Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has asked the Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria, Mr Boss Mustapha, to use his good offices to get the South African police authorities to take serious steps to unravel the murder of a Nigerian corporate executive in Johannesburg last month.
Mrs Elizabeth Obianuju Ndubuisi-Chukwu, Deputy Director General of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), was found dead in her room at Emperor Palace Hotel on Thursday, June 13, while attending a meeting of the African Insurance Organisation in the South African commercial capital.
Governor Obiano in a letter to Mr Mustapha, which was released today in Awka, Anambra State, by the state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba, explained that it had become necessary to request the SGFN to personally wade into the killing because the police in Johannesburg may be capitalising on the absence of a foreign minister in Nigeria to treat the case with levity.
The governor said that reports he has received on the death of the 53-year-old indigene of Anambra State “and my analysis of the reports suggest that the South African police are treating this murder as just another Nigerian’s death in their country”.
Emperor Palace Hotel as explained at the weekend that it has not released the CCTV footage to the police because they had yet to request for it.
“It is disheartening that over three weeks after the dastardly act the South African police have not deemed it necessary to investigate the heinous crime with the seriousness it deserves,” Obiano observed.
“Mrs Ndubuisi-Chukwu was not an ordinary person, but a top corporate executive who was billed to become early next year the chief executive of her organisation and was representing Nigeria at the meeting in Johannesburg where she met her untimely death”.
The South African Department of Home Affairs had in an autopsy report stated that Mrs Ndubuisi-Chukwu was strangulated, contradicting some earlier reports suggesting that she might have died in her sleep or committed suicide.
Governor Obiano argued in the letter to the federal government that a “painstaking investigation by the South African police should be able to unearth easily the person or persons who entered her room after she had joined her colleagues attending the African Insurance Conference in the farewell dinner on Wednesday, June 12.
“The job has been made easier now because Emperor Palace Hotel has agreed to release the CCTV footage to them”.
Mrs Ndubuisi-Chukwu’s death has been the subject of intense media scrutiny, with Governor Obiano vowing not to relent in seeking justice for any Anambra indigene “whose life is wasted anywhere, whether in Nigeria or abroad.
“The people and government are grateful to the Nigerian human rights community led by Professor Chidi Odinkalu, the past chairman of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission, for fighting to ensure that justice is done to the memory of Mrs Ndubuisi-Chukwu, a mother of two boys”.