A widow, Mrs Olubunmi Kama, has narrated how her in-laws allegedly forcefully took away her sick husband, James, to an unknown location, and seized his property upon his demise, rendering her and their five children destitute.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the Ondo State indigene became married to James, a civil engineer from Ebonyi State, at an Abuja marriage registry on July 16, 2004.
A lawyer, John-Bede Ofoha, petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, over James’ death and the alleged appropriation of his property by his siblings –Princess and Tochukwu.
He asked the police to investigate the “nefarious activities of Princess Kama and Tochukwu Kama, culminating in the abduction, denial of adequate care and exposure to palpable trauma, leading to the death of James Kama, thereby exposing his family to untold hardship.”
The petition, dated September 17, 2020, copied the Commissioner of Police, Homicide Department, Abuja, was titled, ‘Abduction, false imprisonment, murder, conversion and threat to life perpetrated against the late Mr James Kama and his nuclear family by Princess Kama and Mr Tochukwu Kama’.
The widow told PUNCH Metro on Wednesday that she was prevented from attending her husband’s funeral in Ikon, in the Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi in August 2018, adding that Tochukwu and Princess threatened to harm her if she attended the programme.
Olubunmi noted that the family members did not acknowledge James’ nuclear family at his funeral, saying her name and those of her children were missing in the programme of events. ,,
Disclosing what led to her husband’s death, the mother of five said James had chronic ulcer, but became addicted to pain killers for 13 years.
She said James was taken to an unknown hospital by his siblings on May 13, 2018, but his immediate family members were not allowed to see him or know his whereabouts until his demise on August 6.
She stated, “I travelled home to Ondo State to be with my mum when I was pregnant with my twin girls and by the time I returned to Abuja, my husband had been taken away to an unknown location, because he had a crisis. We were not allowed to see him until we were informed that he had died in August 2018.
“I was also not allowed to see his remains in the mortuary. I had to beg the attendants, who said they were under strict instructions not to allow me to see the body. Shortly after his death, my husband’s siblings came to our house in Gwarimpa and took away his personal effects, including his vehicles, and left us with nothing.”
Olubunmi said only a few members of the Kama family were assisting her, adding that she was ejected from the Gwarimpa residence because she could not pay the rent.
She stated, “I am a caterer, but my husband didn’t allow me to work when he was alive. Now, I have five children to cater for and I have been reduced to begging to survive; I have been hustling and struggling.
“Tochukwu and Princess sold his vehicles, took away all his clothes and phones. I believe they are doing this because I’m not from their tribe. My twin daughters just got scholarships to the United States, but I don’t have money for their visas.”
An uncle of the deceased, Mr Jones Ike, corroborated Olubunmi’s allegations, but said the family had been trying to get Tochukwu and Princess to return the property.
“We have been trying to settle the issue; it is a family issue and we don’t want to escalate it. I don’t support the treatment meted out to the woman, but I believe we will sort everything out,” he told PUNCH Metro.
When contacted, Tochukwu declined to speak on the matter and simply terminated the phone call.
His sister, Princess, raged against our correspondent and said unprintable things when she was contacted on the phone.