Victim chops-off robber’s armWritten by BEKEE ANYALEWECHI
The sage’s aphorism that every day may be for a thief(robber), but one day will be for the owner of a house literally came true in Port Harcourt on Saturday, April, 12. It was the day nemesis caught up with a notorious armed robber in the Diobu axis of the Rivers State capital.
He, in company with two other fiendish comrades-in-evil, had besieged a house along Ojoto/Azikiwe Street, Mile 2, at about 5.00am on the said day. The three-some robbers made no haste in marking and attacking their target. But had Chukwumela, better known as Mela, who hails from Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government consulted a clairvoyant prior to the operation that turned his waterloo, may be, his present agony would have been prevented, or shifted to another day.
The Neighbourhood Crime Reporter, who was part of the throng that beheld the later drama of that robbery action, gathered that the 3 robbers had little obstruction in breaking into the apartment of their target. The man and his family faced the reality of a violent morning and possible death as the robbers were armed, according to a senior police source, with a gun and machetes.
Willing to confront fear rather than allow his parents to be robbed off their hard-earned cash and valuables, the second male child of the man, identified as Udoh, engaged the robbers in an argument. Infuriated at the challenge, the robber in possession of the gun, it was learnt, fired bullets at the young man. Burt rather than “die alone”, Udoh said to be in his 20’s, in a lightning speed, snatched a machete from one of the robbers, and in similar speed, cut off his wrist, leaving him in pain and pool of his own blood. Nobody told the 3 robbers to take to their heels with Mela shouting, “My hand is gone! My hand is gone!” Though Udoh was in pain of the bullets, he managed to do a spectacle of the severed hand as he tied it to a rope and hung it on a pole on the road.
Crowd of Diobu residents soon turned the site into a tourism spot as they snapped on camera phones Mela’s dangling hands.
Mela, to beat-off the police net, but in dire need of medical attention, made his way to the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital, seeking medical aid. He soon invented a lie to attract sympathy and medical treatment. Unknown to him, the Iloabuchi Police Station in Mile 2 had informed the Rivers State Police Command headquarters which had in turn informed hospitals to be on the watch for a young man with half hand. Mela had told the medical personnel on duty that armed robbers had attacked him at his residence and subsequently chopped off his hands. The police arrived on time for his arrest. Our reporter gathered that the other two are already cooling their heels in police cell, pending further investigation.
Rivers State Police Command Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Ahmad Mohammed, was unavailable at his desk at the Command headquarters when our reporter visited his office. A text message sent to his GSM line via the SMS was not replied to at the time of this report. However, a senior police source at the Iloabuchi Police Division confirmed the incident. Family sources last night told The Neighbourhood that doctors had successfully extracted the bullets in Udoh’s body and that he was responding to treatment.
A senior police source at the State Police Command headquarters said the arrested robbers would soon be charged to court.