23-year-old sales girl drowns in Onitsha downpour

IT was all crying and wailing when the visit of President Mohammadu Buhari in Onitsha, the commercial nerve centre of Anambra state, for political rally last Thursday, coincided with the drowning of a 23-year-old girl, Miss Chukwusom Nwoko.

Trouble reportedly started for the girl on the fateful day when on closing her shop after the day’s business where she was a salesgirl, joined her two other friends (sales girls) to go home as usual.

However, as they left, it started raining heavily that they rushed into a nearby shop within Ochanja market round-about to avoid the rain wetting them.

Few minutes after arrival, the owner of that shop told them that they should leave his shop that he wanted to shut it and leave as it was getting late.

The girls were said to have pleaded to him to allow them tally a little as it was still raining heavily but the man ignored them and was locking up his shop.

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Consequently, the girls were said to have reportedly expressed their dissatisfaction and in turn started leaving the shop by crossing the plank used as a bridge across the deep gutter in front of the shop that is channeled to the River Niger.

One of the girls first crossed the gutter using the plank that was kept across for customers who want to come to the shop to make purchases.

Then the second girl followed suit and crossed and as the third one was crossing, the man reportedly rushed and raised the plank while the third girl, Miss Nwoko, was on it, crossing and she had to fall into the deep gutter that was full to capacity because of the heavy downpour and got drowned immediately.

On seeing that she has drowned, the shop owner briskly shut his shop and ran away before sympathisers and on-lookers who defied the devastating rain to try to rescue the girl could start to look for him.

The corpse of the girl was then taken to Borromeo Catholic Mission hospital morgue by traders within the scene.

Speaking to the reporter, the father of the girl, Mr Ndubuisi Nwoko said that “the man had just killed my daughter and ran away and he has not been seen up till now.

I have lodged the matter at Fegge police station and we have gone to the mortuary where the police took photographs of the corpse”.

“I want to see the killer of my daughter who is doing the sales lady business to keep her busy waiting for when she will get admission into tertiary institution.”

Confirming the incident when contacted, the Fegge Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Mr Garba Rabiu said that, “we are looking for the man, he has not been seen since the incident happened”.

Meanwhile, co-traders of the run-away trader who went to plead to the father on how to come about the matter reportedly met a brick wall as the father to the deceased insisted on seeing the alleged killer suspect who has not been seen four days after the incident.

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