By Emeka Mamah, Enugu
The police in Enugu have arrested a woman and some of her relations over alleged murder of a senior staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC, Engineer Val Ossai, at Nsukka, Enugu State on Monday, January 22, 2018.
Ossai who returned from his Port Harcourt, Rivers State base for a burial at Aji, Enugu Ezike in Igbo Eze North Local Government Area of the state earlier on Saturday, January 20, reportedly died in the house of his alleged concubine, Monday night.
Relations to the deceased, who spoke to Crime Alert, said their late brother was killed on Monday night and taken to a hospital near Fen Park in Nsukka, same night, but stressed that the hospital rejected the body on the grounds that its morgue was not functioning properly.
They said that his killers later took his corpse to the Bishop Shanahan Hospital the following morning , Tuesday, before informing his father, Chief David Ossai and his other relations who were all resident at Nsukka, later at about 10.30 am.
The younger brother to the deceased, Emeka Ossai, said that the deceased was dead already before he was taken straight to hospital mortuary even as the family was informed that he was rushed to hospital when he collapsed and became unconscious on Tuesday morning, adding that his killers later withdrew amounts totalling about N28.2 million from his account shortly after his death.
According to him, “Val’s killers withdrew N26 million from his Ecobank account domiciled in Port Harcourt, another N2million from his First Bank Account and used his ATM card to withdraw N200, 000 cash from a bank at Obollo Afor in Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu state between January 22 and 24,” adding that one of the things that rattled the family was that one of the cashed cheques was paid to the deceased whose corpse was already in the mortuary at the Shanahan Hospital, Nsukka.
“We are worried and we want a thorough investigation. Our brother did not die a natural death. He was hale and hearty before he was killed,” Emeka added.
However, in a swift reaction, a relation to the woman who refused to disclose his identity told Crime Alert over the phone that all the stories being peddled about the death of the deceased were fabricated. According to him, the deceased was traditionally married to our sister and they were enjoying marital bliss peacefully until the unfortunate incident.
“The couple were in their room that day when he complained of uneasiness and before the wife could do anything, he collapsed. He was rushed to a nearby hospital alive but they referred us to another hospital. At that stage, the wife who was heavy with pregnancy started bleeding as a result of the shock and she was also rushed to another hospital.
Unfortunately, the husband died before we got to the second hospital. His death must be connected with some excesses which doctors earlier advised that he should stop indulging in. All other claims about withdrawal of money etc; are not known to us because we are busy mourning our in-law.”
Enugu State Police Spokesman, Ebere Amaraizu declined comments on the issue because he had not been properly briefed, while the State Police Commissioner, Mohammed Danmalam, did not respond to a text message to him on the matter.
Meanwhile, the NNPC has demanded that an autopsy be conducted while both the woman and her relations have reportedly being granted bail pending the conclusion of police investigations into the case.