Breaking: Court orders Police to release autopsy report of Chima Ikwunado


Tina Amanda

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has ordered the Inspector General of Police; Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, in charge of Zone 6; the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura; E-crack Commander SP Benson Adetuyi and Police IPO Sam of Mile 1 Police station Port Harcourt, to release the autopsy report of late Chima Ikwunado before the next adjourned date.

Adaugo Chima Ikwunado, the wife of Late Chima Ikwunado and Elder Kelvin Ikwunado, father of the deceased, filed different fundamental human right and criminal suits against the Rivers State Police Command, demanding Justice for the late Chima.

During the court proceeding, Princess Lawrence, Applicant’s Counsel told the court that they have served hearing notice to Respondents in the matter, stressing that the autopsy report, a document which they need to tender in court, is yet to be released to them by the Commissioner of Police.

Counsel to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents, Alibi Jonah, asked the court to grant them a longer extension of time in order to respond with counter-affidavits, which the court refused, with reasons that the nature of the matter which bordered on the fundamental human right requires a speedy hearing.

Also Read: Nigeria confirms first Coronavirus case

The presiding Judge, Justice James Omotosho, adjourned the case to 10th March for service of originating process on parties with hearing notice to be issued and served on 4th, 5th and 6th Respondents.

Speaking to our correspondent, Tina Amanda, Princess Lawrence, Applicants Counsel, said once the autopsy document is released to them, they will do further and better affidavit that will help the court take proper decision on the matter.

“We have come before the federal high court to enforce a fundamental right of the applicants. The facts supporting our application is that late Chima Ikwunado died right inside the E-crack police cell at the Mile 1, Police station on 23rd December 2019. We got all this fact from the other four young men who were arrested alongside Chima and tortured.

“Actually we were waiting for the matter to go to court. When a matter goes to court, all relevant documents are easy to get since the suspects were yet to be arraigned.

“In fact, the judge was waiting to take our application today, which we have applied for, we hope that the police will make a copy available to us. If the autopsy is not given to us, then it will mean that the report is against them and they are trying to hide something. It’s a public document and we are entitled to it”

On his part, Counsel to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents, said they have studied the Applicant’s application and will reply on point of law, stressing that in their view, the application is incompetent.

“We have entered none appearance for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents. We have studied the applicant’s application and we are going to reply to that process. We have seen what they filed and studied it, but we pleaded with the court to extend more time for us to file all necessary processes we need to file, but the court adjourned for us to bring all our applications.

“We will try our best to see that we furnish the court with the true position of the case. We have studied the case and seen that the application is incompetent, we are going to formally inform the court”