Keyamo Petitions IGP Over Alleged Homicide At Lagoon RestaurantCrime Watch, Featured, Latest News, News Thursday, July 31st, 2014
Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamo has written to the Inspector General of Police to urgently probe into the suspected homicide of one Chris Onaghise who died at the Lagoon Restaurant in June.
Keyamo petitioned the IGP on behalf of the Onaghise family, who suspected that their son had been murdered at the Lagoon Restaurant, faulting claims by the management of the restaurant that the deceased fell into the Lagoon and died.
In the letter addressed to the IGP, Keyamo said his client, Mr. Orobosa Onaghise informed his chamber that the Late Mr. Chris Onaghise is his son and until his demise, a staff of Lagoon Restaurant, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
“Our client further informed us that on Monday 16th June, 2014, he received a telephone call from a lady (who did not want to be identified) informing him that something tragic had happened to the deceased at his workplace. Our client consequently rushed to the Lagoon Restaurant but despite his best efforts could only arrive there after two (2) hours. Upon arriving at the Lagoon Restaurant, our client was informed that the deceased fell into the lagoon while on duty at about 10:00am that morning and was still in the lagoon.
“Our client demanded to know why no immediate rescue efforts were made to rescue the deceased and one Mr. Rami, the Managing Director of the Lagoon Restaurant informed our client that the Restaurant had no life jackets, divers or indeed safety apparatus. Upon our client’s persistence, the Managing Director invited a lady vide a telephone conversation who identified herself as a Police Officer from Bar Beach Police Station in charge of the investigations,” he explained in the letter.
He said on enquiry as to the extent of investigations, his client was bluntly informed by the Police Offices that investigations had been concluded and that she believed that the deceased slipped, fell into the lagoon and consequently lost his life.
“Our client was curious as to how the investigations could have been concluded when the body of the deceased was still in the Lagoon and none of the eye-witnesses or the management of the Lagoon Restaurant had been questioned. Our client’s concerns were ignored by the Police Officer and the deceased was abandoned in the Lagoon despite the agitations of our client till 10:00pm,” he said.
Keyamo added that his client further informed his chamber that that the next day (17th June, 2014), he visited the Bar beach Police Station where he met with the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and enquired about the recovery of the body of the deceased and further investigation, saying that to his client’s utter bewilderment, the DPO denied knowledge of the existence of the case and the allegedly concluded investigations.
According to him, the DPO subsequently ordered an investigation and an invitation of all the eye witnesses, including the Managing Director of the Lagoon Restaurant, explaining that the DPO subsequently directed a recovery of the body of the deceased, which was recovered at about 10:00pm on Tuesday, 17th June, 2014.
“Tthe body of the deceased was allegedly recovered from the same spot in which he was said to have slipped. A cursory look at the body of the deceased disclosed bruises and blood stains all over the face suggestive of a physical confrontation before the alleged drowning. To further confirm the foregoing suspicions, the deceased body did not show any signs of bowel enlargement consistent with drowning,” he explained.
He said the management of the Restaurant had to answer some questions regarding the suspicious dead of his client’s son, such as “why is the obvious physical state of the body of the deceased inconsistent with the management’s narration of events leading to the death? In the unlikely event that the management of Lagoon Restaurant’s account of events is accurate, what are the safety measures put in place by the management of the Lagoon Restaurant to prevent such occurrence, since it carries on business in a high risk environment?
“Why was the staff that called to inform our client of the incident sacked immediately? Why did the management of the Lagoon Restaurant break into the deceased personal locker while the key to the said locker was found on the deceased’s body?” He asked.
Keyamo said his chamber was consequently constrained to write this petition to the IGP as his client had become increasingly frustrated with the nonchalant attitude with which the Bar Beach Police Station is handling the investigations and the desperate efforts of Mr. Rami, the Managing Director of the Lagoon Restaurant (a Lebanese national) to conceal and destroy evidence that would aid the authorities to resolve all the queries raised by the foregoing facts.
“We therefore urge you to use your good offices to order a full investigation and Coroner’s Inquest for the purpose of resolving the foregoing questions and consequently prefer criminal charges against all those found culpable,” he said.
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