The Nigerian community is in shock over the gruesome, cold-blooded killing of Hamburg-based Oguchi Unachukwu while visiting his home country.
According to Nigerian press reports and the accounts of his relations in Nigeria, Mr Unachukwu was shot by a soldier in Owerri, Imo State, on Monday.
The Nigerian, who was on his way to the Owerri airport to catch his flight to Lagos for his return journey to Germany, was killed at the tollgate of the Owerri airport.
His elder brother, Onyekachi, who spoke to journalists on Tuesday, said an Air Force soldier shot Oguchi after he drove off at a checkpoint on the road leading to the airport after he had been flagged down.
Oguchi Unachukwu lying on a stretcher after he was shot in an Owerri hospital where he gave up the post/Photo: Private
“The Air Force men stopped my brother and he stopped. He moved after they had stopped him, thinking that they asked him to move on without knowing that they asked him to park by the roadside so that they could search him and the vehicle,” he said.
Unachukwu had been visiting Nigeria for the past three months and his wife only recently gave birth to their youngest child whose dedication took place two months ago in Owerri, his friends reveal.
The news of Unachukwu has been received with shock in the Nigerian community in Hamburg where he was well known for his involvement in charity activities.
“This man they murdered in cold blood was a friend and brother. I attended his child’s dedication party in Owerri on the 17th of April,” Godson Ambassador Nwosu, a Germany-based friend of the deceased, commented. “My heart bleeds. What a country!”
A passionate sportsman, Unachukwu was a star member of the Nigerian Community Germany Football Club Hamburg. In a comment posted on his social media handles, Kenneth Gbandi praised the deceased for his love for his community and the game.
“Oguchi Unachukwu was a diaspora compatriot, a darling to all lovers of football and the green-white-green shirt! His football skills brought joy to thousands of NCG Football Club Fans in Germany,” Gbandi, a former President of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Germany, said.
“He was a good man! May his Soul Rest in Peace,” he added. “Time to stop this madness in Nigerian is now.”
Also reacting to the shocking death of Unachukwu, Mazi Obiora Nweke wrote: “May God grant him eternal rest in Jesus name. Amen.”
The car in which Oguchi Unachukwu was shot splattered with his blood/Photo: Private
Nigerians in Germany are calling on the authorities in their home country to investigate the killing of Unachukwu and bring his murderer to justice.
The southeastern region of Nigeria, where Unachukwu was killed, is currently mired in insecurity. In reaction to arson attacks against police stations and other government installations by unknown persons, security forces have been accused of committing extra-judicial executions and other grave human rights violations.
In a recent press statement, Amnesty International accused the Nigerian government of not taking adequate measures to protect its citizens, a situation it said is emboldening perpetrators of injustice..
“Not much has changed about human rights in Nigeria since 1967 and the concerns remain flagrant disregard for human rights, failure of authorities to protect the people, threats to human rights including the right to freedom of expression, suppression of dissenting voices, and lack of accountability,” the organisation’s Director in Nigeria, Ossai Ojigho, said on Thursday in a statement marking Amnesty’s 60th anniversary .
“Incessant killings and the stunning failure of the authorities to end them and bring suspected perpetrators to justice have been and continues to be a threat to the right to life in Nigeria.”