I didn't kill my cousin, says Chinedu Orji

john Ndubuka

Ndubuka: buried today

Folarin Ademosu

Notwithstanding the controversy that trailed his sudden death on 15 February, John Ndubuka, 36, a civil servant and relative of Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, was buried today at his family compound on Aguyi Ironsi Street, Umuahia, in the Central senatorial district of the southeastern state of Abia.

The deceased was reported to have been hit by a bullet which discharged accidentally from a Police rifle after a civic reception by the Ikwuano clan for the governor, penultimate week, in Umuahia, the Abia State capital.

Ndubuka, who worked in the department of Planning Development, Abia Government House, and, later, redeployed to work with Governor Orji’s son, Chinedu, on youth mobilisation, left behind a son and his pregnant wife.

A source said the deceased was helped to his civil service job by the governor after he completed his National Youth Service Corps scheme in Cross River, while his wife had just finished her service year the week the husband died.

Ndubuka: buried today
Ndubuka: buried today

But shortly after the tragedy occurred, various versions of the circumstances that occasioned Ndubuka’s death surfaced, especially on the internet.

In an account by a relatively unknown online medium, Igbere TV Facebook, Chinedum allegedly ordered the killing of his cousin, Ndubuka just after the reception ended around mid-day.

In yet another post on the internet, a certain Odimegwu Onwumere, who claimed to be a poet, author and founder, Poet Against Child Abuse in Rivers State, equally blamed Chinedum and accused him of being a prime influencer of his father’s government.

Some online medium, including Societynow.ng, has lifted and regurgitated the story, which the government described as a smear campaign being sponsored by an out-of-power politician from the state.

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Curiously, the said Igbere TV has recanted its earlier story, calling it “misleading and and concocted for personal gains.”

In a post on its website two days ago, the medium said: “On the 15th of February 2014, we carried a story on the death of one Mr. John Ndubuka a cousin of Governor T.A Orji, which was misleading”

The medium said the saboteur within its fold had been relieved of his job, stating that ” as a group, we want to apologize to our fans, Abians and the affected family, especially Engr. (Chinedum) Orji for this media rascality exhibited by one of us.”

In his own defence, Chinedum Orji, was miffed that his father’s political rivals could politicise his cousin’s death and misinform the public.

He lamented that Ndubuka’s death was “appropriated by mischief makers to prosecute a mindless hatchet job of casting aspersions on my humble self; with innuendos, jaundiced analysis and outright blackmail.”

Chinedum said the deceased had just helped him locate his vehicle among the mass of people and automobiles at the venue of the civic reception for his father on the day, when he heard a gun shot.

In the midst of the chaos, the younger Orji stated that, “we discovered that John was clinging to his chest, his white shirt heavily blood-soaked. Effort to revive him failed, as he was pronounced dead on arrival at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia.

Chinedum, who our source described as the mastermind of the various youth empowerment and employment schemes executed by the incumbent government, said he had been an object of a severely sponsored attack and blackmail by a section of media.