By Okey Alozie
The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into police brutality and other related matters sitting at Owerri old High court on Tuesday, 16th of February, carried out its initial order for the release of the body of a young man of about 35 years of age who was allegedly killed by SARS operatives.
The commission chairman, Justice Florence Duruoha Igwe, (Rtd) started by adjourning the sitting to move to the Owerri Specialist Hospital mortuary following the complain made by the father of the deceased Mr Nathaniel Ogu, who alleged that the mortician incharge of the mortuary were his son’s remains were kept had failed to release the body to him.
After hearing the complain, the commission officially moved out from the court promises to visit the mortuary where the corpse was finally released to the deceased family.
The Chief mortician narrowly escape jail for violating the court order. On 9th December 2020, the commission gave order for the release of the corpse which has stayed for more than 3 years at the mortuary but the Chief Mortician did not obey the order. When the commission members stormed the where to see the Chief Mortician and the Medical Director, both of them were no place to be found and that angered the Justice Florence Duruoha-Igwe. The Assistant to the Chief Mortician bravely came out to rescue his boss by telling the commission chairman that the family of the deceased could not come on the stipulated date to carry the corpse as directed.
After his submission and defence the commission granted him pardon.
Addressing newsmen after the exercise, chairman of the commission said the purported refusal of the Mortician to release the body of the deceased necessitated the adjournment of the commission that morning adding that the panel have no other option than to come down to the mortuary to effect the release of the corpse without further delay and to find out why the order was not carried out initially as directed.
The father of the deceased said his son was kidnapped and murdered by policemen and he reported the matter and the police headquarters could not do much on it as we were told. This matter happened in June 2018. The corpse and since that 2018, the dead was not released to him. He then petitioned the commission.
By Okey Alozie