Widow Cries For Help As Husband’s Family Tries To Get Rid Of Her

By Nabob Ogbonna

Mrs. Odinaka Ibeh, a widow and mother of five, today lives at the mercy of people for the provision of food and shelter as she runs from her in-laws who are accusing her of being responsible for the death of her husband. She says she goes to God daily in tears and prayer for vindication over her present predicament.

Odinaka’s problem began immediately she lost her husband Cyriacus Ibeh, who was once a well-to-do businessman. They had lived together in Lagos until his health condition began to deteriorate as a result of a kidney infection. He later died at St. Rita Hospital and Maternity Ugwuabo Umuobom in Imo State where he was taken to for treatment.

She said her late husband, who was a Sabbath Mission faithful, had initially refused medical treatment due to his faith and rather sought spiritual treatment which did not yield any positive result.

The widow, who is now taking refuge in a prayer house in Abakaliki, with her children, is alleging that one Mr. Ekene Ibeh, who claims to be the most senior member of the Ibeh family, is threatening her life.

In a letter signed by Mrs Ibeh and addressed to the National Council of Non Government Organizations and Civil Society Organization in Nigeria, to come to her aid, she stressed that the intentions of Ekene and others in the family is to deny her and her five children access to and ownership of her late husband’s property.

Part of the letter read, “We are now taking refuge in Abakaliki with a woman of God who has been responsible for our feeding for the past 4 months. I hope you would help to save us from being killed by Mr. Ekene Ibe and his group,” she pleaded.

Odinaka in the letter further noted that she was the legitimate wife of the deceased, married to him according to law and custom, with all rights fulfilled since 2010.

“To be honest with you, when he became seriously ill, one of his brothers named Chinonso Ibeh, in company of some other relatives, conveyed him to our home town for proper upkeep and from where he was finally admitted at St. Rita’s Hospital and Maternity, Ugwuabo Umuobom, Imo State.”

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“It would sound unbelievable that instead of the so called Ekene Ibeh to sympathize with me and my little children over the death of their father and brother, and help to collectively plan his burial, Mr. Ekene Ibeh and his cohorts took to threatening my life and that of my children and other members of the family who opposed him and has succeeded in chasing us away to Abakaliki,” the letter stated.

When contacted, Mr. Ekene Ibeh accused his brother’s wife of desecrating the custom of the land. He insisted that Odinaka and Chinonso Ibeh had no right to fix the burial of late Cyriacus without the consent of the other members of the family.

Ekene, who expressed worry over their disregard of the family’s directive to conduct an autopsy on the deceased to ascertain the cause of his death, maintained that the wife had no right according to tradition to bury her husband without the approval of the entire family.

However, Jacob Cyriacus – the only male child of the late man, told Daily Trust that he has not attended school since the death of his father.

“I’ve not been to school since my father died because we’ve not been able to settle in one place. We’ve been moving from one town to another and worse still, we no longer eat together, joke and play as a family.”

Jacob called on good spirited Nigerians and organization to come to their aid, saying their present lifestyle would seriously affect his future.

Source: allafrica.com

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