A grieving daughter, Blessing Ephraim, yesterday, called on Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu’s intervention in the unraveling of the circumstances that led to the murder of her mother, Helen Okoro.
The daughter of the deceased, Blessing Ephraim, also alleged that the police have allegedly refused to direct the release of the body of Mrs Helen Okoro for burial as ordered by Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Jabi, Abuja.
Addressing the press in Abuja, yesterday, Blessing called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the IGP to obey the court orders by re-arresting and prosecuting the suspects.
According to her, “My mom’s remains have been in the mortuary for almost two years and the bills are accumulating and the Force legal department is frustrating the case. My mother was killed because she refused to sell her ancestral land, all I want is justice.”
She also explained that her mother’s body is still deposited at the Arochukwu General Hospital, Abia State, since December, 2017, after she was reportedly killed over a land tussle involving one Tony Ndu and 12 others, who were indicted by the police in Abia, which investigated the incident.
The men were detained for over six months, but were released when the case file was transferred to the Force headquarters.
Also speaking, the lawyer to the daughter of the deceased, Maxwell Opara, explained that attempts to enforce the court order were rebuffed by the police legal department at the force headquarters.
The activist also stated that the police had refused to prosecute the 13 men indicted for the murder of Okoro, adding that the police legal department claimed that the case file was missing.
The lawyer presented the court order in suit number FCT/M/5352/2019, dated June 1, 2019, directing the police to release Okoro’s remains for internment.
It read, “Leave is granted directing the Nigeria Police to release to the family of late Mrs Helen Okoro, the receipt or tag with the tag number 16051, the corpse of late Okoro, issued by the Arochukwu General Hospital, Abia State, where the corpse was deposited, which was collected and kept by the Nigeria Police, Arochukwu Police Division, Abia State.
“Leave is also granted mandating the Nigeria Police to direct the management of Arochukwu General Hospital, to release the corpse of late Mrs Helen Okoro to her family for burial. Order is as prayed.”
Opara explained that the police had also spurned an Order of Mandamus compelling them to release the case file in respect of the murder of Okoro to the Abia State Attorney-General pursuant to his letter requesting same, dated June 27,2018.
The order also delivered by Justice Banjoko read in part, “An Order of Mandamus is also granted compelling the respondents (Inspector-General of Police and Commissioner of Police in charge of legal department, Force headquarters), having concluded investigations, to remit the investigation report and case file to the AG, Abia state, to enable him to charge the suspects to court immediately in line with their public duty having investigated the criminal case.”