Emeka Kelvin Onianwa lying Comatose in the hospital, handcuffed, before giving up the ghost

Death of Emeka Onianwa – One Year After: the Riddle and the Unsolved Murder

It is exactly a year today that the election into the Delta State House of Assembly was held in Ibuzo and every other parts of Delta State. Similar exercise also took place in other parts of the nation.

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On this very day, a young Ibuzo man, a husband, a father and a brother was mercilessly beaten along with two other friends while monitoring election activities in Ibuzo. The beaten of that day subsequently led to his death a few days later. There is no need to repeat the story as relayed by two of the surviving victims of that brutal attack. All that took place thereafter are now history for the archives.

However, while every effort was made to bring the culprits to book, greater efforts were made to keep the murder suspects out of jail. As a matter of fact, even as I write this piece, the official position, according to the legal advice of the then DPP of the Delta State Ministry of Justice, is that the investigation is still on-going, almost one year after the commission of the crime. Incidental to that legal advice was the official clearance of some of the murder suspects.

We have continued to wait in vain for the end to the investigations, assuming any investigation is still on going.

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It is a big surprise and a huge disappointment that a crime committed in broad daylight, with all the amount of circumstantial evidence available, the police in conjunction with the office of the DPP in the Delta State Ministry of Justice are yet to fish out the killers of late Emeka Onianwa. The wife and the kids he left behind are still waiting for justice. God of justice is also waiting for these two government institutions saddled with the administration of criminal justice to tell the whole world, especially the family and the mourning community, who were the people that conspired to snuff out the life of this young man in one of the crudest mafia style killing in our generation.

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The questions begging for answers are thus:

(1) Were all the suspects freed by the masterstroke from the pen of the then Delta State DPP, (clothed in Legal advice or legal opinion), and if not why has the case become cold?

(2) How long will it take the Police and the Ministry of Justice to bring the actual suspects to justice before the matter could be taken seriously?

(3) Was there any force from whatever quarters, whether from above or below that has tied or prevented the hands of the police and the office of the DPP from concluding their investigations, or shall we just fold our hands and conclude that despite all the initial efforts of the police, the investigation remain in-conclusive, just as many unsolved murders in the land?

It is equally disheartening to note that most members of the Ibuzo community seem to have put the death of this young man behind them. It is now, a stale story, so much that nobody even publicly thinks or talks about it any more. But should it be so? Where is our spirit of being our brother’s keeper? Or shall we say that we care less simply because we were not directly affected? Or could it be that we are all victim of the system that had kept us enslaved over the several years past and even up until date?

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By the way, I do not know whether the young man has been laid to rest. The last time I checked, I was informed that his body was still lying in the mortuary. I cannot confirm for now the truth in that information. But if it is true, I think it is time the man was interred. He had suffered enough. Even in death, he appears to have been abandoned. But we should do the needful.

Which brings me back to the family he left behind. I do not know what his benefactor, while he was alive, had done or is doing to ease the suffering and hardship of the wife, father and children Emeka Onianwa left behind. But given the spirit that informed the clarion call and response to the victims of the ghastly motor accident that claimed about 16 lives a couple of weeks ago at the ADP area on Ibuzo/Asaba road, perhaps it will be appropriate for the organizers of that collection to think of doing similar thing for the family of late Emeka Onianwa, while the people continue to await the outcome of the endless police investigation into the most celebrated murder case in Ibuzo in recent memory.

Barrister Okafor is based in Fort Worth, Texas.

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