Author Topic: DEATH IN THE DESERT  (Read 4676 times)

Offline Prince

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DEATH IN THE DESERT
« on: March 04, 2008, 10:59:32 PM »
He paid me N130,000 to take him to Libya, but died on the way

He had a look on his face that showed a man at the very end of his tethers. He insisted he was merely playing the Good Samaritan when he undertook to lead some illegal migrants to Libya. But when one of the travelers died in the hot desert, the deceased family accused Rowland Chide Nlewedum of murder.

Nlewedum for sometime now, has been a guest of the Interpol section of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (CID). There he has been in their hot seat, fielding questions from the Commissioner of Police (CP) Interpol, Mrs. Atinuke Koyi and her investigators.

Thirty-four-year-old Nlewedum, a father of one, has repeatedly told this story all over. He denied being behind the death of late Chinedu Okoro. The CP and her men are, however, not buying his story. Koyi had already written to Interpol in Tripoli, to fish out the other seven members that survived the nightmarish desert journey. The confessions of these men, if obtained, would go a long way in deciding his fate.

Though he looked sick and tired of parroting his innocence, Nlewedum had, however, refused to change the rhythm of his story. As the story goes, in March 2007, the deceased, Okoro had approached Nlewedum to seek his assistance to get to Libya.

Okoro, like most Nigerians, thought he would hit gold in a foreign land and didn?t mind the risk involved in getting to the promised land. Okoro saw Libya as a land that was literally flowing with ?milk and honey?. But sadly, it was a promised land, which Okoro, like the biblical Moses, will never see.
He died while he and others, who were also in search of greener pasture, were trudging across the hot desert of the Niger Republic. He was quickly buried in a shallow grave and the journey continued. Nobody appeared ready to waste time mourning him.

Nlewedum who was acting as the travel guide had later notified the family of the deceased. He explained the circumstances of Okoro?s death. They appeared to accept his simple explanation, which was that the deceased developed a problem in the right leg and later died. He however got the shock of his life, when he came to the village and the police slammed handcuffs on him. The family of Okoro apparently didn?t buy Nlewedum?s story. They accused him of ritual murder and without further ado sent police after him. Nlewedum is currently trying to extricate himself from the noose slowly tightening around his neck.
According to Nlewedum, the only crime he committed was in accepting to play the Good Samaritan and assisting people to become rich.

The accused explained that he had been staying in Libya since 1998 ,earning a salary of N3000 per day washing cars at a Carwash.

Nlewedum had not been to his village for about three years. He arrived in 2007 to get a new bride. He returned to his village in Imo state, and people like Okoro who saw him, thought he was rolling in money. Before one could say Jack Robison! People have started queuing outside his house, begging to be taken to Libya. Some brought their family members along to beg.

It turned out to be a journey many of the people would not forget in a hurry. The basic idea of traveling across the desert was to escape Immigration. They were nine men thay set out on the journey but only eight made it to Libya. Nlewedum charged each of the fortune seekers N130, 000.
?The money was just for feeding, accommodation and transport fare. I didn?t charge as a professional guide, else I would have demanded for more.?

Narrating how they embarked on the journey, Nlewedum said: ?We left Imo to Onitsha. From Onitsha we went to Kano, from there to Katsina. We hired vehicles to take us. The drivers were men who knew the terrain. It was from Katsina that we entered Niger and later to Agadez. We used to rent accommodation wherever we stopped. We used seven days from Katsina to Niger Republic. From Agadez, we arrived at Duruku in Niger Republic after three weeks in the desert. From there we took a vehicle going to Libya.?

Nlewedum explained that at Duruku, they charted a car and drove for four days. Aside from the eight men traveling with Nlewedum, there were seven other men. This brought the total number of the travelers to 16. All were bound for Libya. Whenever they chartered a vehicle, mostly jeep, the 16 of them crammed themselves into every available space.

They bought enough food at every town they reached and loaded the jeep with water. Nlewedum thinks that the four days driving none stop may probably be the reason Okoro developed the pains in his leg that later killed him.

He said: ?We took the last vehicle at Duruku. We drove for four days. Chinedu complained that his right leg was hurting him. There was nothing we could do about it. We were right in the desert. I thought his leg may have become stiff due to sitting too long but I was wrong. Finally, we parked to eat, spread out mat and slept. We continued the next day. At about 1pm, he complained to his uncle, Nnamdi, who was also on the journey, that it seemed blood circulation had been cut off from his right leg.?
When they noticed that Okoro?s complaints was too much, they stopped the car and attempted to assist him. The leg was rapidly swelling and Okoro could not stand erect. He tried to stand and limped painfully. Okoro suddenly fell down and they rushed quickly to help him up.

?We rushed to him. We sympathized with him. We prayed for him and poured water on him. But he died. The leg started peeling immediately. I begged the driver of the jeep to drive to the nearest town but he refused. He said it was dangerous and our food supply was running out. It was Nnamdi who gave the nod for Chinedu to be buried. The driver had a shovel, which he used whenever his vehicle?s tyres sunk into the sandy desert. We dug a hole and buried Chinedu in the desert,? said Nlewedum.

They got to Libya two days after the demise of Okoro. Nlewedum and others quickly put a call to the family of the deceased. Nlewedum later heard that Okoro?s burial ceremony had been performed in the village, even though the corpse was not available. After making sure that he had completed his part of the bargain in getting the travelers to Libya, Nlewedum, who has a new bride at the village, immediately started back to Nigeria.

He said: ?I spent a month to get back to Nigeria. I arrived my village, November, 6, 2007. On the 7th, I went to pay a condolence visit to Chinedu?s family. I was told they were not at home. I was asked to come back. When I went back, they had policemen waiting to arrest me,? he concluded his story.

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« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 05:38:55 AM by Prince »

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DEATH IN THE DESERT
« on: March 04, 2008, 10:59:32 PM »

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Offline olanajim

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Re: DEATH IN THE DESERT
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2008, 07:03:52 PM »
What a tragedy! All for dinar?!
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Offline beibee

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Re: DEATH IN THE DESERT
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2008, 03:27:24 PM »


there's always death
lurking in the desert...

very few escape it!
for many the perils don't count;
what counts in the long run...
is the dinar!

don't underestimate the power of lucre...
fathers kill sons for it;
mothers sell daughters for it-
wives betray husbands for it;
husbands abandon wives for it...

children kill parents for it-
friends become foes for it...

money: shout and keep shut!
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Offline Prince

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Re: DEATH IN THE DESERT
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2008, 04:03:11 PM »
What a tragedy! All for dinar?!
Not for Dinar, but for a better future.

Offline beibee

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Re: DEATH IN THE DESERT
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2008, 04:20:15 PM »


a better future indeed!
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Offline olanajim

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Re: DEATH IN THE DESERT
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2008, 09:09:11 PM »
Lol
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Offline beibee

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Re: DEATH IN THE DESERT
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2008, 11:25:00 AM »


as, if you don't go through
desert there's no hope...
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Offline olanajim

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Re: DEATH IN THE DESERT
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2008, 01:22:39 PM »
Those who have been to the desert and return know something the rest of us can only imagine.
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Offline beibee

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Re: DEATH IN THE DESERT
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2008, 01:33:02 PM »


i wrote a poem about that...

it's titled: "chimera"
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Offline olanajim

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Re: DEATH IN THE DESERT
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2008, 01:57:49 PM »
Where?
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Re: DEATH IN THE DESERT
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2008, 01:57:49 PM »

 

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