From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
It was a black Sunday for the Nigeria Bar Association(NBA) in Imo State as a former chairman of the association, Ndionyema Nwankwo,64, from Arochukwu, Abia State was gruesomely murdered in his office at School Road, Owerri on Saturday.
Although his death is still shrouded in mysteries, but a statement released by the Secretary of NBA, Chinedu Agu, revealed that the late lawyer had left home since Saturday and could not return which made his family members to become curious.
However, Agu further stated that, an office mate of Nwankwo, Ishmael Nkwocha, who shares same office space with him had reacted following several frantic calls from his family members over the whereabouts of Nwankwo to check on him in his office , unfortunately met the entrance door locked.
The entrance door was covered up in blood stains when he got there on Sunday which prompted him to report the matter to the police.
According to the statement: “When the forensic experts arrived at 9:56 am with their gadgets, they opened the door only for us to find his bulky frame lying lifeless inside his office in the pool of his congealed blood.”
Agu stressed that on a closer observation, Nwankwo appeared to have been gruesomely matchetted by his assailant, following cuts seen on his neck which he said was almost being severed from his head.
Also, Agu revealed that splashes of blood were seen on the roof, fans, printer, computers, table, files, seats, books and bookshelves inside his office, suggesting that he might have been mercilessly machetted.
From the description in Agu’s statement, Nwankwo ,he said was suspected to have been busy working as his printer, computer, standing fan were on while a writing pad containing jottings unrelated to the incident and a pen were found on his desk.
“A bucket of water was seen in his office, with which the assailants might have washed their hands and matchet used in this act.
“A search of the office revealed a matchet abandoned inside the toilet in his office with which the assialant was suspected to have used to cut his neck.
“When his body which lay half prostrate was turned, matchet cuts were seen on his wrist also and the footprints captured by forensic experts suggested the act was done by two persons as the two footprints were unidentical.”
“As at the time of this report, Forensic Experts were still gathering evidential materials for their use accompanied by myself, L.C Ugorji, Uche Osuji, Ishmael Nkwocha, J.I Ogamba, D.O Nosike and a host of other Lawyers.
Meanwhile, his driver, who was the only person with him in the office on Saturday, as at the time of this report is at large, with Nwankwo’s phones, and Car.
Imo State Commissioner of Police, Nasiru Mohammed, in a statement by the State Police Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Orlando Ikeokwu, said the matter was being investigated.
The CP vowed that the police were doing everything they would to unravel the mystery while efforts were being made to arrest the fleeing suspects.
Meanwhile, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), chief Mike Ahamba, has reacted to the gruesome murder of Nwankwo, describing it as a great loss to the legal profession.
According to Ahamba, the deceased would be missed for his outspoken nature.
“Ndionyema would surely be missed because he is outspoken, he used to speaks for what he believed in and what others couldn’t speak on , he is a sound lawyer and we are deeply shocked by his sudden death.