When Charity Anyanwu dropped off her niece Munachiso Anyanwu, at the Lagos toll-gate to board a vehicle to thecommercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State, little did she know that it would be the last time they would set eyes on her. Surprisingly, few hours after they waved goodbye, all efforts to ascertain whether Muna, as she was popularly called, reached her destination safely failed as nothing has been heard about her since then.
It has been three months since they parted as she reportedly went missing thereafter with her phones switched off. Since then, members of her family have been making frantic efforts and searching all corners of the country and beyond without any trace of her whereabouts. Crime Guard learnt that 29-year-old Munachiso Goodluck Anyanwu, an indigene of Aboh- Mbaise, Imo State, went missing on16 December 2014. She studied Agricultural Economics at Abia State University.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Recounting the incident that led to the disappearance of his younger sister, Fabian Anyanwu Ezechukwu, told Crime Guard that before her disappearance, Munachiso Anyanwu worked with Ogbefere Branch of Diamond bank in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra state. According to him, she disappeared on December, 16, 2014. ‘’Prior to that day, Munachiso went to one Kennedy Uba’s shop and asked him to open an account with her.
Kennedy told her he already had an existing account with Diamond bank. He eventually gave her four hundred and forty thousand naira to pay into her own account to upgrade her target. When she came home she told me about the money Kennedy Uba gave her to update her account.
TRIP TO LAGOS
‘’The next day, she told me she had taken casual leave from her office and that she would be travelling to Lagos for a few days. After expecting her to return, I called her on December 8, she said she was still in Lagos with our Aunty. That same day, a friend of mine, Onyemachi paid in N180, 000 into her account.
My sister called me and asked if I was expecting inflow of cash, I said yes that a friend of mine sent money to her account to enable me purchase goods for him. I told her to withdraw the money and send to me. She said okay she will do that but she did not travel with her ATM card and where she was, she couldn’t do any transaction.
ANXIETY OVER HER CONTINUED STAY IN LAGOS
‘’I became very disturbed on December 15, so I called my aunty to find out what was holding her from coming back from base because that was festive period and owners of the money needed it for their business. I told my aunty that she should send back the money so that I can return it to those who paid it into her account. She said she will be coming back the next day. On December 16, I called Munachi but her phones were switched off.
So, I called my aunty, she said she dropped her at toll gate in Lagos where she boarded a bus but she didn’t specifically know the bus she boarded. I became apprehensive and went to the Federal Road Safety Corps office for them to track if there was any accident on the road, they called the entire control unit from Lagos to Onitsha but said there was no accident.
VISIT TO HER OFFICE
‘’On the December 17th, I felt she might have come back and went straight to the office. So, I went to their office and one of their staff named Cynthia, directed me to their manager. I went to her and identified myself as Munachi’s brother. She told me that Munachi sent her a text message that she has resigned from the bank. I asked her if that was the bank’s procedure for resignation or was was there any fraudulent transaction or bank’s money that was missing? How can somebody resign by sending a text message?
SUSPICION OVER ACCOUNT
‘’However, because of the money which Kennedy paid into her account, I immediately asked the bank manager to freeze Munachi’s account so that there will be no more withdrawals. The bank manager was becoming very difficult to deal with. She was asking me to get police report and court order. I went straight to the police to get the report and court order. It took me some days to get the documents, which was on December 22. I went to the bank with a police officer and the documents. They received and stamped them.
Surprisingly, at that stage, the Manager told me that somebody called Nwokpala Michael had been defrauding my sister for months now. I told her that the name didn’t sound familiar and that none of our family members bore that name. She then revealed that out of the N440, 000 she collected from Mr Kennedy, my sister paid N430, 000 straight to Nwokpala Michael’s account in the same Diamond bank. Ever since then, the bank has not been able to assist the family in any way to locate my missing sister.
I then went to officially report the matter at the Central Police Station, Onitsha and one Inspector Chukwu Martins, was assigned as the Investigating Officer of the case. Later, they said we should go to SSID department for call tracking where I paid for everything. The SSID brought the flash, they couldn’t even open it and trace the communication. I was very annoyed and frustrated. By then, I had spent so much time and resources without any clue about my sister’s whereabouts.
TRANSFER TO FHQ, ABUJA
‘’At this point, I requested that the case be transferred to Force Headquarters, Abuja. I wrote a petition to the Inspector-General of Police and the case was assigned to the Special Task Force on Terrorism and Heinous Crimes at Guzape, Abuja. I went there and I have been working with them but they have not done much up till date considering the gravity of the case.
ENGAGEMETNT OF A PRIVATE EYE
They told me to get a private tracker named Williams, that he will be of help if I can afford his bills. They later called Mr. Williams and after bargaining, I started remitting money to him. I have paid him about a Hundred thousand naira yet no positive result. The only thing he did was that on February 28, 2015, the police asked me to come to Abuja that there was a soft target at Idah that has been speaking with Nwokpala Michael and that if we apprehend the soft target, he might lead us to him.
I quickly prepared for the journey and hired a Sienna bus which took us to Idah Polytechnic in Kogi state. I went to there with three police officers and two trackers. We arrested a lady called Abigail. We couldn’t come back that day so, I lodged them in a hotel and in the morning, we went back to Abuja.
RESULT OF TRIP TO IDAH
From the investigation carried out later, we found out that the girl is also victim. She said she met Nwokpala Michael through a friend, that he has a brother that is looking for a wife and she barely knew Michael for three weeks and it was during that period that he was calling her about 20 times daily. Later, she was granted bail and we re-scheduled to meet on March 3, 2015. But, due to the fact that the trackers haven’t made any headway, I stopped funding them. During that period, we also gathered from Abigail that there is one Pastor Sam who is an accomplice with Michael. After this, both the bank and police have not done anything further over the case.
‘’We have gone to several groups even in my church, some said she is alive and that the hand that is holding her is very strong. It is almost like we are going round a cycle without making much success. I want the police to do all they can to rescue my sister. All what I want is my sister, it is very painful that the bank has not done much for a long time. There was a time the bank Manager stopped picking my calls.
There was also a time, out of frustration, I went to the bank and created a scene. She called police officers to walk me out. Later, I went back there and apologized. I want the bank to show concern because if it were to be that my sister defrauded the bank, as the guarantor, I would have been arrested. Now that the reverse is the case, the bank should also show concern,’’’he stated.