Senate probes Ezzu River bodies

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By HENRY UMORU & JOSEPH ERUNKE

ABUJA—The Senate yesterday said it was worried that over one month after human bodies were found floating on Ezzu river in Anambra State, no community or family had come up with claims of missing members.

To this end, the upper legislative chamber has commenced investigation to unravel the circumstances leading to the strange development, saying the inability of the country to unearth the cause of the incidence could adversely affect its reputation.

The Senate, after an intense deliberation on the issue yesterday during its plenary, gave a marching order to its Committees on Police Affairs and Security and Intelligence to immediately carry out a thorough investigation into it and report the finding within two weeks.

Gov. Peter Obi (2nd left), with his Security Adviser, Col George Molokwu (rtd) (2nd right), the Anambra State  Commissioner for Police, Bala Nasarawa (1st left) and the Political Adviser, Fidelis Okafor(1st right)

Gov. Peter Obi (2nd left), with his Security Adviser, Col George Molokwu (rtd) (2nd right), the Anambra State Commissioner for Police, Bala Nasarawa (1st left) and the Political Adviser, Fidelis Okafor(1st right)

The motion on the issue, entitled “Strange dead bodies found in Ezzu River of Anambra State”, was sponsored by Senator Andy Uba, PDP, Anambra South.

It will be recalled that over 35 dead bodies, mostly male, were discovered floating in the river in the early hours of Saturday, January 19, 2013, by some villagers of Amansea in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

Senate President, David Mark, who spoke after many senators took time to contribute to the ugly development, expressed surprise, saying “until this moment, no explanation has been proffered as to the possible origin of the dead bodies, while the autopsy ordered by the governments of Anambra and Enugu States has yielded no report.”

The senators regretted that the river, which was bounded between Anambra and Enugu states, was the only source of water for domestic and other uses for the people of the five communities of Anambra State.

They also lamented that it had led to the people experiencing not only discomfort but also hardship

All the senators contributed and condemned the development, saying the absence of explanations over the dead bodies found had adverse consequences on the reputation of the country.

“I think it is a very serious thing that no community in this country has reported that they can’t find one person; not one community has made a report. Even if police is inefficient, even if security agencies are inefficient, the communities themselves or the families themselves, nobody can come to say we can’t find our son. It is very disturbing.

“I think the bigger problem is not what happened but, where did these dead bodies come from? I think the river that is flowing, the dead bodies wouldn’t have just emerged from nowhere; they would have come from a certain place before they got to where they were eventually found. So it is a bit strange. “Even if they were in boat that capsized, who are they? So it is strange and we need to be very concerned about it.

“In addition to that, of course the villagers naturally will be concerned and they may not want to go to the river anymore, but unless we are able to say who these people are, I think there’d be big problem for us in this country. And it is not just about security agencies alone, I think every community in this country now is involved,” Mark said.

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