He woke up that fateful day on November 6, oblivious of the fate awaiting him in just a matter of hours.
Done with his toilet routine, Goodnews Udo set out for work, hoping to return the following day. He never did. He was killed by two brothers over a meager transaction that went awry.
Unlike his beautiful name-Goodnews-he was rendered a bad-news to his aged parents who had struggled to raise him.
Ironically, the two brothers trained under him as plumbers according to a source who pleaded anonymity.
Udo’s neighbours are still in shock that a dispute over ownership of a mattress could be the reason for his death. They are also suspicions that there might be more to it. Goodnews had the plan to move to a better accommodation after the Christmas-a plan- he has told his assailants.
The two brothers wanted to buy the mattress from him. They settled for N3,000. The brothers paid N2,000 with a promise to pay N1,000 after the Christmas break when they would take custody of the mattress. Trouble however began when the brothers came for the mattress on November 6, asking for the mattress contrary to their earlier agreement. Udo who promised to keep his own side of the deal reminded them that the delivery date was after the Christmas break when they would have all returned from their villages.
Our Correspondent gathered that the adamant brothers insisted on taking custody. Sensing that they had made up their mind to change the agreement, Udo, it was learnt, told the brothers to come for their money the following day to stave off trouble. But there was no consensus between the parties which eventually led to a squabble.
Neighbors who heard their raised voices rushed to the scene to separate them. The brothers went away. Unknown to Udo, they had laid an ambush for him. As he was going out to buy food, they attacked him. He decided to fight for his freedom. In the ensuing melee, one of the brothers ran away only to return with a knife which he used to stab the deceased in the stomach. Realizing that his life was in danger, Udo fled the scene with blood gushing from his stomach. But he could not run for too long before he collapsed close to a nearby church.
A woman who was going for bible study sighted him and covered his stomach with her wrapper before raising the alarm for rescue.
The pastor of the church (name withheld) and a few congregations rushed to the scene where they evacuated to the Apo Police Station where the pastor made a formal complaint before taking him to the hospital in the company of the Police where he was confirmed dead.
Since the unfortunate incident residents of the Apo resettlement area have been in perpetual fear of possible raid by the Police. Some who witnessed the ugly scene have also kept sealed lips for fear of police case.
When our Correspondent visited the uncompleted shopping mall in the area, the place was quiet. The house once occupied by the deceased was also in disarray. His parents who live in Ibadan, Oyo state, were still in shock.
Only the father tried to speak; and when he did, he caved in to emotion. With tears rolling down his cheek, he began to recant the event.
Mr. Tom Udo said “We are sad by this tragic loss. He was our hope; we did the little within our means to send him to secondary school. We could not send to high institution due to our economic situation. But he worked hard and struggle to learn plumbing from where he was fending for himself and the family. Each time he called, he always gave us hope. He promised to bring us out of poverty when he relocated to Abuja. I remember the exact words. He said:” daddy and mummy don’t worry, if I make it in life suffering will be a thing of the past in this family.” I did not know he would meet his death in Abuja. His mother also did not know. If we knew, we would have discouraged him from coming to Abuja. But we are not God-we don’t know tomorrow.”
If Udo’s death was tragic, it is more tragic that his parents are still battling to know the whereabouts of his corpse since it was taken away by the Police. They said the whereabouts of the remains of their late son has been guarded in secrecy by the Police authority.
Besides, they alleged that the Police had not done much to bring the criminal to justice.
“Up till today, the Police are yet to tell me the whereabouts of his remains. I have been frustrated by every step I have taken”, the bereaved man said.
Calls to the FCT Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), Doris England, were not answered. She did also not reply to a text message from Our Correspondent, on the allegation.
But the family’s Lawyer, Austin Uzendu, said he had written two petitions to the Police on the case with no response.
He said the parents of the deceased had faced humiliation in the hands of the Police in their efforts to seek Justice on the matter. He could also not tell if the Police had any plan to charge the two brothers.
Uzendu who is handling the case free said confirmed that the Police had not disclosed the whereabouts of remains to the family