MURDER OF ENUGU NURSE: CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS DEMAND RELEASE OF SUSPECTS WRONGLY ARRAIGNED
Maureen Onuora in Enugu
A Coalition of Civil Society Groups in Enugu State have waded into the controversies surrounding the murder of late Mrs. Maria Amadi, former Head, Nursing Services, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu.
Penpushing reports that, the Health officer was shot dead late last year, after which three of her colleagues in the hospital were charged to court and remanded in prison custody till date, while police, however continued investigations leading to the arrest and arraignment of the three other suspects, who were said to have confessed to the crime.
The Civil Society Organisations said, following the development, they found it curious that despite a memo to the Enugu State Attorney General from the police hierarchy seeking a withdrawal of the charge against the deceased’s colleagues, the government had failed to do the needful.
Penpushing further reports that, Convener of the Coalition, Comrade Igboke Onyebuchi while addressing journalists in Enugu, said if the government failed to withdraw the charges, they would be left with no option than to embark on protest.
The Convener said it was confirmed that about 15 persons were arrested in the course of the primary investigations and later, the real culprits, three of them, were apprehended and made a voluntary confessionary statement.
Penpushing also reports that, the coalition leader said, the three suspects Chidiebere Ochi, Uchenna Onuorah and Amadi Ekwo allegedly murdered Mrs Maria Amadi,
“In view of the apprehension of the 3 real suspects that owned up to killing of late Maria Amadi the Nigeria Police Legal Department, headquarters and Investigation Department of Federal Anti-Robbery Squared wrote reports dated 28th Nov, 2019. to the Enugu State Government through the Office of the Hon. Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Enugu State and Office the Chief Judge of Enugu State was equally copied.”
Penpushing reports that, Onyebuchi said the report with reference number, FSARS, let.no.CB: 3514/X/FHQ/FSARS/ABJ/T1/VOL.4/35 dated 27th September, 2019 read thus: “it was revealed that there is enough evidence to establish a prima facie case of Armed Robbery and Murder respectively against the three other suspects subsequently arrested namely: Chidiebere Ochi male, Amandi Ekwo male a.k.a Pharaoh and Uchenna Onuora male a.k.a Amingo arising from ,but not limited to their voluntary confessions.
“On the other hand, neither of them claimed to have known or in any manner attempted toimplicate any of the defendants already standing trial for the murder of late Dr. Maria Amadi before the High Court of Enugu State in charge number E/165c/2019 B/W, hence the above underlined separate charge dated the 18 th day of October, 2019 was filed against them and presently assigned to Enugu High Court No. 5, sitting at Enugu.”
Penpushing further reports, Onyebuchi said in view of this, the Civil Society Organisations needed to know “the interest of Enugu State in keeping innocent people in detention and stopping their salaries, considering that most of them have family that are dependent on them’.
“Enugu State Government should make public explain why they still kept the earlier accused in detention even when the police who are legally responsible in apprehending and investigation of crime have made their report available for necessary actions.”
“We the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations are giving Enugu State 2 weeks ultimatum to either make available their reason of continuous detention of this innocent persons even after the real culprits have been apprehended or we embark on a peaceful protest as injury to one remains injury to all”, the group declared