22 January 2013

Nigeria: Ezu River - Eighteen Bodies Recovered As Police Commence Autopsy

Photo: Capital FM
Police line.

It is strange. It is bizarre. It is even gory. That without any known war or ethnic skirmishes, suddenly some 30 bodies were seen floating on the Ezu River in Amansea, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State. Eighteen of the bodies have so far been recovered, many of them at varying stages of decomposition.

An alarmed Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State had to cut short his UK trip on hearing the news of floating bodies on Ezu River. He visited the river on Sunday and was shocked by the gory sight that confronted him. He immediately ordered that the bodies should be recovered.

Like almost everyone, Obi expressed worry over who killed the people, who they are, why they were killed and where they were killed. He was so agitated about the "source" of the deaths that he announced a reward of N5 million to anybody with useful information on who dumped the bodies.

Obi had remarked that "what happened here is unacceptable in any decent society. Human life and blood are sacred and all of us must respect the sanctity of life."

THISDAY gathered that the Izu River stretches from parts of Enugu State. And some persons believe that the bodies may have floated to the Anambra end of the river from outside the state.

Already, Obi has implored the acting Governor of Enugu State, Mr Sunday Onyebuchi, to set up investigation process aimed at unravelling the cause of the deaths and the identities of the victims.

The Anambra State Police Commissioner, Mr. Bala Nasarawa, who spoke in Awka, the state capital, Monday said the bodies recovered were about 18 and that three of them had been selected for autopsy while the remaining 15 had already decomposed.

Nasarawa explained that the total number of the corpses is 18 and not 30 as it is being alleged.

"We have also discovered that there were no gun injuries or machete cuts found on their bodies as being speculated and the dead bodies are not up to 30," Nasarawa said.

However, there are fears of possible outbreak of epidemic in the area due to the incident as the river is the only source of water for the adjoining communities along the river stretch. As a safeguard, villagers have now resorted to boiling the water before use.

The state government has also dispatched water supply tankers to the villages to assist them with potable water.

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