Festus Kenyamo, a renowned lawyer, has written a petition to the Inspector General of Police following the death of a man, reportedly a nephew of Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, in a swimming pool at Agura Hotels, Abuja.
Awin and his mother, who is Patience Jonathan’s sister
The 31-year-old Christopher Onoriode Akpomowei Awin, reportedly drowned to death in the swimming pool after returning from a party organised by the Ijaw Students’ Association of the University of Abuja. Representing late Awin’s family, Kenyamo, questioned the circumstances leading to Christopher’s death, making it known that an autopsy, which was carried out on the dead body by a certified consultant pathologist, reveals that the deceased could have survived had help arrived early enough.
In the petition, the renowned lawyer argues that the Agura hotel staff acted in a suspicious manner, querying why the two lifeguards on duty at the pool left their duty post on flimsy excuses at the same time. The hotel which has a busy Bar beside the swimming pool, according to Keyamo, did not also salvage the situation. Inspite of the expected attendant and staff presence, the body of the victim was not found until over one hour after he had drowned.
Calling the attention of the Inspector General of Police to the matter, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria also questioned the role the police played while investigating the case. Questions like: “Why did the Police hasten to reopen the swimming pool (as a crime scene) that was initially sealed for investigations? “Why has no member of staff of the Agura Hotels as well as the Agura Hotels been charged for culpable homicide till date?” are real reasons why a formal investigation is necessary, according to Keyamo’s petition.
It would be recalled that Patience Jonathan has been going for various medical check ups recently but revealed that the prayers of well meaning Nigerians kept her alive as she underwent seven surgeries within one month, while doctors had given up on her survival.
Read the full petition below:
Thursday, June 26, 2014
The Inspector-General of Police,
Force Headquarters, Louis Edet House, Abuja.
SUSPICIOUS DEATH OF CITIZEN CHRISTOPHER AWIN: CASE OF CULPABLE HOMICIDE AGAINST AGURA HOTELS AND MEMBERS OF ITS STAFF
We are solicitors to Madam Esther Ebiere Gbonkumor and the entire Awin Family. They have briefed us as follows:That on 7th June, 2014, their son, Mr. Christopher Onoriode Akpomowei Awin, a 31-year old Nigerian citizen, was invited to a picnic by the Ijaw Students’ Association of the University of Abuja as part of the celebration of their cultural week. That picnic held at Agura Hotels in Abuja.
We were informed that sometime at about 4:00pm, the picnic came to an end and all the members of the Association left for the University of Abuja Campus and their various residences in Gwagwalada, Abuja. However, Mr. Christopher Awin stayed behind for some swimming exercise. However, in a most bizarre twist of events, Mr. Christopher Awin was found drowned to death in the swimming pool of Agura Hotels at about 6:00pm later that day and officers of the Garki Division of the Nigerian Police were called in.
A post mortem has been carried out by a certified consultant pathologist who confirmed that his death was as a result of drowning and further added that if the victim had received help within five minutes of being submerged, he would have survived. Our enquiries have shown that there were two life guards on duty at the pool who curiously left their duty post on flimsy excuses. Further enquiries also revealed that there was a busy Bar beside the swimming pool. Inspite of the expected attendant staff presence, the body of the victim was not found until over one hour after he had drowned.
The queries that arise from the foregoing set of facts are as follows:
1. Why did the life guards charged with the sensitive responsibility of safe guarding guests abandon their duty post for so long?
2. Why would the Agura Hotels leave a guest in a public swimming pool unattended to for so long?
3. Was there no bartender at the Bar adjoining the swimming pool for so long a time?
4. Why did the Police hasten to reopen the swimming pool (as a crime scene) that was initially sealed for investigations?
5. Why has no member of staff of the Agura Hotels as well as the Agura Hotels been charged for culpable homicide till date?
We are respectfully inviting you to employ your good offices in ordering a full Coroner’s Inquest for the purpose of resolving the foregoing queries and charge all those found culpable to court. We repose confidence in your good offices and thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
ESQ. Head of Chamber