Madam Esther Ebiere Gbonkumor, the immediate younger sister to the first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan and her family has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, demanding a full corona’s inquest into the death of her son, Christopher Onoriode Akpomowei Awin, who drowned in the swimming pool of Agura Hotels in Abuja, on 7th June.
The petition, written on behalf of the family by the family’s solicitor and human rights lawyer, Festus Keyamo, alleged that the hotel management was negligent in its duty to protect its customers, and should be held for culpable homicide.
The letter, dated 26th June indicated that the circumstances surrounding the death of Christopher, the first lady’s nephew was suspicious.
“On 7th June, 2014, 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,” the letter signed by Keyamo read.
“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.”
The lawyers said their enquiries showed that there were two life guards on duty at the pool that day, but none of them was on hand to rescue Christopher while he drowned, a development they lawyers described as curiously.
They also pointed out that there was a busy bar beside the swimming pool, yet in spite of the expected attendant staff presence, the body of the victim was not found until over one hour after he had drowned.
Keyamo therefore demanded that the IG to probe into:
Why the life guards charged with the sensitive responsibility of safe guarding guests abandon their duty post for so long? Why the Agura Hotels leave a guest in a public swimming pool unattended to for so long? If there no bartender at the Bar adjoining the swimming pool for so long a time? Why the Police hasten to reopen the swimming pool (as a crime scene) that was initially sealed for investigations? And why has no member of staff of the Agura Hotels as well as the Agura Hotels been charged for culpable homicide till date?
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