By Worgu Amadi
The mysterious disappearance of a native of Degema community, Rivers state, Okesime Nwanfo has thrown the town into gloom even as it has re-open the mysterious death of another resident of Elelenwon community, Bola Victor Aribiyi, and the disappearance of Nathaniel Irabor in Port Harcourt.
Even though the Police investigation has exonerated Blessed Aliyu Hart, a big shot in the community, many residents still point accusing fingers at him in the three cases. Residents of the community who spoke to The Gazelle News.com reporter said that Okesime Nwanfo, owner of HiTec Welding & Metal Fabrication along Bonny road in Port Harcourt Rivers State, left his home on Lawson Avenue, Degema on September 24, 2020 for his workplace but did not return home.
It was gathered that Okesime left his workplace with the driver of one of his high profile customers in the afternoon of the said day and never returned.
When pressed, one of his apprentice who gave his name as Sam said his boss (Okesime) had been having issues collecting payment from Mr Hart for a job he did for him several months ago.
According to Sam, his boss was very happy when Mr Hart, eventually called that he was sending someone to bring him to his office leading Okesime to tell his workers that his pay-day has arrived. Unfortunately, Okesime never returned and has never been seen since then.
Our reporter gathered that the case was reported at the Bonny Police Station which prompted the police to arrest Hart and his driver who drove Okesime to Hart’s office on the fateful day.
Our reporter further learnt that Mr Blessed Aliyu Hart and his driver were later released when investigation did not indict him nor his driver for Okesime’s disappearance. He told the police that although Okesime Nwanfo was in his office that day he left after he paid him his money for a metal frame gate he constructed for one of his projects.
His father, Boniface Nwanfo when contacted, told our correspondent that police requested information from Okesime’s bank and it was discovered that the 32-year-old last withdrew money from his account with a second-generation bank in the town around 11:00 AM that morning, which was shortly before he went out with the driver of Mr. Blessed Hart.
A police source who spoke to The Gazelle News.com corroborated that Okesime withdrew funds from his account on the same day but there was no record of deposit.
Life has not been the same with the Nwanfos since the disappearance of their son. Meanwhile, the latest disappearance of Okesime has again sent tongues wagging in the community. The question that needs answers to is; what happened to Okesime Nwanfo? Was he kidnapped and if so, why has the family not received a ransom demand or was he killed over his hard earned money? Is there a cover-up? What efforts has the authorities put into locating this young man?
Meanwhile, further investigation by our reporters revealed that Mr Blessed Aliyu Hart is believed to be linked to a top political godfather who wields immense influence in the present government of the country and is known to be getting away with all sorts of atrocities in Rivers State where his political boss was once the head of government.
Residents of the community alleged that Mr Blessed Aliyu Hart was fond of threatening those who go into contracts with him when it comes to paying up the agreed amount at the end of such contracts.
“There is the case of a carpenter, Bola Victor Aribiyi whose corpse was found lying on the side of the road leading to his house in June 2016 after a bitter argument with Mr Blessed Aliyu Hart over money issues,” a resident of the community who spoke on condition of anonymity recalled.
Continuing, the source added that “The case was never investigated neither was the circumstance leading to his death established. There was also the case of the mysterious disappearance of another contractor Mr Nathaniel Irabor who worked for Mr Blessed Aliyu Hart and whom he refused to pay his entitlements even after so many entreaties from members of the community. Nathaniel Irabor disappearance since 2019 has also remained unresolved. As we speak the whereabouts of Nathaniel and his wife is still unknown to date.” The source insisted.
As #EndSARS protests intensify across Nigeria, Nde Erika Nwafor, mother of Okesime Nwanfo has taken to the streets to demand justice for her missing son
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state was not immediately available for comments on the incident when our reporter contacted his office as he promised to get back when he has information about the cases.