The widow of the policeman beheaded and burnt to death by suspected members of the disbanded Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Oyibo, Rivers State, Mrs Blessing Swawale, has accused her in-laws of collecting the N20m compensation and other entitlements of her late husband given to her family.
The woman said she was still in pains following the murder of her husband, Inspector Orman Swawale, on October 20, 2020, when IPOB attacked three police stations in Oyibo.
Recall that the assailants beheaded four policemen, burnt them beyond recognition and carted away rifles in various stations during the attack on the Oyigbo Police Station in the wake of the #EndSARS protest.
In a voice note to PUNCH Metro on Sunday, Blessing said her late husband’s brother collected the N20m released to her as compensation by the government.
She said, “Since I got married to my husband, I have never seen my husband’s family help us with anything. God blessed us with four children. He (late Orman) was the only one catering for those children. But today, he is no more with me. My children’s school fees and what we eat are on me. When the governor gave us that money, I was not in Port Harcourt. I was in my husband’s village.
“So, one of the policemen that stood in for me handed everything to my husband’s brothers. They took me to a bank where they sent the money. From there, they (in-laws) collected everything from me.
“My husband’s salary that the government is paying, his ATM card and mobile telephone are with them.
“I don’t know what to do with my children. I have handed over myself with my children to God because it is the same God that knows why this thing happened. But day and night I will not stop crying because it was my husband that used to wipe my tears. Now, see what I am passing through.
“I think of my husband’s death. I think of what we will eat and what I will use in training my children in school. I am in pain.”
While noting that she had to relocate with her children for fear of being hurt, the widow appealed to the police authorities and the Rivers State Government to help her recover the money to enable her to take care of her children.
The elder brother of the deceased, Mr Felix Swawale, denied the allegations.
He said, “Call her and she will tell you the name of the person that she went to the bank with and N19m entered the hand of that person.
“She has the name of that person. She has the number of that person. Let her give it to you. I have never gone to the bank with her. I have never signed any money with her and I have never collected any money that I denied her.”
However, the widow insisted that Felix knew about it, adding that the family agreed in a meeting to deny her Orman’s entitlements.
A spokesman for the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni, expressed shock over the allegations, urging the widow to make an official report to the command.
“First, let her come to the office so that we can understand what she is saying. We will listen to her,” Omoni stated.