Gideon Arinze in Enugu
A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Enugu State Thursday waded into the controversies surrounding the murder of former Head, Nursing Services, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Enugu, Mrs. Maria Amadi.
The health officer was reportedly shot dead late last year, after which three of her colleagues in the hospital were charged to court and remanded in prison custody ever since.
The police, however, continued investigations which led to the arrest and arraignment of three other suspects, who were said to have confessed to the crime.
Following the development, the CSOs said despite a memo to 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.
Addressing journalists in Enugu Thursday, the convener of the coalition, Igbokwe Onyebuchi, said if the government failed to withdraw the charges, they would be left with no option than to embark on protest.
He added that it was confirmed that about 15 persons were arrested on the course of the primary investigations and later, the real culprits, three of them, were apprehended and they made a voluntary confessionary statement how they: Chidiebere Ochi, Uchenna Onuorah and Amadi Ekwo, murdered late Mrs. Maria Amadi, who they likely thought was carrying bag with reasonable of money.
“In view of the apprehension of the three 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 November, 2019 to Enugu State Government through the office of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Enugu State and office the Chief Judge of Enugu State was equally copied,” he said.
Onyebuchi said the CSOs 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 members that are dependent on them.”
“Enugu State Government should make public 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,” he said.
He vowed that “the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations are giving Enugu State two-week ultimatum to either make available their reason of continuous detention of these innocent persons even after the real culprit has been apprehended or we embark on a peaceful protest as injury to one remains injury to all.”