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WHERE IS MY HUSBAND ? Wife cries out over disappearance of 62-year-old man

Posted by By Tessy Okoye on 2005/08/11 | Views: 460 |

WHERE IS MY HUSBAND ? Wife cries out over disappearance of 62-year-old man


The dream of every family is to have their bread winner back home at the end of a hard day’s work, but this was not to be for the Onumabor household in Lagos.

The dream of every family is to have their bread winner back home at the end of a hard day’s work, but this was not to be for the Onumabor household in Lagos.

It has been agony and despair since 62-year- old Joseph Onumabor from Iraokhor in Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State left home on May 10, for work without notifying his family of his intention to go on a journey of no return. To his offspring, the disappearance has been a mystery which they are yet to unravel as he had no reason to abandon his family.

According to his wife, 49-year-old Mrs Grace Onumabor who lives on Ladejobi Street, Ijora Badia, Apapa, her husband had just finished his one month annual leave, and had resumed work on May 9, at a flour mill in Lagos, where he has been an employee for the past 27 years. On the fateful day, he woke up normally, had his breakfast and left for work. At 6pm, when he was supposed to be home from work, he was not seen. Mrs Onumabor said: "We became agitated and called his mobile phone, it rang for some time and there was no response. We called his handset till the early hours of the morning to no avail. At 7a.m, we called the mobile phone again and this time it was picked by a man who identified himself as a securityman attached to the flour mill, he told us that my husband signed out leaving behind his I.D card and mobile phone.

"Immediately, I called my first son, Thomas Onumabor and told him about the development. This prompted him to go down to the flour mill to confirm what the security man had told us on the phone. At his place of work, we were directed to wait for two days before his absence can be officially publicised. Till this moment, there has been no good response from the management of the flour mill. The only thing we saw from them was a letter terminating his appointment from their establishment. This is certainly unfair to a man that had dedicated his life to the service of the establishment. He has not been treated like a human being. The type of shabby treatment we got from them is quite demeaning and all we want is an answer to the whereabouts of our father”, Mrs Onumabor said.

The family said Onumabor had no probem with anybody both at home and work and had been married for the past 30 years with eight children. He was also described as an easygoing man with no history of violence. "When he left for work that day he was very healthy and there was no indication of sickness and this makes us to suspect foul play", Mrs Onumabor said. "How can they tell us he signed out from work leaving behind his ID card and handset? What is the duty of the security guards there? Why is the management of the flour mill reluctant to grant us audience, knowing full well he got missing from their establishment, but were fast in sending a letter terminating his appointment when there was not even an investigation to ascertain the cause of his absence? How can a man who has almost reached retirement age disappear without a trace and they just fold their arms as if nothing happened. They should tell us what happened to him."

The case was reported at Apapa police station and Area "F" Headquaters, Ikeja. But the family is not happy with the police investigators, who went to the flour mill to pick up Onumabor’s ID card. The wife said:" We had to pay through the nose to collect the handset from them. They became reluctant to investigate the case further when they became aware that we were not ready to part with more money. The police have not been helpful at all. They are after what they will get from us. They are not interested in finding him.If the company does not come out with any useful information about his whereabouts or handle the case properly, we are ready to take legal action. Right now, nothing has been heard from them. It has really devastated the family. He is the breadwinner. It has been a real battle. You know the way the African society is. It is the woman who has to answer all the questions, it has not been easy.

And I’m really begging Nigerians to please help me. At the Apapa police station, the police were reluctant to speak on the issue. Daily Sun was referred to the Divisional Police Officer, and all effort to speak with him proved abortive as the policemen told us he was not on seat. When Daily Sun called at the flour mill to speak with the management, a security man at the gate refused to allow the reporter in, but gave the number of the secretary who they said would arrange a meeting with the MD. After several calls to the office of the managing director, Daily Sun was told to call the human resources manager who is on leave, and the people in his office refused to comment on the issue claiming they could not speak to the press.

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