By Joseph Akahome
It was an avalanche of woes and sorrow as tragedy hit the household of popular evangelist and film producer, Helen Ukpabio, on Sunday, March 25, 2012, as four of her siblings; three brothers and a sister, lost their lives in one fell swoop in tragic circumstances.
The three brothers, whose names are given as Charles, Emmanuel and Joseph, were allegedly shot by some members of the Nigerian police force, right in the presence of their aged mother, Mrs. A. Etim.
Their sister, who spoke with NET claims they were accused of armed robbery and kidnapping by the policemen, who were led by a certain Noel Nduka.
We’re told they were shot at point blank range amid protestations of innocence in their family country home in Mbente, Akwa Ibom.
In a bizarre turn of incidents, the sister of the deceased men, Elizabeth, upon receipt of the news instantly slipped into a coma and passed away shortly afterwards.
Their sister, Helen Ukpabio is a popular Nollywood producer turned preacher.
‘Yes, they are my brothers from the same parents. The lady is also my sister. They were wrongly accused of a crime they didn’t commit. The Police took laws into their hands and killed them before they even had a chance to defend themselves,’ she lamented.
She also revealed that the family is now involved in a legal action against the police.
‘We are already pressing charges, and my only surviving brother, Henry a businessman abroad, is the one representing the family’s position’.
She also used the opportunity to call on well-meaning Nigerians to ‘rally round’ to ensure that justice is served.
‘They were killed right in front of their mother, even as she was protesting on their behalf, after they had already been shot in the legs to cripple them, that was exactly on the 25th of March.‘
Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom Police Public Relations officer when contacted about the position of the force on the matter, declined to comment.
‘I cannot help you with any information you need about that now‘, he said, before ending the conversation abruptly.
Helen Ukpabio is the founder and head of African Evangelical franchise Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries based in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria.
She has also been involved in film making with emphasis on her promoting her religious beliefs.
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