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Sex scandal: Why I keep 30-yr-old boyfriend, 70-yr-old widow opens up

A
70-year-old widow, Mrs Maria Oko, of Amauzu Nkpoghoro in Afikpo North
council area of Ebonyi State, who was recently banished from the
community for allegedly having sex with her 30-year-old boyfriend, Mr
Okpanu Nwachi popularly known as Odoodo; a mechanic has given her
account of the incident.
Sex scandal

Her 19-year-old granddaughter, Uriaoma
Abani, caught the woman while she was allegedly having sex with the man
in her matrimonial bed. The act, according to the residents, was
sacrilegious in the community.
Maria’s granddaughter, Saturday Sun
gathered, had been noticing nocturnal movements of the young man in her
granny’s room every night. She was said to have laid ambush for the two
lovebirds and on that fateful night, caught the duo smooching.
Displeased by that lewd scene, she was
said to have immediately raised the alarm, which prompted the villagers
to storm the widow’s home. Some of the villagers, who converged at the
scene, it was gathered, invaded her room and dragged the two lovers out
of the house and locked the man in their cell. The duo was paraded
around the village the following morning with scornful songs as
punishment for their act. She was subsequently banished from the
community after the parade.
As expected, reactions trailed the
incidence. While some commentators threw their weight behind her, citing
human rights, some others passed a damning judgement on her based on
religious and cultural reasons.
My story
However, the widow at the centre of the
storm has stepped forward to absolve herself of any wrongdoing. She
explained that the man was just a family friend who assists her
financially. When Saturday Sun visited her residence in Amauzu
Nkpoghoro, which is about two hours drive from Abakaliki, the state
capital, she was seen carrying out some home chores.
The light-skinned granny who was not
straight with answers when asked to tell her stories, however, accused
her granddaughter of being mischievous.
“I wouldn’t say whether I committed that
crime or not. It is my bad granddaughter who caused this public
embarrassment to me because if she did not report to the community, I
wouldn’t have suffered this type of public disgrace.
“If she was a good granddaughter, the
youths wouldn’t have rung the community bell which caused my disgrace;
my granddaughter would have shielded me if she was a good child”, she
said.
Maria, who trades on local gin told
Saturday Sun that she was attending to her customer (the alleged lover
boy) at about 11:30pm when her granddaughter ran into her room and
started shouting that she was having sex with the young man.
“My cell phone light was on and if I was
having intercourse with the man, I would have switched off the phone but
the light was on. So, my granddaughter shouted and reported to her
uncle that she saw a man having intercourse with me. From there, the
matter was reported to the youths and to the entire community and I was
sanctioned.
“I have no problem with my granddaughter as to warrant her to report me
to the community that I was having sex with a man. This is a year and
three months I took her to my house to stay with me. She gave birth and I
took her to my house to stay with me so as to take care of her and I
didn’t know that doing so will cause me problem by monitoring me and
every step I took.
“Ever since I adopted my granddaughter,
her husband doesn’t care how we are faring. It is even the man they said
had sex with me that is taking care of her; at times, the man will buy
uncooked foods including rice and some noodles and gave her to cook for
him.
“The man will just eat a little from the
food and leave the rest for her. When my granddaughter’s baby was sick,
it was the man who went into the bush and got herbs used in curing the
baby”, she explained.
Midnight affair
The septuagenarian, however, agreed that
the young man often visited her in the night and sometimes stayed into
the midnight. But she was quick to clarify that he only comes to buy
alcoholic beverages.
“Yes, the man actually visits our house
regularly. He stays till 12 midnight at times. That fateful Sunday they
said he had sex with me, he came with his friend from Ozziza community
and left at about 10:30pm after drinking some bottles of beer.
“The man later came back to buy local gin
which I was selling him when my granddaughter barged into my room with
her own cell phone light  and shouted that I was having intercourse with the man and started asking the man what he was doing with me”, she added.
Goat as a fine
She told Saturday Sun that she had paid a
fine of one goat imposed on her by the community. “I have actually
offered the goat the community asked me to bring for what they said I
did. I have to give the goat since it is what they said I should give
according to tradition.”
Residents react
Although the accused widow absolved
herself of all wrong doings, the residents of the community insisted
that she was guilty as charged. “She was guilty. That was why we
sanctioned her” they insisted.
A youth leader, Mr Justice Nwachi,
confirmed that Maria’s granddaughter brought report that a certain young
man often visited her granny in a manner the family members found
offensive in the pretext of buying dry gins.
“So, that fateful night, the man came
around 11pm and asked her granny to sell her drink. The girl reported
that she waited for a long time but her granny didn’t return. So she
went to the room and caught them having sex”, he added.
While corroborating Justice, another
youth leader, Mr Agha Michael Chukwuemeka, pointed out that the episode
lasted for three days.
One of the villagers, Egwu Azubuike, said
the woman would have faced a greater punishment if her husband was
still alive. He noted that the act has brought shame to the widow’s
family, adding that she was among the most respected women in the
community before the incident.
Saturday Sun gathered that it was a taboo
for a widow to make love on her late husband’s matrimonial bed. To
appease the ‘gods’, the tradition of Amauzu Nkpoghoro community demands
that the accused person must offer a goat.
What the culture says
A community leader, Elder Nwachi Oko,
told Saturday Sun that “If a woman stays in her husband’s house and
commits adultery, she must offer goat to our community as custom
demands. Once she does this, the case will be over; nobody will touch
her, nobody will blame her and nobody will pursue her.
“If she refuses to offer the goat, she
will stay in pains and it will now be between her and the husband. It
will be a case between her and the husband. If the woman continues,
refusing to offer the goat to cleanse the land according to our custom,
some elders of the community will be dying.
“The women folk will sing disgraceful
songs and parade the woman round the community to tell her that she
defiled the land by committing adultery in her husband’s home. The women
will carry rubbish from wastes bins and heap on the woman’s house. The
rubbish will block the entrance to the woman’s house and the house will
be sealed with palm fronds.
“But in this widow’s case, it was not
done because the widow’s son was embittered on her mother’s act which he
saw as a disgrace to the family and the community. The widow’s son was
not happy about her mother’s character and that was why the community
did not heap rubbish in their house.
“The blockage of a woman’s house with
rubbish and palm fronds as sanction for committing adultery is for both
widow and a woman whose husband is still alive. As for a widow, if she
leaves the late husband’s community and commits the adultery, this will
not be done to her because she is free to do whatever she likes since
she has left the late husband’s community.”
Contributing, Comrade Christian Inya
Agha, said that the community was not partial in handling the matter as
it was an age long practice.
“Actually, this sanction has sent warning
to other people in the community who have been doing this type of thing
and getting away with it. For those of them who were doing this with
boldness, this sanction has made them to be careful because they will
also be sanctioned if caught” he said.
How the lover boy escaped punishment
The man caught with Maria was not punished. He was only sent out from the town as he was not an indigene of the community.
“According to tradition, nothing concerns
the man. He is free. The punishment we gave him was that we sent him
out of our community because he is not an indigene. If he was an
indigene, he would have been fined a goat as well”, explained Agha
Michael Chukwuemeka.
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