The Family of Miss Chinyere Awuda, 27, who was found dead inside an abandoned swimming pool at a Hotel in Awka on July 16, has alleged that their daughter was a victim of conspiracy and intentional murder.
Our correspondent reports that Chinyere was said to have gone clubbing on July 16 but was found dead in an abandoned swimming pool in the Hotel premises the next morning.
The Awuda family in their petition to the Commissioner of Police, Anambra, through their lawyer, Eziafa Enwedo, said their daughter was murdered by her killers without resistance by the hotel management.
The petition was titled “Call for Thorough Investigation of Conspiracy, Murder With Intent to Commit Rituals; Accessory After the Fact to Murder Miss Chinyere Awuda, Attempt to Compound Felony by Coaxing the Deceased Family into Accepting Settlement Before Conclusion of Investigation.”
The petition was against Chinemere Hope Gabriel (aka Bullion Van), Steven Junior (aka Exclusive), Management Of the Hotel, and others at large”.
It said the deceased was gang beaten to death by the suspects under the watch of bouncers and security of the nightclub and hotel.
The family said they were under pressure to close the matter but insisted that the fact behind the death of their daughter should be investigated, made public and the culprits made to face the law.
It said: “The deceased was said to have joined other girls to pick money in the club that was sprayed as music and dancing were going on, the tradition in the club and there was a rush during the process.
“The prime suspect singled out the deceased (not being one of his invitees) and began to beat her, which instigated the rest of his gang to join him in the beating.
“While the fracas was going on inside the clubhouse, the Manager of the club allegedly instructed the bouncers to stand down and not interfere, thereby stopping the security from rescuing the deceased.
“The deceased managed to escape from their grip inside the club but Gabriel allegedly assembled his gang, pursued the deceased to the abandoned swimming pool corner wherein they waylaid and trapped her.
“At some point, while the deceased was screaming as they were maiming and mutilating her, the prime suspect, Gabriel, knocked her off with what seemed like a metal that broke her forehead and silenced her.
“We further gathered that the manager instructed that the power generating set be put off, and the power supply to the entire hotel was suddenly put out, throwing the entire hotel into darkness,” it said.
The petitioners asked the hotel management to provide a comprehensive CCTV video of what happened both inside the club where the beating started and outside where the actual murder occurred.
The family described the footage in circulation as blurred and disjointed which left more questions unanswered.
“We refer to the authentic video clip from the CCTV (already collected by the police), showing details of the murder and the subsequent dumping of the deceased lifeless body into the abandoned swimming pool.
“We were reliably informed by an insider that there has been moves to change the initial confessional statements of the prime suspect, and others,” it said.
The family said it was insensitive to the plight of the bereaved and a mark of disrespect for the deceased that the Hotel was sealed and reopened to the public within 24 hours.
“We call on the Police to seal the crime scene, pending the outcome of investigation for the sake of public conscience and also arrest, detain and prosecute all other suspects, as shown by the CCTV clip already in the police custody,” it said.
In their reaction, Cosmila Hotel, where the murder happened, regretted the sad incident but absolved itself of complicity.
The hotel, in a statement signed by Mr Stanley Akuneziri, the Awka Branch Manager, said the deceased was not beaten to death and dumped in the swimming pool as had been claimed by the family and a section of the media.
It, however, confirmed that Gabriel held a party where money was sprayed and the deceased was singled out and attacked by the party organisers.
“Contrary to what has been said, Chinyere was never beaten to death or dragged to the pool. We cannot for any reason hurt anybody or do things that are inimical to our goals and objectives,” it said.
While commiserating with the family of the deceased, the hotel said it would act in public interest at all times and that it was open to a thorough investigation of the matter.
It added that there was CCTV footage of the incident.
“We do not condone any actions that may affect our customers or jeopardise the integrity we have suffered to build over the years.
“An Autopsy is being conducted and the result will be made public, anybody fingered in her death must surely face the full weight of the Law,” the Hotel said, adding “May her soul rest in perfect peace.”
Reacting, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, the Police Public Relations Officer in Anambra, told our correspondent that the command was aware of the case and that four suspects had been arrested in relation to it.
Ikenga said the matter was under investigation and that an autopsy would be conducted on the deceased to determine the root cause of her death.
He assured that the Police would investigate the case thoroughly while urging the parties and members of the public to remain calm.