By Eniola Akinkuotu/Punch
The members of staff of a firm, Chinese Group of Companies, Ikeja, Lagos, were thrown into confusion on September 9, 2012 after the corpses of two of their colleagues, Odion Imhonbhio and Richard Dada, were found at the bottom of the swimming pool on the premises.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Odion and Dada went swimming the previous night around 9pm and were not seen till the following morning.
It was learnt that the corpses were immediately recovered and sent to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital for autopsy.
Although the autopsy states that the two boys died of asphyxia and drowning, families of the deceased have cast doubt on the real cause of death.
According to Odion’s brother, Matthew, the corpse of the 21-year-old man was found inside the swimming pool, with blood coming out of his ears, nostrils, and mouth.
Matthew said, “My brother’s corpse didn’t look like that of a drowned person. Something just looks suspicious because how can two full grown men just drown at the same time in a pool that is not deep?
“Although my brother is just a moderate swimmer, I learnt Dada was a very good swimmer and as such shouldn’t have drowned just like that.
“My brother worked as a cook in the company for about two years while Dada spent about three years there.”
Another member of the family questioned why the company would offer both families the sum of N500,000 each even before investigations were concluded.
When our correspondent visited LASUTH on Tuesday, family and friends of Odion were seen conveying his coffin into a vehicle.“Odion was a twin and according to Edo culture, when a twin dies, he ought to be buried immediately. He’ll be buried at St. Mathias Catholic Church tomorrow,” Matthew said.
Dada’s brother said the family had hired the services of a lawyer due to the nature of the case.
The lawyer, Mr. Matthew Onah, faulted the autopsy because members of both families were not present when the autopsy was carried out.
Onah said, “I find it very suspicious that two men that have been working in the company for years suddenly drowned at the same time and they didn’t take in any water after drowning.
Also, the company’s offer of N500,000 coupled with policemen at Ikeja station’s refusal to invite any member of staff for questioning and despite this, the matter was quickly transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department.
“In addition, no family member was present at the autopsy. I learnt that the SCID immediately rejected the case because the case file was said to be not detailed enough.”
When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Ngozi Braide, confirmed the incident. She however said our correspondent should call back for more details.
When our correspondent visited the construction company at 9, Reverend Ogunbiyi Street, GRA, Ikeja, the security guard refused to allow him in.
“No senior personnel is around and no one can attend to you please come back later,” he said.