Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: How 2 Brothers Murdered Their Father in Uyo

Inordinate desires by university drop-outs from Akwa Ibom State who had been residing in Calabar led them to stab and kill their father, a retired University of Calabar don, Prof. Nathaniel Bassey.

The boys, Ekemini Bassey and his younger brother, Odiong, who are in their late 20s and early 30s are suspected to be cult members. Weekly Trust reports that different cult groups had sprang up especially in institutions of higher learning in the state in recent time.

The influence of the cult groups both on the University of Calabar campus and in the larger society is well known. Family sources told Weekly Trust the two brothers behave irresponsibly, adding that this has been worrying their father for a long time.

According to information from their neighbours, Ekemini and his brother, in order to keep up with their cult friends were making frivolous demands from their late father even when they knew that he was not financially strong. Many times they drove the helpless man into avoidable debts out of fear.

As a result of this, the duo had been having running battles with the late lecturer because the poor man could not always readily meet their excessive demands.

And so they plotted against their father when they got wind that the authorities of the University of Calabar were about to pay him his retirement entitlements amounting to about N40 million.

In their confession to the police, Ekemini who pleaded not to be killed said "when we got information that our father was going to be paid his retirement dues, including benefits and gratuity, up to N40 million, we decided that once the money gets into his hands, being a difficult man, he would not like to give us part of it, so we plotted to kill him before hand so that we can get the money from the university as the next of kin".

To actualize their plot, in the second week of January, according to colleagues of late Prof. Bassey whom he used to confide in, Ekemini and his brother were said to have carried out their threat by stabbing their own father all over his body.

Perhaps as a way of creating false impression that their late father killed himself out of frustration, they left the blood-stained knife they used to kill their father with beside him.

Luck, however, ran out on them when they hired an ambulance to convey their father's corpse to their village in Nsit-Ubium LGA of Akwa Ibom State for burial.

Security agents who were alerted by some staffers of the university who got wind of the murder nosed around and quickly intercepted them as they were about to drive the corpse out.

The Officer-in-Charge, Homicide, State CID, Mr. Joseph Inuyashi, confirmed the incident, saying investigation on the matter was ongoing, but said they were still on the trail of Odiong, the younger one who has escaped.

UNICAL's Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Prof. James Utsalo, said, following the ugly development, the university authorities had to stop processing the late professor's entitlements.

He said he could not also comment authoritatively until the autopsy report was out. "When it is out, we will know what killed him," he told reporters.

Meanwhile, relatives of late Professor Bassey have condemned the men's action and wondered if they were possessed.

A pastor of Christ Assembly Pentecostal Church, Umoh Joseph who also condemned the action, ascribed their attitude to influence of peer groups, warnings that not only parents but school and government authorities must look at how to check clandestine groupings in schools by young people.

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