The Imo State Police Command has recovered the body of a 78-year-old woman, Mrs. Lucy Osigweh, who was declared missing in 2003.
The state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Katsina, disclosed yesterday that the woman’s lifeless body was found in a large cupboard inside a shrine located in her son’s private room.
“The missing woman’s lifeless body was found in a village called Ezuru Umuagwu, Ejemekwuru, Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State,” Katsina said.
“The corpse of the 78-year-old Mrs. Osigweh, earlier declared missing in 2003, was found in a large cupboard inside a shrine of a private room in a circumstance depicting ritual practice.
“The embalmed body, which was kept in that condition for about 10 years, was believed to have been placed in the warehouse by her son, Chief Chimezie Osigweh, a 64-year-old retired school principal.”
KKatsina said there was every reason to believe that the late woman’s son is a member of a cult, adding: “Preliminary assessment of the scene of crime revealed that the late woman must have been murdered by her son for ritual purpose.”
The Commissioner of police also said members of the cult used to hold secret meetings at night in the place, to enhance their occultic powers.
“The principal suspect, Chief Chimezie Osigweh, who is the son of the woman, has been arrested and is making useful statement to the police,” the CP said.
Katsina did not say how the police got wind of the crime, but sources reveal the late woman’s family from Amakohia, Awa, Oguta local council area, might have made the startling discovery and reported to the police.
A villager from Amakohia who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that some villagers decided to double check earlier stories told by Osigweh of the inexplicable disappearance of their relation from her marital home.
“On getting to Ejemekwuru, our people demanded to know why their relations had remained missing for 10 years. Her son told our villagers that his mother was mad at a point and ran away to unknown place.
“Apparently not satisfied with the response, as well as the nonchalant attitude allegedly exhibited by her son, the villagers went beserk, destroying things in sight and ended up spotting the large cupboard containing the remains of their loved one.
“With this startling discovery, the villagers quickly lodged a complaint with the police who subsequently swung into action,” another villager disclosed.