By Sunny A. Ijomah
The first heavy rain this year in Onitsha, Anambra State has claimed the life of a 23-year old girl, Miss Chukwusom Nwoko.
The rain which was said to have started shortly after the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the commercial city, lasted over an hour.
Our correspondent gathered that the deceased was returning home after the day’s business with two other colleagues of hers when the rain started.
A resident of the area, who did not want to be mentioned, said they quickly rushed into a nearby shop within Ochanja Market round-about to avoid being washed away by the rain.
“Few minutes after, the owner of the shop asked them to leave his shop, claiming he wanted to shut it as it was getting late.
“The girls pleaded with him to allow them stay a little as it was still raining heavily but the man ignored them and was busy locking up his shop.”
The man however alleged that two of the girls who angrily left had crossed the deep drainage with the aid of a plank used as bridge when the shop owner reportedly removed the plank.
“The man raised the plank while Miss Nwoko, was on it and she fell into the deep gutter filled to capacity because of the heavy down pour.
“On seeing that she has drowned, he briskly shut his shop and ran away before sympathizers and on-lookers who defied the rain to rescue the girl rushed to the scene,” he added.
Our correspondent further learnt that the body of the deceased was later recovered and was taken to Borromeo Catholic Mission Hospital morgue.
Speaking to newsmen, the father of the girl, Mr. Ndubuisi Nwoko accused the shop owner of killing his daughter.
Said he: “The man has 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 photograph of the corpse.
“I want to see the killer of my daughter who is doing the business to keep her busy waiting for when she will get admission into tertiary institution.”
The Fegge Divisional Police Officer, Mr. Garba Rabiu, confirmed the incident, but said the suspect was still at large.
“We are looking for the man, he has not been seen since the incident happened,” he said.