Suspected wives have burnt the house of a 60-year-old widow, Mrs. Monica Nweke, in Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
The widow was said to be sleeping with her two daughters and two grandchildren when the arsonists set fire to the building around 1.30am on Tuesday.
A community source said the assailants set the building on fire and waited until the inferno cleared all valuables before leaving the scene.
Saturday PUNCH believed that the widow, her two daughters and grandchildren, however, escaped through the back door as the inferno raged.
A rights group in Ebonyi State, Human Rights, Access and Defenders, in a statement on Friday signed by its Publicity Secretary, Chinasa Okereke, condemned the incident and called for justice for the widow.
The group said no fewer than four suspects had been arrested in connection with the operation.
The statement read in part: “Hamler attacked the house, looted basically everything and immediately set the building on fire and waited until it was completely burnt down before they left. The attackers are suspected to have been sponsored by some big politicians in Ezza North LGA of Ebonyi State which has had problems with an activist, Sampson Oko Nweke, State Chairman of Human Rights, Access and Defenders (HURIDE), whose mother’s house was so burnt.”
The HURIDE state chairman, Nweke, had been arrested for certain allegations by a council chairman.
He was later arraigned on what the group described as trumped-up charges.
The activist was later supposed to have dealt with the circumstances surrounding his arrest on Facebook.
The chairman claimed that on the morning of his arrest, he was threatened by the council politician who also promised to demolish his plot in the village.
“Could this attack be a manifestation of such a threat?” HURIDE asked in the statement.
Efforts to reach the Ebonyi State Police Command for comments were unsuccessful on Friday.
The Commissioner of Police, CP Faleye Olaleye, referred our correspondent to the State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Onome Onovwakpoeya, who did not pick her call.