Ebonyi Community Buries Woman Raped to death by Fulani Herdsman
After 15 months of waiting for justice, Mary Okereke Arisi, aged 54, who was raped to death by a Fulani herdsman identified as Laulo Isa aged 20, was entered on Wednesday.
She was given a community burial by her people of Ugwulangwu in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, South-East Nigeria.
A mourner, Solomon Olua, said he was further aggrieved because the community has not been able to get justice for the grandmother despite the fact that her killer was identified and handed over to the state authority.
“With tears on my pillow and pains in my heart I bid you farewell. The Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State Command, Awosola Awotinde promised to bring your killers to book and that they are on top of the situation, but sixteen months after, nothing has been done”, Olua wrote in a tribute.
Meanwhile, suspected armed Fulani herdsmen on Tuesday attacked another Ebonyi community in Ishielu Local Government. More than a score was reported killed.
Madam Arisi was killed on December 28, 2019 and was buried on March 31, 2021.
Isa claimed he was under an influence of substance and did not deny having forceful sex with late Mrs. Okereke.
There have been a number of herdsmen attacks on different communities in Ebonyi State.
The victim was returning from the farm when the herdsman accosted her, dragged her into the nearby bush and raped her to death.
As Isa was raping her, a passer-by, flashed a torchlight on him and he ran away.
While being paraded on Tuesday, December 31, 2019, Isa said that he was not in his right senses when he committed the act and highly regrets his actions.
The herdsman further said the woman insulted him and that led to a struggle before he was able to overpower her.
“I am Laulo Isa, I am from Nassarawa. I came to work here in Ebonyi. I was seriously drunk and saw a woman in the night walking along the road. I approached her for sex and she started abusing me”
“We started abusing ourselves and I immediately pounced on her and she started struggling with me to free herself. I was seriously drunk at that time. As I was on her, a man who was passing flashed his torchlight on me and I ran away”.
“I don’t know whether I was having sex with her but she was on the ground with me. I did not hit her with any object but is like I had sex with her for one round. We were both on the ground when a man flashed light on me and I ran away”.
“I am not happy with what I did and I want to die. I want to die!, I want to die!! I have never done this type of thing since God created me on this earth. I am begging for forgiveness.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Awotunde Awosola while briefing Reporters on the incident said the suspect will be prosecuted for the crime. He said:
”On December 28, 2019, at about 8:pm, one Laulo Isa a herdsman aged 20 years accosted and waylaid one 54 years old Mary Okereke on Ufuezeraku Ugwulangwu road in Ohaozara local government area”.
“There was a struggle between the two of them but he overpowered the woman and had carnal knowledge of the woman. Unfortunately, the woman lost her life during the incident”.
Mr Awotunde said the Police with the assistance of the youths in the community combed the forests and farmlands in the area in search of the suspect.
According to him, the suspect had left some of his belongings at the scene of the incident which was used to identify him as the culprit.
“Through the concerted efforts of my DPO in Ohaozara with the assistance of the youths in the community, they began a search for the suspect who unfortunately left his cap and slippers in a bid to escape from that scene”.
“So, with the assistance from two other Fulani guys, we were able to identify him through that cap and slippers and he was subsequently arrested and he is now with us and he is going to face the full weight of the law”.
The Police Commissioner noted that the deceased has been deposited at the hospital for autopsy.
“I want to use the opportunity to assure the people of Ebonyi state that they don’t have anything to fear because the police is ready to provide security for all law abiding citizens”.