Gov Obi seeks clues on floating corpses in Anambra River
… Offers N5m reward
Desperate for clues to the source of the unidentified corpses discovered floating on the Ezu River in Amansea, a border town with Enugu State last Saturday, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, who reportedly cut short a foreign trip to be at the scene, Sunday offered to pay N5 million as reward to anyone with useful information on the matter.
Members of the Amansea community, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, had woken up Saturday morning to discover 15 corpses afloat the Ezu River, which is the boundary between Anambra and Enugu states.
A number of the corpses were reportedly still afloat when the Anambra State Chief Executive visited the site on the Onitsha – Enugu Road segment of the river.
Describing the discovery as “mindless killing” and dumping of the corpses as “barbaric and shocking,” Obi said: “What happened here is unacceptable in any decent society. Human life and blood is sacred and all of us must respect the sanctity of human life.”
Obi, who was accompanied by the Anambra State Police Commissioner, Mr. Bala Nassarawa, and other top government officials, urged the people to remain calm as government was on top of the situation.
“The Police have been directed to move in their homicide teams and recover the bodies,” Obi said.
Meanwhile, Enugu State Police Commissioner, Mr. Musa Daura, has said that his command would probe the mystery surrounding the bodies.
Daura, who visited the scene, Sunday, said that he would synergise with his Anambra State counterpart to investigate the source of the corpses.
The Anambra State Police Deputy Police Public Relations Officer (DPPRO), Mr. Emeka Chukwuemeka, Sunday in Awka confirmed that only 18 bodies were removed from the Ezu River.
Chukwuemeka said that “as at Sunday, 18 bodies were found at the time of evacuation.”
Meanwhile, evacuation of the bodies began at about 4.00pm Sunday, with the discovery of three additional corpses, bringing the lally to 18.
The evacuation was done by some officials in traditional canoes, who moved around the river retrieving bodies to a designated place, apparently for mass burial.
Also on duty for the evacuation were pathologists from the Police and the Anambra State Government, who were expected to carry out autopsy on some of the bodies retrieved.
Already, the Anambra State Government has started supplying water to the residents of Amansea, who hitherto depended on the polluted Ezu River for their routine water needs.
Some articulated vehicle water tankers were stationed in strategic areas in Amansea, supplying water to the needy people.
Confirming the corpses evacuation exercise and distribution of potable by the Anambra State Government, the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Mrs Azuka Enemuo, said: “We will commence drilling of boreholes on Monday (yesterday) to further ameliorate the water plights of the community.”
She said that Enugu State government officials had been contacted, “to come and witness with us because it is a river on the boundary of Anambra and Enugu states and it is floating into Anambra state.”
The corpses that could not be easily identified, were suspected to have been dumped in the river last Friday night by unknown persons.
Some fishermen and sand excavators reportedly discovered the decomposing bodies at the bank of the river.
People from all over Anambra State and neighbouring Enugu State, including travellers besieged the scene Sunday to catch a glimpse of the dead bodies.
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