A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and former Attorney General (AG) of Anambra State, Chief Nnoruka Udechukwu has raised the alarm over lingering police investigation to the killing of Tochukwu Onyemelukwe, a 25-year-old man accused of stealing noodles at Enugwu-Nanka community in Orumba North Local Government Area of the State.
Chief Udechukwu, alleged that the deceased was buried without the police or State government conducting an autopsy to ascertain the cause of the death.
He noted that since Onyemelukwe’s death in 2021, no arrest has been made by the security agencies in the State.
Late Onyemelukwe, was said to have been allegedly murdered by persons suspected to be his kinsmen and buried midnight in his family compound by his killers.
Onyemelukwe, said to be residing in Lagos with his parents prior to his demise, had returned to the village on the fateful night he was killed. He was reportedly arrested by some youths in the area for allegedly stealing some quantity of noodles worth N1,000.
Secretary-General of Enugwu Nanka village Development Union, Mr. Godson Offorkansi, told newsmen that Tochukwu was abducted and his hands and legs tied by the youths throughout the night of his abduction.
He said that the following day, he was taken to a place they call Ukwu Mango in the village where he was given the final beating that led to his death.
But briefing reporters weekend, Chief Udechukwu, called for activation of Coroners Inquest laws of the state.
He said the Laws if put into practice, would help curtail such unholy act, not only in Anambra State but the country at large.
According to him, his chamber has initiated a process of coroners inquest to unravel the the cause of Onyemelukwe’s unnatural death.
He said that , his chamber has made application to the Chief Magistrates Court of Anambra state to hold coroners inquest to determine the cause and circumstance of the violent death of Tochukwu Onyemelukwe.
Chief Nnoruka Udechukwu (SAN) who is the Emeritus Attorney General of Anambra state disclosed that the deceased died violently on November 30th 2021 and the case was reported to the police and no account for the death of the young man has been given.
He said that corners inquest laws was duly enacted in the State but has remained recondite over the years, noting that it is time to activate it.
According to him, most regrettably the body of Tochukwu was surreptitiously and unceremoniously buried in a compound of Mr Isaac onyemelukwe without any due process.
“Upon the matter being brought to the notice of counsel by the next of kin of late Tochukwu Onyemelukwe , Counsel as legal practitioner, sworn to the defence of human rights, rule of law and public order considered that is a matter which was a process under section 3,4, and 8 of the coroner’s law caps 35,the revised laws of Anambra State” he stated.
According to him, as a member of the temple of justice , there is need to get to the root and activate the law in the state, so that nobody will die violently without knowing the cause of his/her death.
“Anambra State Coroners laws made it mandatory that there shall be Coroner inquest in any one who died through violent or unnatural death” he stated.
Also speaking, Mr. Martin Okeke,
a farmer and the Vice Chairman of the Registered Trustees of Enugwu Nanka Village Development Union, Enugwu village Nanka joined in the call for proper coroner inquest to unravel the cause of his death.
According to Okeke, they are unionism calling for coroner inquest to determine the cause of Tochukwu’s death.
He said Tochukwu was deposited in the mortuary awaiting autopsy to determine actual cause of death but was buried without any investigation on the cause of his death.
He called for proper investigation to uncover, prosecute and punish those responsible for his death.
“One of our cardinal objects is respect to human life, the public is aware that we addressed a petition to Inspector General of Police to direct investigation on the circumstances of Tochukwu’s death.
“The IGP assigned the matter to FCID Enugu Annex who till date is sitting on that file. Notwithstanding frustration, we didn’t give up and we have not given up on Tochukwu’s inquest.
We didn’t give up and we cannot give up because we did not and do not want his death to be suppressed like many other similar deaths in Nanka.
“Amidst the frustration, the biological father of Tochukwu gave up hope and resigned to fate, leaving the death of Tochukwu to God” he stated.