Inheritance palava: Siblings beat brother to death at peace meeting

Tragedy struck in Okuku, Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State, on Tuesday, after some siblings allegedly beat their eldest brother, Chinonso Azuatalam, popularly known as Dakwada, to death over a disagreement on the sharing of their late father’s wealth.

Chinonso, a father of two whose wife is pregnant, was allegedly beaten to death in the presence of their maternal uncles in the compound, who came to share the inheritance.

A source in the community, who confided in newsmen, disclosed that while the deceased, who was a welder, was fighting with his immediate younger brother, Chibuzor, their younger brothers, who are twins, hit Chinonso with a big stick on the back of his head and he lost consciousness.

Chinonso was said to have been rushed to an undisclosed hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The source disclosed that their sister, Chioma Azuatalam, a serving police officer, also allegedly beat up the deceased’s pregnant wife.

According to the source, on getting information that their eldest brother had been pronounced dead, the brothers fled immediately.

According to the source, the sister has been allegedly arrested by the police.

The source said, “Chinonso Azuatalam was the eldest son of the family. He had three younger brothers, Chibuzor and the twin boys. They were having serious issues with the sharing formula of their late father’s wealth.

“While Chinonso was insisting that the properties be shared equally, the three other brothers, Chioma and their mother connived to share them without his consent.

“In accordance with Igbo culture, their maternal relations from Agwa in the Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State were invited. While their uncles presided over a meeting on Tuesday, house, tempers flared.

“The first and second sons started fighting. While the exchange of punches lasted, one of the twins hit the first son with a big stick and he lost consciousness. He was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

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“Their sister, Chioma Azuatalam, who is a police officer, also beat the deceased man’s pregnant wife. The brothers ran away on realising what had happened, but Chioma has been arrested.

“The deceased had two daughters and his wife is heavily pregnant.”

The President-General of the community, Martin Daniel, confirmed the incident on Wednesday.

He said the community was working with the police in ensuring that other casualties would not be recorded.

The community leader added that so far, only the female cop had been arrested over the incident.

The police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed that Chioma had been arrested.

He also said one of the siblings, who hit the deceased with a wood, had been apprehended.

Ikeokwu stated, “The deceased picked up a knife and threatened to kill his mother. His sister, who is a police officer, called her two other brothers. They came and a fight ensued and one of them hit him with a wood. He lost consciousness and was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, where he was pronounced dead.

“Their sister, who is a police officer is in police custody. One of the brothers, who hit the deceased with the wood, has also been arrested.”

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