Residents of Umuocha Ohuba-Ubomiri community in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State at the weekend were shocked to discover the body of a palm wine tapper, identified simply as Njoku, on top a palm tree. The traditional ruler of the community, Eze Clifford Amadi, refused to comment on the matter.
A resident, Iheanyi Enwerem, said the deceased left his house early in the morning to tap palm wine but did not return. Enwerem added that the community was shocked by the incident, which he described as a strange occurrence. He said: “If he had fallen from the tree, we would have known he died from the impact of the fall but he did not fall. He was neither bitten by a snake nor attacked by any creeping thing that may live on top of the palm tree. He left his house very early in the morning for his daily palm wine tapping business; he was strong and never showed any sign or complaint of any illness or ailment.
“When, unlike him whose routine was known, he did not return by evening, his family members started making enquiries about his whereabouts. A case of a missing person was established in the village, a search party was raised which subsequently found him hanging loosely from his climbing rope.” Enwerem, who said Njoku’s body had been deposited in a morgue while the case had been reported at the police station, disclosed that there was no cut on the body to indicate that he was attacked or killed