Igbakwu Community in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State, has rejected the Anambra State Police Command’s Autopsy report of its slain 70 year-old son, Chief Daniel Mbanefo.
The people appealed to Inspector General of Police to constitute an Independent Investigation Team to conduct an autopsy on the corpse allegedly murdered by member of the community that have been terrorizing the area.
They also called on the IGP to ensure the independent autopsy of the deceased was not obstructed, just as it called on the police boss to disband the Homicide Investigation Teams at the Criminal Investigation Department of Anambra State Police Command Awka and that of Zone 13 Police Zonal Command, Ukpo, for alleged mishandling and attempt to cover up the murder case.
Addressing newsmen in Igbakwu through their lawyer, Prince Christopher Muo, the community also called on Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State to direct Commissioner of Homeland Security to interface with the community and deceased family to arrange for security for the witnesses who covered the alleged murder scene, and deceased family alleging being threatened by their father’s killers.
The community further alleged police desperate attempt to release the suspect who was caught in the recorded video during the alleged crime, more so when Investigations were still ongoing.
The Igbakwu community while narrating the circumstances of Chief Mbanefo’s death, said the murder of Chief Mbanefo was the fourth linking the suspect, adding that of all the killings linking the suspect only the third victim survived to tell who attacked him, that the present case where he was caught in the video recording killing Chief Mbanefo is indisputable.
According to the community “The Deputy Chairman of Amakolum Age Grade, of Igbakwu, which incidentally is the same age grade of the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Prof. Onuora Nwuneli, OON, the first African Professor of Mass Communication, reported a N300 million naira land fraud to the traditional ruler who promptly stopped it.”
“The age grade went to the ancestral shrine of the community on July 30th 2023, where the deceased and members of the age grade placed an ancestral course on anybody from Eriato village Igbakwu, who will use their community land for fraud or tries to perpetrate fraud the second time.
“The placing of course on any person that will use our land for fraud did not go down well with one of our sons, the suspect who openly threatened late Chief Mbanefo, for pronouncing the course on behalf of the Eriato village members, but we told the suspect that nobody’s name was mentioned when the course was being placed and therefore, not targeted at any particular person.
“However, on July 31st 2023, some members of Igbakwu Vigilante placed an alarm phone call to the Commandant of Igbakwu Vigilante Group, Mr. Ikechukwu Agbata, informing him that they were doing a video recording of the suspect (name withheld)and seven others, killing Chief Daniel Mbanefo.
“The Commandant of the community vigilante quickly ran to the Divisional Police Station, at Anaku, where he told the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, what his men just told him over the phone, and the DPO hid him in the Police Station.
However, unknown to the suspect who has been linked with three earlier assassinations which only one victim survived, to tell who attacked him, the vigilante had transmitted the video recording to the Commandant of the community vigilante who also forwarded it to the Police.
“Shortly after video recording the murder of Chief Mbanefo, the vigilante operatives attempted citizens arrest of those who allegedly killed Chief Mbanefo, while he was on his way to his farm in the forest, but to the surprise of the vigilante ooeratives, some armed men came out from behind and disarmed them, took their phones from them and deleted the video recordings of the murder of Chief Mbanefo, and smashed the faces of their Andriod phones, but did not know that some of the recordings have been transmitted to the vigilante Commander who transferred them to the Police.
“The armed men who disarmed the vigilante operatives had no reason to kill about six of them, after killing Chief Mbanefo, and so left them to go,having deleted all recording of the murder incident from their phones.
“Barely one hour after killing Chief Mbanefo, the suspect, accompanied by the same number of people as reported by the vigilante operatives and captured in their video recordings, came to Anaku Divisional Police Station, claiming that he came to give a report that he saw the body of Chief Mbanefo, dead in the forest. The police men asked him how he knew the deceased and he replied that they are from the same village.
“The police men also asked him who were the young men he came with, and he replied that they are men who came to work in his farm and the Police asked him, you said these men wearing expensive Canvass shoes worth between N10,000 to N12,000 are the people to work in rice and yam farms in Igbakwu village, he said yes, and the policeman told them to come in and sit down, and immediately had all of them handcuffed.
“The principal suspect protested against his handcuffing, and asked the policeman why they were handcuffing him that came to report that an Igbakwu man was killed, but the Policemen told him not to worry that they will soon show him why he was being handcuffed.
“After handcuffing him, the policemen brought out the community vigilante Commandant where they hid him, after he reported the information his men who video recorded the murder gave him, and the Police asked the suspect, do you know this man and he said yes and they told him to call his name and he did, and disclosed that he is the community vigilante Commander.
“The Divisional Crime Officer, DCO, told the suspect that the vigilante Commander had earlier come to the Police station some hours ago and reported that he was seen with some men killing Chief Daniel Mbanefo, and he was recorded, the Police played the video recorded scene to him and he became quiet.
“They police men told him that he was coming to put up a pretence, of which if nobody had seen him and his men committing the heinous crime, what would have happened was Igbakwu people would have started accusing their Omor neighbours of killing their Chief and another community crisis will start.
“The policemen bundled him to the State CID Awka for homicide prosecution, but the suspect who had always boasted that he has members of Nigeria Police in his pay roll, was proved right with an alleged attempts by the CID Awka to release him before the CID in Zone 13 Ukpo took over the matter and also tried to release him, without conducting the autopsy demanded by the Igbakwu community.”
According to the community, “The police in Anambra invited the younger brother to the deceased, Somudi Mbanefo, to come on an agreed date to identify his brothers corpse for autopsy to be conducted and the man arrived 30 minutes before the given time only to be told by an investigating police officer that the autopsy has been conducted and his brother died of heart attack and cardiac arrest, but the community and the family have rejected the report as unacceptable.”
“Apart from trying to cover up the case and set the suspect free the police in the state attempted to force the family members to write a dictated undertaking, which says “they don’t want case and will not write any petition, but we as a community have rejected the autopsy report and the undertaking and are insisting that an independent autopsy be conducted.”