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Acid bath for peacemaker, wife

Posted by By JOE EFFIONG, Uyo on 2005/07/07 | Views: 665 |

Acid bath for peacemaker, wife

Next time Sunday Okon Jimmy sees people engaged in a scuffle, instead of trying to separate them he would rather show a clean pair of heels, that is, if he survives the present ordeal.

Next time Sunday Okon Jimmy sees people engaged in a scuffle, instead of trying to separate them he would rather show a clean pair of heels, that is, if he survives the present ordeal.

Jimmy, a 25-year old bricklayer, who is now lying critically burnt alongside his wife at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, told Daily Sun that he was trying to prevent his half-brother, one Efiok Okon Akang from beating an older man to death only for the said Efiok to turn round and attack him with acid.

"It was on a Sunday, I had just returned from church with my wife when my half-brother, Efiok started beating up a neighbour. Everybody that tried to stop the fight was either insulted or shoved aside by Efiok. And he continued to beat the man who only recently lost his wife to death.

"So I went to him and asked: ĎEfiok, do you want to kill this man; will you take care of his children as the wife had died? What on earth is making you fight, today being Sunday?í
"That was my offence because Efiok immediately stopped his fight and faced me. He wanted to fight me at first but later left me but swore that he would deal with me."
Jimmy said he never took the threat serious as he went back to his house situated near Efiokís in the same family compound and was busy there with his wife when some neighbours shouted, calling him to run because Efiok was coming.

"Since I didnít expect his coming back, I didnít know which way to run. So I just turned to see where he was coming from and he poured the substance on me. I didnít even know it was acid until it began to burn my skin".

The small-time bricklayer said when he screamed from the effect of the acid, the 20-year-old wife raised an alarm but Efiok in an attempt to silence all of them, poured the remaining quantity of the acid on the wife and returned to his house to pick a machete, threatening to cut to pieces anybody who would render any help to them.

The cement angle
Though they had never quarrelled before, Jimmy recalled that sometime in January, Efiok had borrowed three bags of cement from him with a promise to return same after a month. But the acid victim who could not even afford the N50,000 deposit demanded by the hospital, said Efiok never returned the bags of cement even though there was enough evidence that Efiok had the cement in his house or the wherewithal to give him back the product.

Director of clinical services of the hospital where the couple was admitted, Dr. Victor Ette said though the hospital is supposed to run humanitarian services, the cost of treating severe burns caused by acid had made a lot of demands on the authorities, that was why it was imperative to have the patients pay some money to defray a part of the cost of treatment.
"This is a very severe burn. Most times what kills such victims is not the burn itself but infection. So the wounds have to be washed daily and they need serious antibiotics such as rocophine and zitromax. These drugs are very costly."

Meanwhile the police have confirmed the arrest of Efiok Akang. The divisional police officer, B Ė Division, Ewet Housing Estate told Daily Sun that the suspect would have to remain in detention until the victims would be healthy enough to appear in court.

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