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EndSARS: Judicial panel invites chief consultant of Abuja teaching hospital

Henry Ukwujede testifying before the #EndSARS Independent Investigative Panel, in Abuja. Photo: Bose Ijelekhai.

The Independent Investigative Panel on alleged human rights violations by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other Units of the Nigerian Police has summoned the Chief Consultant of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Dr A. Abimiku to appear before it, to explain the cause of death of one Ms Ifeoma Stella Abugu.

The Chairman of the Panel, retired Justice Suleiman Galadima gave the order in Abuja since Dr Abimiku allegedly signed the autopsy result of Ifeoma Abugu.

Testifying before the panel, the fiancé of the deceased, Afam Ugwunwa, said Ms Ifeoma died in the custody of the police on the 13th of September last year, but the police alleged that she died due to high consumption of drugs.

Mr Ugwunwa, however, said the autopsy conducted on her at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital showed no traces of drugs in her blood.

He further stated that he left her at home hale and hearty, only for him to be informed by her that she had been arrested by the police on allegation of illicit sale of hard drugs and was being taken away to the station.

He said when he visited the Special Anti-robbery Squad, SARS office in Abuja the following day since he was far away when the arrest took place, the police informed him that she died from a drug overdose.

According to Mr Ugwunwa, when he visited the morgue, her body had bruises all over with traces of blood, dripping from her ears and foam in her mouth, revealing she had suffered cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment which probably led to her death.

He said the family’s prayer was for the panel to help it to ascertain the circumstances that led to the death of Ifeoma Abugu.

The hearing was adjourned to 24th February 2021, for the pathologist to explain the cause of death.

Bose Ijelekhai

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