An Aba-na-Ohazu Customary Court was on Wednesday told how the siblings of Ifeoma Okpalanwa murdered her in order to have her property, and also abandoned her two children.
The former husband of the late woman, Obiora Okpalanwa also told the court the problems he had with his wife which resulted in the dissolution of their marriage.
Obiora Okpalanwa was in court, seeking the order of the court to give him custody of his two children.
He noted that the court gave custody of their children, Mmasinachi and Kamsiriochi to his former wife, Ifeoma.
“I noticed that after the dissolution of our marriage, Ifeoma, my former wife, started having problems with her family members.
“At a point she called me and pleaded with me to come and take the children from her because her siblings were planning evil against her.
“I thought that her plea was one of her gimmicks to draw my sympathy and attention to her until on June 19, 2015, when I got a distress call that her sister and her sister’s children have murdered her,” he said.
Okpalanwa told the court that it was the textile business Ifeoma was doing and making money that she used to buy a house where she lived with her sister and her sister’s children.
According to him, Ifeoma introduced her sister, at her request, into the business after which the woman and her children developed hatred for her and murdered her because of her property.
Okpalanwa said that he returned to the court to recover possession of his two female children, Mmasinachi and Kamsiriochi, because her wife’s siblings had abandoned them without care.
He further said: “the last time I saw them during the burial of their mother, they cried pleading to be taken away from the hardship and hatred they currently face in the village.
“And since I am the only surviving parent of the children, they are entitled to stay with me, their father now that their mother is now late.”
The Magistrate, Diamond Olewengwa, upon careful consideration of the petition and the affidavit in support and oral testimony, said the respondent cannot be allowed to hang the matter indefinitely.
He said that since the lawyer for the respondent filed a counter affidavit but did not respond to the affidavit of the applicant, but opted for a transfer of the case to another court and did not complete the action, it showed they had withdrawn.
Olewengwa said that following the respondent’s lawyer’s inability to respond to the prayer of the applicant, it means that “they have succumbed to the prayer of the applicant.”
“I am of the view that since Ifeoma Ololo is now late, but Obiora Okpalanwa is alive, and is the only surviving parent of the two children, he is entitled to proper custody of his children and not any third party in whatever guise.