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In the slowly progressive town of Igbo Ukwu where Chukwuma Maduewe was the town’s reputable officer, a crime of the most strongest nature occurred. Chukwuma had attended the police academy when he was eighteen and had been deployed to maintain the peace at seventy-two Islamic riots in the North during his service as sergeant. He was no stranger to violence nor was crime alien to him, and whichever vice he didn’t experience, he supplemented by watching it on the television. He had seen it all and he had solved them all. Or so he thought, till an officer of inferior rank to his came to report a case of infanticide.

He had now before him, a case unsolvable and a culprit unnamed. His suspects were the very relations of the bashed infant.

A: Dennis Obiora; Dennis had married because his wife had been a guarantee for him to secure a loan from her father. He had loathed her from the instant he saw her, but his hunger for the money had surpassed his loathing. The loan had done its good but the wife could never do any good, the very presence of her annoyed him and when she gave birth to their first child whom happened to be a girl, his dissappointment of her grew. His grandfather had left him a sizable sum if he could produce a grandson and it was this motivation that made him to go to his wife again, but this time with brutality. His mistress, when the news of his wife’s pregnancy reached her refused him permission to share her bed and the miserableness of it drove him into a seething rage, that whenever he saw the bump of his wife’s stomach, he thought only of murder, of murdering that child that that denied him pleasure.

B: Ijeoma Margaret Obiora: Ijeoma had grown up under the shadows of despotic men and daddy was always right. She had first seen Dennis at the home of her father and she had admitted to herself as she did now, that he looked unimpressive. His attitude of of talking to her without looking directly at her, had irritated her but she had been eternally grateful when he gave her a daughter and when he stopped coming to her bed. This change lasted nine years, till one night, he came to her bed and forcefully thrust himself himself into her and two months later when her menses were nonexistent, she got the news she dreaded, she was pregnant. There it was, another growing and expanding evidence in front of her, of the control of men over her life. This triumph of her husband was the satisfaction she was determined to deny him. She rejected all human contact, including her daughter’s and thought only of ending this victory of her husband, unnoticed.

C: Mary Annabel Obiora: Mary was just nine years old, but the stirring jealousy she felt within her was old as the pyramids. She knew Daddy was always away and Mummy was always at home. Mummy loved her, Mummy touched her, Mummy cared, and Daddy only spoke to her in annoyance. School was good as long as the teachers were women, and any teacher that was male, she hated even the ones that sang. She had found Mummy crying, her hair tangled and unwashed. Mummy didn’t touch her like she used to nor did she ever touch her like she did before. She came to hate Mummy’s tummy, Mummy held it more than she held her and that growing tummy carried a thing that made Mummy not like her anymore. But the tummy didn’t burst like she hoped it would, rather a baby came out of it and Mummy called it baby Junior in Daddy’s presence. Mary was a good girl, her Sunday school mistress said that, she didn’t know that she didn’t like competition, but the mistress didn’t know that Mary especially didn’t like competition when it came to Mummy.

D: Chief Nnaemeka Obiora: Chief was a very respectable man and anyone outside his immediate family thought this, what they didn’t know was this; he preferred younger women to eating and he hated his extravagant son above anything else. His father had been extremely fond of his son and in his will, had left him a sizable sum, which Chief was determined his son doesn’t get his hands on. His son was a failure, would always be a failure and the condition for getting the money from the will had favored Chief when his first grandchild was born. The birth of his grandson had been more of a mockery than a celebration. Personally, he had nothing against the little infant, his grievances were at his son, whom he was determined would never get his hands on his father’s money, and killing an infant to prevent his son’s expectations seem to him a pardonble crime.

Chukwuma Maduewe had these information and no clue to identifying the person who killed the infant.

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