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Dec 29, 2010

Murdered Nigerian taxi driver to be flown home for burial

francis chukwu

Nigerian taxi driver, Francis Chukwu, was one of five persons murdered over the Christmas weekend. The cab driver was killed by a single gunshot and his body was found in his taxi in the area of the Lord Ridge Cemetery. But who would want him dead? That’s a question that remains a mystery to his family especially since his belongings were found in the car.  Chukwu’s family and friends are preparing to fly him back to Nigeria for burial. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The Boxing Day murder of Nigerian cabdriver Francis Chukwu remains shrouded in mystery as Belize City police are exploring all leads that could help them to unravel the circumstances that led to his death.  His vehicle, a blue Ford Escort bearing Belize City license plates, has since been impounded at the Eastern Division Precinct where it is being swabbed for evidence.  On December 25th Chukwu, proprietor of West Coast Express on Neal’s Pen Road, had taken his three kids on a family outing to BTL Park.  He returned home several hours later where he dropped them off before going out on a taxi run shortly before midnight and that would be the last time the children would see him alive.

In the early hours of December 26th residents in the area of Pitter Street, located behind the Lord Ridge Cemetery, were awoken by the sound of a single gunshot.  Chukwu’s vehicle had skidded off the road where police later found his body slumped over with a gaping wound to the top of his head.  His personal effects including a wallet and other items were found intact inside the car leaving investigators to believe that the motive may not have been robbery.  According to Solomon Akpedafe the Nigerian Association in Belize had to call off its events for the remainder of the weekend in the wake of the incident.

Solomon Akpedafe, President, Nigeria Association in Belize

Solomon Akpedafe

“It was sad in the sense that we were actually having a party that very day for the same taxi association which we had to cancel and things like that.  I became very traumatized in the sense that he has three young kids that nobody is taking care of as we speak.  You know, family and well wishers try to put them together and care for them so it’s really a big loss.”

patrick kerr

Meanwhile Belize City police are still looking for a suspect in connection with the Christmas Eve murder of Patrick Kerr.  He was gunned down as he sat awaiting a haircut near a popular barbershop on Freetown Road.  According to Bernadine Stevens her son’s death came as no surprise to her as she previously felt that his life was in danger.

Bernadine Stevens, Mother of Patrick Kerr

“I mih sih da fear [soh] I mih know something mih wah happen to ahn right.  Soh ah mih sih da fear eena ahn so ih noh happy.  He haffi drink da night because ih cyant sleep and soh.  Soh I mih really do see it eena ahn.  I mih expect it that’s why yoh sih ah believe eena God and soh and God give mih da strong faith yoh know.”

Although gun violence wasn’t new to Kerr his mother has also buried a son and a common law husband as its consequence prior to this misfortune.

Bernadine Stevens

bernadine stevens

“So all I gah fu tell all di mothers out deh dehn could try have da strong faith like me and believe eena God cause without he we dah nothing, right.  Me noh want no violence, no revenge, no nothing.  I noh even care if dehn noh hail di person.  All weh I could do dah just pray for di person and we leff everything eena God hand.”

Patrick Kerr leaves behind ten children while arrangements are being made to return the body of Francis Chukwu’s along with his three children to their homeland.

Solomon Akpedafe

“On the part of the community we try to work from, with a group of Nigerians too, in Atlanta.  Our well wishers through the local church in Atlanta to see the possible way of flying the body home to Nigeria.  So we’re still working on that, you know, in [terms] of logistics, probably fundraising.  We have not really come to a proper conclusion [but] by tomorrow we’ll be on the phone with Atlanta again, how’s everything with them to know exactly where we stand on that front.”

Kerr and Chukwu are among the five casualties in a bloody Christmas weekend across Belize. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

While there is no suspect in the murder of the cab driver, police are looking for a slim built male, who was seen wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans in the area where Patrick Kerr was killed.

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4 Responses for “Murdered Nigerian taxi driver to be flown home for burial”

  1. J. Guerra says:

    A taxi run right around midnight???? hhhhhmmmmmmmm

  2. belizeanfirst says:

    Has anyone investigated this TAXI ASSOCIATION and suddenly an increase of Nigerians and taxi run by Nigerians? Please look into it and who really making the money and what “OTHER” activities are being run!

  3. jose says:

    what about the illegal sale of Belizean Visas among the Nigerians? Are they involved in human trafficking?

  4. sola says:

    i dont know what nigeria are doing in belize. there is no year they dont kill nigeria start from david anjorin

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