A creative designer and founder of Uhuru Designz, a United States of America-based clothing company, Izuchukwu Madubueze (simply known as Izu), has taken his own life over an allegation of sexual assault.
Izu, who resided in Tampa, Florida, reportedly moved to the US some years ago.
While his Lagos-based friend, Nelson Greyhood, confirmed the suicide to PUNCH Metro, efforts to speak to his family members proved abortive.
The telephone line of his brother, Ekene, was not reachable.
Our correspondent, however, read Ekene’s status update, indicating that his phone was ‘blowing up’ from multiple calls, as he asked his friends to send him text messages.
He had yet to respond to a text message from our correspondent.
Izu reportedly graduated from King’s College, Lagos, in 2013, before getting a scholarship to study at the University of Florida.
The King’s College Old Boys’ Association confirmed his death on its Twitter page.
PUNCH Metro gathered that a Twitter influencer and female rights activist, Nanichi Anese, added Izu’s name to a list of sexual offenders on the social media late June 2020.
She claimed to have received information from some anonymous ladies, who alleged that the victim sexually assaulted them.
Izu, who was contacted by friends, who saw the post, reached out to Anese, demanding the identities of his accusers.
However, Anese allegedly declined the request, saying she had sworn to protect the ladies.
After failed efforts to clear his name, the victim was said to have taken his own life.
Izu announced his own death on Twitter using Crowdfire App, an application which allows users to schedule their posts.
“Oh and if you’re reading this, I’m dead lol,” he wrote on July 17, 2020.
As reactions trickled in, his accuser, Anese @nanichianese, claimed she had spoken to him and they had apologised to each other.
When the criticisms increased, she deactivated her Twitter account.
However, before deactivating the account, Anese said her intentions were noble.
“I’m aching right now and have so many thoughts, so much anger, pain, guilt, sadness. But this isn’t about me. It never has been. For those of you healing so many wounds right now, I’m sorry if any of your pain has come at my hands. This is the last of what I would ever wanted and I am really struggling because my friend is gone,” she wrote.
Findings from earlier tweets by @nanichianese showed that she had listed the names of some men, including Izu, accusing them of sexual assault.
She urged them to have some “introspection” on their past dealings and seek the forgiveness of their former girlfriends.
“I have remained steadfast and will continue. No stories will be released, no names will be released. I stand by that and will not waiver. Deal with that as you see fit and do not attach me to anything. But this thread will live on,” she wrote on her timeline.
Izu, in a private message to Anese, whom he said was a friend, demanded details of the allegations against him.
He lamented that a lot of people had been calling him after seeing his name on the list.
Anese said she was told “the harassment was not physical.”
“Again, thanks for your response; I thought we had a better relationship than this Nani, but it’s cool, I can’t shoot the messenger. No one comes to mind still. My phone is blowing up, and I myself, I’m still shocked. If you could let the person know I sincerely apologized for any way I harassed them that’d be greatly appreciated. If they need to talk, they can reach me on (phone number). Feel free to post this too,” he wrote.
However, Anese said the victim declined to speak with him.
Izu expressed frustration at the accusation and released private messages of a lady, who asked to date him in 2017.
He said while he did not wish to discredit any supposed victim’s story, his efforts at knowing his offence had been futile.
“I am still pretty clueless as to who this is, so if you feel comfortable enough, please feel free to reach out to me so I can understand wherever I went wrong and make amends and do better overall,” he wrote.
His friend, Greyhood, told our correspondent that Izu later killed himself.
He said, “He schooled in the University of Florida, where he studied something like Criminology or so. He was staying in a small apartment before he moved to a big warehouse as his company was doing fine. He was a great guy with strong will. He moved to the US more than four years now on scholarship.
“It was actually over there that the rape allegation trended. The woman compiling the list of the supposed sexual offender is also in the United States.
“I went on Twitter and saw the whole story and how he pleaded to know the accusers and even brought out his past relationships, saying he had never abused anyone in his life.
“His friends close to him in Florida confirmed that he’s dead. The Crowdfire app he used to post his death allows people to schedule their posts. So, it dropped online after he took his own life.”
PUNCH Metro observed that a petition on change.org calling for the prosecution of Anese had been signed by over 5,000 people.
Thousands of Nigerians on Twitter also called for justice for the victim, with the hashtag#JusticeforIZU, trending for hours.
Suspected Mentally Challenged Man Kills, Burns Woman in Rivers
The police have arrested a suspected mentally unstable man who allegedly killed and burnt an unidentified lady near an uncompleted building along Rumuekini end of the East-West Road, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
It was gathered that after killing the woman, the man wanted to conceal his crime by setting fire to the victim but policemen who were alerted swooped on the suspect, arrested him and removed the corpse.
Residents of the area, who expressed shock over the development, said the decomposing corpse of the woman was discovered when the stench permeated the area.
A resident said, “When we came to work on Monday, there was a foul smell near an uncompleted building.
“So, we went there and saw the corpse of the lady. It is surprising that we are there, but don’t even know about it if not for the smell that makes us suspect that something had happened.”
The spokesman for the state police command, SP Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the killing and the arrest.
“The body has been evacuated and deposited in the mortuary. Investigation is still ongoing to ascertain what really happened,” Omoni said.
Lovers Found Dead in Delta Residence, Neighbours Suspect Suicide
A 33-year-old man, Emmanuel Oshiotu, and his 25-year-old lover, Amaka Okafor, were on Thursday found dead in their one-room apartment in Uvwie community in the Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.
The corpses of the lovers were sighted by neighbours in their apartment located at Ojigbo Crescent, Off Sapele-Effurun Road, Uvwie.
A neighbour of the deceased, who declined to be named, said, “Around 5am, we heard Emmanuel shouting for help and on breaking the door, found him vomiting white foam while his lover’s lifeless body lay a few distance from him.”
The cause of their death could not be ascertained by anyone as of the time of filing this report but witnesses said a can of insecticide and a knife were found besides their bodies.
The discovery made neighbours and the police suspect suicide.
It was further gathered that the suspected suicide theory was reinforced by one of the latest posts by Emmanuel on his Facebook page depicting someone facing frustration.
The neighbour said the lovers were rushed to the Central Hospital, Warri, where they were both confirmed dead on arrival and their bodies deposited in the morgue.
The Divisional Police Officer, CSP Muktari Bello, and his officers later inspected the bodies at the hospital.
The acting state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Edafe Bright, confirmed the incident.
Adamant Mother Insists Selling Own 4-Month-Old Child for N40,000
The police in Ebonyi State on Tuesday detained a woman believed to be a commercial sex worker for allegedly trying to sell her baby for N40,000.
The woman has been identified as Victoria Chukwube, 32.
The four-month-old boy was still breastfeeding.
The woman said she wanted to sell the child to raise money to start a business of selling drinks.
The police spokesperson in Ebonyi, Loveth Odah, while parading the suspect, said she was arrested following a tip off.
“So her name is Chukwube Victoria, she told us she is a commercial sex hawker and that she has this baby which she was carrying.
“She said if she leaves here she would continue to look out for prospective buyers.
“But we tried to talk to her and to make her see the value of being a mother, but she refused.
“She even told us that if we allow her to go home with the baby she will throw the baby away and that she can’t tell who got her pregnant,” Ms Odah, a deputy superintendent of police, said.
Ms Chukwube, during interrogation, refused to disclose her state of origin or local government. She said she did not have the financial ability to take care of the child.
“I am from Nigeria, 32 years old, a commercial sex hawker and my baby is just four months old.
“I want to sell the baby at the rate of N40,000 to start up a business. I have a fridge and I reside at Ogbe Hausa in Abakaliki,” she said.
Meanwhile, police in the state have arrested a suspected armed robber, Obinna Obike.
The suspect, according to the police, was part of a three-man armed gang which robbed a cargo bus along the Amasiri-Okigwe Highway.
The police spokesperson, Ms Odah, who confirmed the incident, said the suspect was arrested in Uwulangwu, Ohaozara Local Government Area with Nigerian Army camouflage.
“The operatives arrested the suspect, following a robbery incident which took place along Amasiri-Okigwe Expressway by Oso-edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area of the state on the 13 February 2021.
“The three-man gang, dressed on Nigerian military camouflage, accosted a bus driver, tied him down and robbed him of the said bus loaded with goods worth millions of naira. The hoodlums diverted the goods to an unknown destination,” Ms Odah said.
Following a report by the driver of the bus, police operatives trailed the suspected robbers to their hideout where the suspect was arrested, while two others escaped.
Ms Odah said the suspect has confessed to the crime and admitted that the camouflage belonged to their gang leader popularly known as “Iron” who is still at large.