• Police investigate hotel for alleged ritualism
The Imo Commission of Enquiry into Police Brutality and Related Judicial Killings has ordered the mortician and authorities of Egbema General Hospital in Ohaji/Egbema Council of the state to release the body of Chibuike Onumajuru to his 25-year-old wife, MaryAnne, for burial.
Its Chairman, Justice Florence Duruoha -Igwe (rtd), who gave the directive during the 45th sitting of the panel at the weekend in Owerri, flayed the police for allegedly flouting the commission’s orders and summons.
The order followed the consideration of the petition, numbered JCIP/ 45 /2020 and filed by the widow and mother of four, where she sought N500 million in compensation to the family over the alleged gruesome murder of her husband by one Sergeant Charles Obinna, of the Monitoring Unit of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Command Headquarters, Owerri, while returning from his farm.
The petitioner told the panel that after her spouse, who hailed from Umuorie, Umuomara-Obama, Agwa in Oguta Council of the state was shot, the policemen reportedly took him to a medical facility where he died, adding that they conveyed his body to the hospital in question.
Stating that she was denied access to the mortuary and the tally of the deposited body, MaryAnne insisted that neither the mortician nor the police accepted to hand over the remains of her husband to her.
She clarified that the reparation being sought was to cater to the trauma suffered by her and the entire household.
Expressing dismay, the judge, directed: “It is clear to me now that the police in Imo State is not ready to be of any help to this commission. They are playing with the commission. Be that as it may, the commission must find a way to see that this order is carried out.
“I, therefore, order that the officer in charge of the General Hospital, Egbema, where the corpse of the victim, Chibuike Onumajuru, is deposited, should ensure the release of the corpse for burial forthwith.”
IN a related development, the state police command has begun probe of an Owerri-based hotel for alleged ritual activities following claims on social media that a girl was killed in March last year at the hospitality for that purpose.
But in a statement issued at the weekend by its spokesman, SP Orlando Ikeokwu, the force said preliminary findings indicated the contrary, hinting that more investigations were ongoing.
It said: “The command wishes to state that it has commenced investigation into the matter. The hotel has been identified and the management and staff invited for questioning, of which all the books, files, registers, and receipts in the hotel were received and scrutinised.
“However, preliminary investigation shows no record of such incident in the hotel, as none of the registers/ booklets, receipts of the hotel has such name as a guest on the said date (10/03/21) unless a different name was used other than the one in the write-up.”
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