The family of Mr Patrick Awuda, father of Chinyere Awuda, 27, who was found dead at Cosmilla Hotel, Awka, last Monday, has described the loss of his daughter as a huge shock.
Awuda, 79, who hailed from Nnobi in Idemmili South Local Government Area spoke to journalists in Awka on Sunday, calling on the Anambra State government and the Nigerian Police to ensure that his daughter did not die in vain.
Chinyere was said to have gone clubbing in a nightclub within the hotel during the birthday party of a young man (currently in detention) on July 16 but was found dead in an abandoned swimming pool in the premises the next morning.
She was alleged to have died from beating by the birthday celebrant and his friends for yet-to-be established cause. Narrating his ordeal, Elder Awuda said the death of Chinyere had left the family broken.
He said that his daughter who graduated from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, did not deserve to die the way she did and called on relevant authorities to ensure that her killers were brought to justice. According to him, on that Monday morning, I called to check on her as she usually does but after several calls Chinyere did not respond.
“My wife then called my son who contacted her friend. We were later taken to the hotel but were made to wait until 4pm when a Police team came and asked if we wanted to see Chinyere.
“They then took us to the abandoned swimming pool and led me in and I saw the lifeless body of Chinyere with physical injuries, they refused us to take pictures and quickly moved her to the morgue.
“My daughter was a lovely person, she was not a thief as alleged, no evidence to show that she stole, she is a murder victim, that is why we are calling for a thorough investigation of this matter,” he said.
Awuda said he was ready to make peace as some persons have been reaching out to him, but only justice would be enough for his departed daughter to rest in peace.
According to him, a lot is being said about the cause of my daughter’s death, even the hotel is operating, we ask for investigation to establish the real cause of her death and it should be made public.
Also speaking, Mr Ekene Awuda, the elder brother of the deceased, said the family had been privileged to see CCTV video footage of the incident leading to her death. Ekene said the clip showed that she was beaten to death as shown by the injuries on her body and head as seen in the morgue.
He said the government and security should not deny the family justice because of their social status but ensure that those responsible for the death of Chinyere were brought to book. On his part, Mr Don Onyenji, the state Commissioner for Culture, Entertainment and Tourism, said the State government had shut down the hotel but reopened it following a preliminary report.
Onyenji said the suspects had all been arrested and that investigation is ongoing.
“Government directed the reopening following a Police preliminary report. All the culprits have been arrested and are undergoing interrogation, it’s unfortunate the girl died,” he said.
In a reaction, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, the Police Public Relations Officer in Anambra, said the four suspects including the birthday celebrant, had been arrested. Ikenga said the matter was under investigation and that an autopsy would be conducted on the deceased to determine the root cause of her death.
He urged the public to dismiss any claim or account flying on the internet while assuring that the incident would be thoroughly investigated.