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Govt flays hasty autopsy report on deceased Nnewi North LG boss’ wife



ANAMBRA State Government has distanced itself from a hastily packaged document purporting to be preliminary autopsy on the controversial death of thelate Mrs. Chidebere Iloka.

  The dead body of Mrs. Iloka, wife of the suspended Transitional Committee (TC) Chairman of Nnewi North LGA, Mbazulike Iloka, was found in her house on Sunday, August 7, in several unclear circumstances surrounding her death. Based on public outcry and a complaint lodged by her elder brother, Uchenna Ezenwonye, Anambra State Government promptly suspended Mr. Iloka from his post as transitional council chairman of Nnewi North.

  Mr. Ezenwonye and his family, through his lawyer, D. O. Ezeonwuka, indicated that Mr. Iloka could know a lot about the death.

  The state government therefore asked for thorough forensic study of the death through which a committee of six experts, comprising two each from the three parties, namely Mr. Iloka’s family, the wife’s family as well as the state government, was set up to conduct the autopsy on August 16.

  It was agreed that the test or result would be processed within two to six weeks though same is still being awaited as of August 30.

  But within 24 hours of establishing the team, Ezenwonye reportedly claimed the autopsy report was ready. But a release issued yesterday by Anambra State’s Commissioner for Justice, Prof Sylvia Chika Ifejeme, her counterparts from Ministry of Health, Dr. Adam Obidike and Women Affairs, Mrs. Ify Obinabo condemned the report as an unprofessional and pre-emptive handling of such a crucial matter.

“Surprisingly, the next day, August 17 (barely 24 hours after the autopsy process began and samples taken for laboratory tests, including toxicology tests), the same elder brother rushed to swear an affidavit claiming: ‘that an autopsy already conducted on our sister on 16/8/2022 by a team of pathologists has shown that the deceased was not killed.

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That based on the outcome of the autopsy, myself and my family have resolved to discontinue the case.’ Subsequently, two days later on August 19, 2022, the father of the deceased, Chief Emmanuel Ezenwonye wrote to Inspector General of Police (copied to the Governor of Anambra State, Commissioner for Women Affairs, Commissioner of Police, etc) and entitled ‘dissociation of myself, my wife and other children from the petition written by Human Rights Writers Association Nigeria against Mr. Mbazulike Iloka on the August 15, 2022 to your good office.’

In the said petition, Mr. Ezenwonye averred that the pathologist that represented the family during the autopsy gave his three children ‘preliminary briefing’ after the said autopsy suggestive of the fact that my said daughter, Chidebere, was not murdered and was ‘not beaten up at all.’ He subsequently prayed Inspector General of Police to release his son-in-law, Mbazulike Iloka ‘unconditionally.’

 Then on August 24, 2022, (barely eight days in the process, without the result of the toxicology tests and without the knowledge or consent of other pathologists in the team especially the two consultant pathologists appointed by he state government) the pathologist appointed by the family issued his ‘preliminary’ findings, speculating about the possible cause of death.”

  Continuing, the release issued by the three ministries said “there are too many puzzling questions but we leave them for another day.”

  The release also stated that “in the light of the foregoing, it is the view of Anambra State Government that: (i) Given the unprofessional conduct of pre-emptive issuance of ‘preliminary’ autopsy report without waiting for test results and contrary to rules of conduct agreed to by the team of pathologists, the integrity of the autopsy process is called to serious question.

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 The Government hereby withdraws the team of pathologists appointed by her from the process. (ii) The Nigerian Police is enjoined to professionally and thoroughly investigate the two allegations of domestic violence and homicide (iii). The State Government will reserve its further steps pending the outcome of (ii) above.”

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