By Izunna Okafor, Awka
Barr. Eziafa Charisma Enwedo, the legal counsel to the family of the lady who recently died in a hotel in Anambra State, had described as half-baked and inconclusive, the investigation the Anambra State Police Command conducted on the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of the deceased, Miss Chinyere Awuda.
Recall that the Police Public Relations Officer of the Anambra State Police Command, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu, had, in a press statement issued on Friday, announced that the deceased, Miss Awuda, was drowned in a pool according to the results and reports of autopsy conducted on her corpse.
The Police Spokesman, in the press statement, also debunked and dismissed the earlier claims by some people who said that the lady was beaten to death and her body dumped in the hotel’s pool. He also clarified and re-emphasized that Miss Awuda drowned and died as a result of that.
DSP Ikenga further added that the State Commissioner of Police, CP Aderemi Adeoye, has ordered that the case file be forwarded to the Attorney General for vetting and legal advice.
However, in his reaction to the police’ press statement on the autopsy report, Barr. Enwendo, the Attorney to the family warned the police must not rush to close the case based on the claims that she drowned; adding that the autopsy report did not in any way, exonerate the suspects of possible assault and murder.
According to him, it is still possible that the lady was deliberately thrown inside the abandoned pool by one of the people chasing after her when she might have become unconscious as a result of the beating he said she received from multiple people.
Barr. Enwendo also claimed that police was in possession of a particular CCTV footage that shows some scenes that are not contained in the ones already circulating in the media space, including one with a scene showing where a male adult pursued the Miss Awuda into the pool enclosure and later reappeared without her. He therefore also challenged the police to release that particular CCTV footage for the world to see.
His statement read in full: “We acknowledge the autopsy report of the police regarding the alleged murder of Miss. Chinyere Awuda, whose corpse was found inside the abandoned swimming pool of Cosmila Hotels and Suites, Awka.
“We are relieved that the police have finally launched their investigation into Miss Chinyere Awuda’s death and what caused her untimely death, which we continue to believe was a premeditated murder.
“The police were forced into the inquiry because they were timid and hesitant to investigate the situation, preferring to settle with the suspect without justice.
“The autopsy report has revealed that Miss. Chinyere Awuda only drowned in the abandoned pool.
“This does not resolve the claims of Miss. Chinyere Awuda’s murder, and we are prepared to pursue the case further.
“We want the Nigeria Police Force, Awka Division, to release the real CCTV footage they have that show a male adult suspected of being one of the culprits, chasing Miss. Chinyere Awuda into the abandoned swimming pool area.
“CCTV footage showed her being beaten, which the suspect admitted to in their statements. The video showed her running and being chased by a number of people; it also indicated that she did not rush into the pool enclosure alone; a male adult followed her inside the enclosure and reappeared minutes later without her.
“While we accept the autopsy result that she drowned, it’s still possible that she was beaten into an unconscious state and was allowed to drown by the male adult who pursued her into the pool enclosure, as revealed by the authentic CCTV footage in the possession of the Police.
“The autopsy report also found that she had injuries in her left hand; the public is curious as to what caused her injuries and whether drowning also causes similar damage.”
Continuing, he said: “The Hotel should make public the size of the pool, what water is left in it, and if it’s enough to drown a conscious person.
“The autopsy report in no way exonerates the suspects of possible assault and murder.
“The authentic CCTV footage with the police, which they have refused to make public, contained scenes where the deceased was being pummelled and pursued into the pool enclosure. We will want to know the identities of the adult who pursued her into the abandoned swimming pool area immediately but didn’t raise the alarm that she fell into the pool as being alleged.
“It’s still plausible that she was deliberately thrown inside the abandoned pool by the adult while unconscious as a result of her already being beaten by multiple people.
“The police must not rush to close the case based on the claims that she drowned. The original CCTV footage and autopsy results must be made public, and the circumstances surrounding her pursuit into the pool enclosure must be determined.
“The circumstances behind Miss Chinyere Awuda’s death must be established, justice must be served, and we beseech the public to remain composed and not be misled by the autopsy results as we urge the police to continue their inquiries.
“This call for justice is for the living and preservation of the sanctity of life. Death shouldn’t just be explained off.”