MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
The story is gory and very chilly to tell. It is certainly not good for the ear, but somehow, it must be told how a 50-year-old Police Inspector; Azuka Donatus Ezeaka from Otolokpo in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State was killed and burnt along with two others in the night of last Valentine Day being Monday.
The next day being Tuesday, it was trending in the social media that gunmen on Monday night killed three policemen who were on duty at a checkpoint on the Enugu-Abakaliki highway in Ebonyi State.
The gunmen whose nefarious activities had escalated in recent time in the South East states were reported to have opened fire on the three policemen as soon as they got to the checkpoint.
Speaking exclusively with AtlanticNewsonline on Thursday morning, Pastor Chinedum Ezeaka; a younger brother to the late Inspector Ezeaka, said the news of his brother’s death came as a big shock to the family.
The Lagos based itinerant gospel preacher who had been receiving treatment in the hospital till his discharge on Thursday morning said it was on Monday midnight hours that he got a call from someone at Umunede, Delta where his parents had lived with their children for years. The caller had called to ascertain the whereabouts of the youngest of his (Pastor) siblings. He told him that the young man lives in Abakaliki in Ebonyi where their eldest brother (Inspector Azuka) was serving.
Subsequently, the caller asked Pastor Ezeaka to give him his youngest brother’s phone number which he did unhesitatingly without suspecting anything.
Not quite up to twenty minutes while he was still in the hospital receiving treatment, the youngest brother called from Abakaliki saying that the Umunede man who collected his number said he should go to a particular place in Abakaliki explaining that there was attack on policemen and that their brother Inspector Ezeaka was among the victims.
According to the pastor, the news was quite traumatic for him, who was already on admission in the hospital receiving treatment.
On subsequent enquiry from sources at Abakaliki, he was told that his brother was the leader of their patrol team and on the day of the incident he was on steering driving his team when they were suddenly attacked at the checkpoint.
Not only were they shot dead, but were set ablaze for reasons best known to their killers, who disappeared into the dark night soon after their ignoble act.
Speaking further, the evangelist said “it was this Thursday 17th February, 2022 morning that our last born called me that the DPO (Divisional Police Officer) of my late brother, said we should come and take the body for burial.
The late Inspector Azuka Donatus Ezeaka had enlisted as a Constable in the Nigeria Police Force about 25 years ago soon after he completed his secondary school education at Ede Grammar School, Umunede. Prior to that, he was a pupil at Ogbe Model Primary School at the same Umunede.
As the first child of his late parents, the late Inspector Ezeaka, according to the gospel preacher over the years had remained like a father to his younger ones including him (pastor) who is the fourth child.
The Inspector was married and had lived peacefully with his family in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state where he served all his years before the unknown gunmen’s attack and bizzare death. He had five children, the eldest of whom is said to be in senior secondary school year one.
Prior to the Valentine day attack on the three policemen, there had been several incidents of violent attack on security agents in the South East states, which at a time were attributed to members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPoB).
Efforts to reach the Ebonyi State Police Command’ spokesperson Loveth Odah were unsuccessful as at press time.