From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The family of 31-year-old Rita Amenze and mother of three, who was killed by her Italian husband, has appealed to the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Italian Government to ensure that justice was served in the case.
Recall that Rita was shot dead on the 10th of this month in Italy by her 61 year-old husband, Pierangelo Pellizar, for reportedly filing for divorce.
She was said to have been killed less that two weeks after she returned to Italy from Nigeria.
But yesterday, members of the family sued for justice in Benin City when a delegation of the Edo National Association in Italy (ENAI) and the National Union of Nigerian Associations in Italy (NUNAI) paid them a condolence visit.
The delegation led by Pastor Mike Oputteh, Welfare Officer of NUNAI, arrived the family house to meet the three children of the deceased sent out of school for failure to pay school fees.
Distruaght mother of the deceased, Mrs Faith Oyahiagbon, while receiving the delegation, said she has lost hope following the death of her daughter whom she described as family the breadwinner.
Besides, she said she had developed a high blood pressure since the death of her first born broke out two weeks ago, adding that the children her daughter left behind are small and there is nobody to take care of them again.
“Rita was my daughter and my first born for that matter. She was all I had.
“She came home recently to see the children and we were all joyous. She had been in Italy for long just to seek a greener pasture.
“Celebrate (her last child) was six month old when she left her for me for upbringing.
“We also departed joyously while she was returning, only to receive the bad news about two weeks later that she was shot dead.
“But I didn’t believe this until now that you all came. This looks like a film to me because how could I believe that a daughter that meant everything to me is dead”, Mrs Oyahiagbon said in emotion laden voice.
She, however, appealed to the Nigerian Mission in Italy and the Nigerians Union to help the family to get justice for the sake of the children.
“So I want to appeal to all concerned authorities, for the sake of the children she left behind, to please help us seek justice.
“Rita was my leg; she was my life; she was my hope and she was my everything; she even promised me a lot of things when she saw my condition.
She promised to change her children school”, Mrs Oyahiagbon added.
She denied claim that her daughter came home to marry and challenged with such evidence to come forth with it, explaining that though she bore three children, but she never married the man responsible for those children.
The father of the three children, Mr Frank Akpoguma, who was also present, corroborated Mrs Oyahiagbon and said he never married the deceased but only had children together.
“We didn’t marry either in registry or traditional. Yes, we had children, there was nothing like marriage between us.
“I have my wife (pointing to a women beside him) and we are happily married.
“But Rita has been source of survival for these children. She cared and catered for their upbringing and paid their school fees.
“I really wish to appeal to the Federal Government, National Assembly and the Association of Nigerians in Italy that just came that we want justice.
“As you can see that the children are too small, they need support so that we can care and cater for the children.
“I use this medium to appeal to everybody, Nigerian government, Italian government and Nigerian Ambassador to Italy as well as Civil Rights Organisations to help because she died because of these children.
“She was planning to take them abroad before her life was cut short by an Italian man”, Akpoguma stated.
Oputteh had earlier assured that the associations would partner the Nigerian mission to ensure justice was served in the case, more importantly, for the prosperity of the children.
He said the delegation was in Nigeria to get the true position of things particularly as regards a claim that Rita came to Nigeria in August to marry, a claim that family has refuted.
The welfare officer donated on behalf of the associations a sum of N50,000 to the family to pay the children’s school fees.