1 February 2013

Nigeria: Senate Orders Probe of Corpses in Ezu River

The Senate yesterday ordered its Committees on Police Affairs, Security and Intelligence to immediately commence thorough investigation into the mystery behind sudden appearance of over 30 corpses, most of which were remains of men on Ezu River recently.

Moving a motion on the floor of the Senate, Senator Andy Uba, (Anambra South), recalled how in the early hours of Saturday, January 19, some villagers of Amansea community in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State woke up to view a horrible episode of the floating of 30 dead bodies on the river.

The senator who noted that "no explanation has been proffered as to the possible origin of the dead bodies," added that "the autopsy ordered by the governments of Anambra and Enugu States has yielded no report."

Uba who also described the river as the boundary between Anambra and Enugu States, submitted that "it is the only source of water for domestic and other uses for the people of the five communities of Anambra State."

He remarked that the ugly incident has led to people of the area experiencing "discomfort and hardship," as regards finding water for their daily use.

Other senators, who spoke on the matter condemned the incident, saying lack of insight into the dead bodies' appearance portends grave damage to the image of the nation.

Commenting on the matter, Senate President, David Mark, said: "I think it is a very serious thing that no community in this country has reported that it couldn't find one person; not one community has made a report. Even if Police is inefficient, even if security agencies are inefficient, the communities themselves or the families themselves, nobody can come to say we can't find our son. It is very disturbing.

"I think the bigger problem is not what happened but, where did these dead bodies come from? I think the river that is flowing, the dead bodies wouldn't have just emerged from nowhere; they would have come from a certain place before they got to where they were eventually found. So it is a bit strange.

"Even if they were in boat that capsized, who are they? So it is strange and we need to be very concerned about it. In addition to that, of course the villagers naturally will be concerned and they may not want to go to the river anymore, but unless we are able to say who these people are, I think there will be a big problem for us in this country. And it is not just about security agencies alone, I think every community in this country now is involved."

Also yesterday, Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Smart Adeyemi, urged the Ministry of Works to ensure the construction of Kabba-Ilorin highway, saying it is in dire need of the ministry's intervention.

Adeyemi who made the call during a courtesy visit on the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, complained about the deplorable state of federal roads in Kogi State, especially in Kogi West senatorial district.

He said the deplorable state of the road had paralysed economic activities and social life of the people of Kogi West senatorial district.

"The road had been taken over by hoodlums, rapists and armed robbers. My people are under tremendous pressure and pains at home.

"They just tolerated us to have a Christmas celebration last December. Our people sent us back to Abuja with a mandate to get the road fixed," he said.

Responding, Onolememen assured that construction works would commence on Obajana-Kabba-Ilorin highway before the end of the first quarter of this year.

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