Barr Ndieonyema H. Nwankwo, former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Owerri branch, was reportedly murdered by unknown assailants in his office in Owerri on Saturday.
A statement by Chinedu Agu Esq, the secretary of NBA, Owerri branch, made available to THE WHISTLER, said, “At about 8.15am today, on my way to the church, I received a call from the chairman of the Bar, J.I Ogamba, Esq. detailing me to liaise with the former secretary of the Bar, Ishmael Nkwocha Esq., to take police to N.H Nwankwo & Co. at 43, School Road, Owerri, to ascertain the safety of N.H Nwankwo, Esq. who left home for work yesterday, Saturday, the 6th day of February, 2021, and was yet to return from work.
“However, earlier to the call, Ishmael Nkwocha, who shares same office space with him, had in response to frantic calls from his family members over the uncertainty of his whereabouts, gone to his office to meet same locked. On opening the entrance door, he met Nwankwo’s main office locked and with traces of blood on the door to his (Nwankwo’s) office.
“Not very sure of the situation, he went to the Homicide Section of the state CID; going with him forensic experts from the Police Headquarters to the office to have it properly opened by themselves in order not to contaminate evidential materials. When the forensic experts arrived at 9:56hrs with their gadgets, they opened the door only for us to find his bulky frame lying lifeless inside his office in a pool of his congealed blood.
“On a closer inspection, Nwankwo appeared to have been savagely macheted by his assailants, as a very gaping cut was seen on his neck, a monstrous cut of not less than 30cm with only about less than 50 percent of the flesh in his neck region holding the head. Blood splashes were seen on the roof, fans, printer, computers, table, files, seats, books, and bookshelves inside his office suggestive of a ferocious macheting of his neck.
“Nwankwo was suspected to have been busy working as his printer, computer, and standing fan were on, while a writing pad containing jottings unrelated to this incident and a pen were found on his desk. A bucket of water was seen in his office, with which the assailants must have washed his hands and the machete used in this act. A search of the office revealed a machete abandoned inside the toilet of his office with which the assailants were suspected to have used to cut his neck.
“When his body, which lay half prostrate, was turned, machete 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.”
It was gathered that the deceased driver, who reportedly was the only person with him in the office on Saturday, had not been seen. The late Nwankwo’s phones and car are also missing.
The police PRO, Imo State Command, Mr Ikeokwu Godson Orlando, collaborated the report in a release on Sunday. According to him, “On the 6th February, the command received a report of the death of one Barr Ndieonyema H. Nwankwo, 64, a native of Arochukwu LGA of Abia State. Based on the report, operatives of the command moved to the scene (his office) and met the lifeless body of the lawyer in the pool of blood, with machete cuts on his neck.
“Taking a further look around the office, a machete with blood stains, suspected to have been the machete used in inflicting the cuts on him, was found on the floor. It was also discovered that his car and other yet-to-be-identified items were taken away.”
Meanwhile, the commissioner of police, Imo State, CP Nasiru Mohammed, has directed investigations into the matter.