A 19-year-old boy in Amenu Uburu, Ohaozara local government area of Ebonyi state, Anthony Anoke is now battling for survival at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA 2), Ebonyi after he was bathed with hot water by his step mother, Mrs. Uzoamaka Anoke. The incident resulted in reprisal attack on the son of the woman, Ifeanyi Anoke(29) as Anthony and his siblings used machete and axe and cut the son on the hand and the head, leaving him seriously injured. Ifeanyi is also battling for his life at the FETHA 2. While Anthony is at the plastic surgery ward of the hospital, Ifeanyi is at the emergency unit. Proterties worth thousands of naira belonging to the two families were destroyed during the violent clash.
Trouble started shortly after Anthony’s family and that of Ifeanyi had quarrel over missing cell phone belonging to Anthony’s sister, Ebere. Anthony and members of his family had accused Ifeanyi of stealing the phone which Ifeanyi denied, leading to misunderstanding between the two families.
Speaking in hospital bed, Ifeanyi said ‘’my sister’s phone was stolen and we suspected my step brother, Ifeanyi to be the one that stole it. We approached my father and reported the matter to him. My father pleaded that we remain calm and allow him to approach Ifeanyi and ask him to bring out the phone if he is in possession of it.
‘’Ifeanyi knowing that we are looking for the phone ran away from our house and did not come back for three days. He met his mother where she went to take care of her daughter who delivered a and reported the matter to his mother. ’my father called him on phone and asked him about the missing phone because he ran away from our house after stealing the phone but he denied that he was not in possession of it.
He was the one that stole the phone and that was why he ran away from our house to her mother for three days. He planned with her mother on the stealing of the phone. So, Ifeanyi and the mother came back together. ‘’My dad seeing that he is back, went to him and asked him to bring out the phone and he denied that he did not steal the phone. Ifeanyi sworn that he was not the one that stole the phone and the phone is techno n6.
He said he was ready to go to anywhere he is asked to go in search of the missing phone. Uptill today, the phone is still missing. The phone was kept on my locker and he saw me when I dropped it. I did not suspect that he will steal the phone. ‘’There was a time Ifeanyi had a problem with my dad and he slapped my dad. My dad used annoyance and cursed him. To reserve the curse, my step-mother and her daughters contacted one of her son-inlaws.
They started accusing my dad of supporting us to persecute my step-mother and her children and the peace talk ended in deadlock. ‘’The mother later called my father with the son in-law that they want to settle some issues in the family. In the process, there was misunderstanding between my dad and Ifeanyi’s mother son-inlaw. The man was accusing my father of taking side in the family crisis; he pushed me and I fell down.
He said I was among those that insult his mother in-law. As he was quarreling me, the woman came out and engaged me in physical fight, then the next day being Sunday being 10 of April, 2016, I was preparing for church early in the morning, I did not know that the woman has already boiled hot water. I saw her and the son Ifeanyi discussing, she later poured the hot water on the pocket and I was inside my room.
‘’She locked her room and carried the hot water towards my side and I thought that she was going to toilet. When she approached where I was, she knocked at Ifeanyi’s door because he was already inside his room. The woman knocked so that I will not notice her plan. She told Ifeanyi please give me key to go to toilet. I was looking at the door and the two of them. So Ifeanyi gave her sign that she should go to me immediately and she rushed me and poured the hot water on me.
‘’Because of this, I was so embittered and the thing was paining me. I rushed the son Ifeanyi after I poured cold water on my body to reduce the excruciating pains. I rushed the guy with a machete inside the room and cut him on the head and his hands.
Also speaking from hospital bed, Ifeanyi Anoke said ‘’ I visited my mother where she was taken care of my sister who put to bed when my father called me and asked me where I kept the phone of Ebere which I stole and I told him I did not steal any phone because I have not been around for four days. I went for burial ceremony and from there I met my mum.
‘’I did not steal any phone. I told my mum about this allegation and she said we will go home and iron it out. The truth of the matter is that we have been having serious problems in the family and my father always takes side. I have tried my best as first son in the family to bring peace into this family including forcing my mother because she is the first wife to eat the food cooked by my step-mother while my step-mother eats her own as part of efforts to bring lasting peace but to no avail.
‘’As a first son, I have been assisting my step-brothers. I always allow them to use my things like shirts, clothes and others but they don’t appreciate all these things. So, how can I still their phone when I should buy for the girl who said I stole her phone?’’.
Following the incident, Police arrested Ifeanyi’s mother, the son in-law and one of her daughters and released them yesterday. When contacted, the head of the family, Chief Okechukwu Anoke refused to comment on the matter.