at the burial by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Umunze, Mr. Kingston Irozuru, who led about 30 policemen to ensure that the burial was peaceful.
Also speaking, a community leader from Mgbakwu, Chief Edwin Oraka, said that the entire community has been in deep mourning over the killing of their son and urged government to ensue that the culprits were brought to book.