By Onozure Dania, LAGOS

The family of late Chiemeka Arinze, a co-defendant with alleged billionaire kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans, who died of advanced HIV/AIDS in prison custody, are weighing their options of whether to sue the prisons services.

The lawyer of the deceased, Mr Ogu Ogedi, who spoke to Vangaurd over the phone, Tuesday, said that the family were mourning the death of their son, and despite the circumstance that led to the sad event, the family is weighing their options.

Ogdei said that he actually visited him (Arinze) in the hospital on Friday and his situation was very terrible even though the family was hopeful that he was going to make it.

But that was not to be as he gave up the ghost around past 9p.m. same on Friday.

An Ikeja High Court had, on Monday, confirmed that Arinze died of ‘advanced HIV’ in prison custody.

Evans is standing trial alongside, Joseph Emeka, Chiemeka Arinze and Udeme Upong, over the attempted kidnap of Chief Vincent Obianodo, the Chairman of the Young Shall Grow Motors, before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court.

They are facing a seven-count charge of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, attempt to kinda, sale and transfer of firearms.

The deceased counsel Ogu Ogedi, at the resumed trial on Monday, informed the court of Arinze’s death.

He showed the court the death certificate of the deceased and Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo confirmed the death.

However, Ogedi formally withdrew his appearance, from the matter.

Ogedi in a phone interview said that the family is not yet convinced that about the news that has been flying in the media.

He said: “The family believes that he was hail and hearty as at the time he was taken into custody.

“So what ever that transpired after is what the family is interested in, because from the account of the family and as their lawyer, I know that they have told me that he was hail and hearty before he was taken to custody.

“He (the deceased) demanded that we request for his medial report, which informed the processes that we filed before the court and the subsequent bail application, which unfortunately was not heard before he departed.

“His contention was that since he was taken into the custody, he has never been himself, and that was why he insisted that we should file processes, directing for his medical report which we did.

“If you conduct a search in the court’s file, you would find out that this motions are still pending in the courts records before we got the information that he died on Friday.

“I visited him in the hospital on Friday. His situation was very terrible even though the family was hopeful that he was going I make it out of that situation because he was a very strong person.

“But that was not to be; he gave up the ghost around past 9p.m. on Friday.

“The family are asking questions. They are meeting and still discussing the way forward. The family will be interested to know what really happened.

“The corpse is still with the Correctional Centre, because he died in custody.

“I formally informed the court of the death of my client to the court yesterday being Monday,” he said.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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