By Jonathan Ugbal
The Nigeria Police Force has said arrangements to prosecute the suspected killer of 20 year old undergraduate, Joy Odama a 200 level Mass Communication student of the Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH) have been concluded.
Odama who hails from Yala local government area in northern Cross River State was allegedly murdered by one Alhaji Usman Adamu on December 20, 2016 at his guest house in Karmo community in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory reports The Punch, but Police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood told journalists Thursday at the Louis Orok Edet House, Abuja that investigations have been concluded into the murder and promised justice will be done.
“I want to assure you that what the police have done is a very thorough job that can stand the test of trial in court against the accused person. As I speak, the accused person is still in police custody and that is very important to everyone to ensure that justice is done,” Moshood said, but failed to parade Alhaji Usman who the Police had earlier said was at large.
He said a fresh autopsy carried out by Police Pathologist, Dr. Wilson Akhinwu showed that: ““Joy died from carbon monoxide poisoning from generator fumes, which was contributed to by a pre-existing cardiomyopathy.”
This runs contrary to the autopsy carried out by the family which indicated that Joy had died from “acute cocaine poisoning,” which the family lawyer, Augustine Okechukwu said the Police had endorsed and accused the Police hierarchy of shielding Joy’s killers.
But, Moshood said the first one was inconclusive and that the file of Police investigations will be sent ot the Federal director of public prosecution for legal advice and further action, quickly pointing out that the report did not exonerate the suspect.
“The issue of murder is a capital offence which cannot be compromised at any level? It has to go to court. I want to say that we did not reject the first autopsy report. The first autopsy report was not conclusive.
“The report of the second autopsy is not exonerating the suspect and that is what is important. We should disabuse our mind with any conflicting view whether the police is out to exonerate the principal suspect in this regard,” he said.
But, another family lawyer Ikechukwu Maduile wondered the need for a fresh autopsy and said the family is rejecting it as the Police is attempting to cover up the case as they were not informed of the press briefing and the claim of carbon poisoning does not need prosecution as it is an accident unless Usman was responsible.
Maduile said they had requested to witness the toxicology test planned by the Police in Lagos which was declined said that: “We informed them that we would like to witness the toxicology test, but they said our presence was not necessary and that the test could only be done in Lagos. But now, they are saying they carried out another autopsy test.
“It’s what we have been saying that the police are merely trying to cover up the case. If they said Joy died of carbon monoxide poisoning, then they do not need to prosecute the suspect? Why would they prosecute him for an accident that he was not responsible for?
“We reject the report of the police categorically. They didn’t invite or inform us about the press briefing in the case or the family. Who are they holding brief for?”
Joy’s mother had also accused the Police of treating her daughter’s murderer as a “Very Important Person” with the situation surrounding her death prompting several calls on social media, human rights groups and the Cross River State House of Assembly for investigation to ensure justice is done.
Read More about the case here.
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