Ngozi Okoye hails from Nsuka in Enugu state. Iron lady as she is popularly known by neighbours and friends has built a fearsome reputation for herself as she is always engaging neighbours in one fight or the other. the single mother of one finally landed herself in police net when last week, she killed a co-tenant, simply identified as Kemi. Michael Oche writes
Ngozi has built a fearsome reputation as a trouble maker and everyone around her neighbourhood in Federal housing Lugbe avoided her like a plague. Those who got into a fight with her always come out with sad tales of sorrow, tears and blood. But, unlike many of her victims, Kemi could not survive to tell her bitter story in the hands of the Iron lady.
Ngozi antecedents earned her the sobriquet ‘Iron lady’. And as LEADERSHIP SUNDAY learnt, most of the niegbours never got to know her real name. They just refer to her as iron lady and she acknoweleged that with pride.
But if Kemi had a premonition of what was to befall her on that fateful Monday; she probably would have done everything possible to avert it. But she didn’t, and it cost her-her life.
What started like a usually quarrel between neighbours, soon escalated into a bloody end which left the quiet community in shock.
Eye witnesses told LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that trouble started when Kemi put on her generator set and went out leaving her 7-year old son at home, but Ngozi, who lived next door to Kemi’s one room apartment (commonly known as face me I face you in the local parlance) complained that the fume from the generator was disturbing her in her room. But rather than wait for kemi to return, Ngozi who was said to be highly temperamental decided to put off the generator herself.
An eye witness who gave her name as Blessing Samuel said: “She (Kemi) went to buy something for her child. And Iron lady said the smoke from Kemi’s generator set was entering her room so she decided put off the generator.
But when Kemi came back and saw that her generator was off, she asked Ngozi who put off her generator set and Ngozi confirmed she was the one that turned off the generator, and they started quarrelling. Ngozi carried the generator and smashed on the ground and that was how the fight started.”
She explained that the neighbours who already knew iron lady were afraid to wade into the fight as they watched helplessly as the two women engaged themselves in a fight to the death.
“As they were fighting iron lady kept saying i go kill this woman o,” the eye witness explained.
And iron lady made good her threat. Immediately she ran into her room, brought out a knife and stabbed kemi. Before neighbours would react, kemi slumped and died.
It was at that instance the neighbours decided to call in the police, but before the police arrived at the scene, iron lady fled to her room and wanted to escape through the window and when she couldn’t, she tried to commit suicide.
LEADERSHIP SUNDAY gathered that she swallowed relaxer and otapiapia (rat poison) but before these could have any effect on her, the police got to the scene and rushed her to the hospital where she was detoxicated and revived.
Immediately the news broke, it almost resulted into a fight between the Yorubas and the Igbos leaving in that area. The Igbos selling in that vicinity had to close their shops to avoid any confrontation.
LEADERSHIP SUNDAY also gether from the Lugbe police station that the case had been transferred to FCT police command for further investigation.
At the station, our reporter gathered that Ngozi confessed to some other crimes she had committed in the past before relocating to Lubge.
She said she has been arrested severally by local vigilante groups for various crimes. Our reporter learnt that about two months ago she was caught in the night with some dangerous weapons and was arrested by vigilantee but was later released.
Neighbors also recalled that she once told a guy at AMAC plaza that she loved him and after he refused her advances, she attempted to stab him while they were having an argument.
Another case was at a beer parlour she worked at Sauka village in Lugbe where she worked. She was said to have been sacked from the job because she went into a fight with some of the ohter girls and customers there.
Attempts to speak to the family of late kemi have so far proved abortive, but our reporter learnt that her sister had taken custody of Kemi’s only son.