A Lagos-based businessman, Sam Belonwu was killed by a drunk police sergeant on Sunday, December 27, at Uruagu Nnewi. He met his tragic end three days to his church wedding, which would have been held last Wednesday, December 30, 2015.
The home of his father, Chief Lazarus Dim, native of Osumenyi in Nnewi South Local Government Area, Anambra State is now clothed with grief and filled with sorrow following the tragic end of his son.
The Sun gathered from Chief Dim that Sam was virtually ready for his wedding as the cow he bought for the wedding was still tied to a tree in the large family compound. He had distributed the wedding invitation cards to relations, friends and well wishers far and near, hired a live band, concluded arrangements with the clergy and done other things to ensure that the wedding would be colourful and memorable.
With a sorrowful heart and shaky voice, Chief Dim narrated that his son’s best man, Mr Martin Afusi and other friends who came all the way from Ghana had arrived Sam’s home in Osumenyi only to be told that he was dead.
When he spoke with Sunday Sun reporter, Afusi said Sam had actually called him earlier in the day as he and the other friends from Ghana were about to leave for Nigeria, and wished them journey mercies, assuring them that the wedding arrangements were all in order.
Sam arrived Osumenyi, Nnewi to receive the heart-breaking news that his bosom friend and business partner was lying stone-dead in the mortuary.
Recounting what happened on the fateful day, Sam’s father, Chief Dim said he returned from church service and met his late son’s friend washing Sam’s car and at the same time sipping a drink.
Then Sam got a call. As he narrated, the caller reminded his son to attend the traditional wedding of his in-law’s daughter. He said that Sam informed the person, who happened to be one of his business partners identified simply as Eloka, that he was busy with preparations for his wedding and requested that he should be excused.
But Eloka, according Chief Dim, was insistent and pressed on his son to attend the traditional wedding. Sam eventually agreed to show up at the event and requested one of his siblings to accompany him, but the sibling declined. Sam eventually attended the traditional wedding with another friend, Sunday Oguego.
On arrival at the ceremony, Eloka received him and Oguego. As Sam was about to sit down under a canopy set up outside for guests, a mobile police sergeant just pointed his gun at Sam and shot him. The bullet went through his heart and exited from the back.
At the sound of the gunshot, everybody scampered for safety, including Eloka, who invited Sam to the event. It was only Oguego who summoned the courage and began shouting for help when Sam slumped.
As the bullet exited through Sam’s back, it hurt another person, who miraculously survived, and was said to have responded to treatment in a hospital.
Chief Dim has been unrelenting in demanding that the police fish out the sergeant and put on him on trial. Also, he wants the police to properly investigate the circumstances that led to the death of his son.
Chief Dim also said that his family was infuriated that Eloka, who invited his son to the event where he died, took two days to come and tell the deceased family what happened to his friend, who he invited to a wedding.
He said Eloka eventually visited the family on Wednesday, December 30, the day, Sam was supposed to wedded, to condole with the family.
Chief Dim lamented the way police and other security agents were allowed to carry guns freely at ceremonies. He charged the Inspector General of Police to look into this anomaly, querying: “Why should the number of police escorts at many events be more than the number of invited guests?”
He also recounted how the family in 2010 lost one of their illustrious sons, Obiajulu, a businessman, who was kidnapped. Even after the family paid N12million ransom to his abductors, he was still killed.
Since the tragic incident happened, the Sam’s would-be-bride has been inconsolable. At the family home of her late groom, she has been speechless and downcast.