The Anambra State Government has faulted the autopsy result reportedly released by the family of Chidiebere Iloka, wife of the Transition Committee Chairman of Nnewi North Local Government Area, Mbazuluike Iloka.
Mrs Iloka slumped and died on 7 August after reportedly serving her husband breakfast.
The family of the deceased was said to have hurriedly produced the autopsy result allegedly exonerating Mr Iloka after initially accusing him of being behind the woman’s death.
The government position is contained in a circular jointly signed by the Attorney-General of the state, Sylvia Ifemeje, and the state’s Commissioner for Health, Afam Obidike, on Tuesday.
The circular, also signed by the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Ifeyinwa Obinabo, was copied to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali and the Commissioner of Police in the state, Echeng Echeng.
Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State suspended the council chairman, Mr Iloka, who was later by the police over the allegations that he was responsible for his wife’s death.
How it began
Shortly after Mrs Iloka’s death became public, her brother, Uchenna Ezenwoye, petitioned the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Echeng, alleging that Mr Iloka “gruesomely murdered” his wife.
Mr Ezenwoye also claimed that Mr Iloka had threatened to kill his wife and had been beating her “frequently”.
Disturbed by the allegations, the government invited the families of Messrs Iloka and Ezenwoye and directed an autopsy test to be carried out on the body of Mrs Iloka to ascertain the cause of her death.
Both families picked two pathologists each for the test, while the government picked two.
The parties, which met on 16 August, agreed that the result of the autopsy would be ready between two and six weeks.
However, on 17 August, hours after the autopsy process was commissioned, Mr Ezenwoye, who had raised alarm of the murder, made a U-turn, claiming that an autopsy test had been conducted on Mrs Iloka the previous day by a team of pathologists.
He claimed that the autopsy result showed the deceased was not killed and that their family had resolved to discontinue the murder charge against Mr Iloka.
Again, on 19 August, two days after, the father of the deceased, Emmanuel Ezenwoye, in a petition to the IGP which was copied to the state government, as well as the police in the state, made a similar claim, insisting that her daughter was not beaten by her husband.
Mr Ezenwoye, in the petition, asked the IGP to order the “unconditional release” of Mr Iloka from police custody.
One of the pathologists appointed by the family for a joint-autopsy test was said to have released his autopsy result on 24 August without the knowledge of the other pathologists.
The autopsy result, it was learnt, also claimed that the deceased was not murdered.
Anambra government reacts
But the Anambra State Government disowned the pathologist who released the autopsy result, insisting that his findings remained his personal opinion.
It said the consultant pathologists appointed by the government have disassociated themselves from the said report.
The government also faulted Mr Ezewonye’s position which exonerated the suspended chairman.
“Why the extreme rush to issue preliminary result or to swear an affidavit – all designed to preempt the final report and hence put pressure on other pathologists in the team?” the government said.