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Corpse Of Missing Cashier Found In Shallow Grave Within Workplace

By Adeshina Precious 

…acid was poured on her corpse

A middle-age lady, Joy Nwachukwu, who worked as a Cashier with Halim Gas Refilling Plant, Owerri, Imo State, was declared missing by her parents on October 24, has been found, killed and buried in a shallow grave inside the premises of the gas plant. The incident, which occurred at the plant’s premises located in the Toronto area, by Federal Road Safety Corps Junction, Egbu Road, Owerri, has thrown the whole community into panic and confusion.

How the missing lady was found

The remains of the lady was found after two days of her disappearance and was discovered by homicide detectives attached to the Imo State Police Command in a shallow grave, following reports from her family that she had been missing for two days. It was learnt that after killing Nwachukwu, her murderers poured acid on her remains in the shallow grave where she was buried. She was said to have gone to work on October 24, 2022, but did not return home. Her decomposing body was later discovered two days later- following a police investigation.

Demand for Justice

Shocked by the gruesome murder of the young lady, the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), a nonprofit organisation, called on the Nigeria Police Force for a speedy investigation, with a view to unraveling the circumstances surrounding the murder of Nwachukwu to prosecute those responsible for her murder, and ensure adequate compensation to the family. Nwachukwu was the last of three girls and the last of the children of Pa Sunday Nwachukwu, 76, and Mrs. Philomena Nwachukwu, 68, of Eziama community in Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State.

One of the deceased brothers, Mr. Eze Nwachukwu, who lives in Lagos, told RULAAC that the owner of the company who lives overseas had entrusted the running of the company to his sister who collects cash and goes to make payments at the bank on certain days. The Executive Director of RULAAC, Okechukwu Nwanguma, who has been following the incident, said: “Eze said he and all his siblings, including the late Joy, had just returned from their village after the burial of their uncle in October. He informed RULAAC that before he returned to Lagos, he had requested his sister Joy to do something for him in Owerri.

He called her on phone at about 7:23 am on same October 24, 2022, to remind her of the thing he had asked her to do and she promised him she would do it.” Nwanguma further explained: “At about 10:00 am, the next day, he called her again, but her phone was switched off and he suspected that she was afraid to tell him that she had not done what he asked her to do for him. After repeated calls and her phone remained switched off for the whole day, he reached out to his other younger sister who gave her Joy’s alternative phone number.” When he called her on that other line, it was also switched off. At this point, Eze became apprehensive and had to call Joy’s Pastor. “He pleaded with the pastor to go to Joy’s residence and find out what was going on, which he did on the 25th of October 2022. When the Pastor inquired from Joy’s neighbour, they informed him that Joy left home on the 24th of October and had not returned. When the Pastor went to the company to inquire, he met a man who identified himself as the manager. The manager told the pastor that Joy left the premises of Halim Gas Plant on 24th of October, 2022 with her bag and she had not returned since then and the family panicked.”

Convinced that there was a problem, another of Joy’s brothers who lives in Owerri went and reported a case of a ‘missing person’ at the Toronto Police Station, Owerri. The case was later transferred to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department (SCIID). Detectives from Homicide commenced an investigation which led them to the company where after a thorough forensic search, and following traces of blood trail, they discovered the decomposing body of Joy buried in a shallow grave within the company’s premises. The operatives dug up the grave covered with dried leaves with two heavy stones placed on top to conceal it and exhumed the decaying body.

Police nab two suspects

The manager and clerk were immediately arrested and are currently being detained, while two other staff members suspected to be also involved in the conspiracy and murder, including a security guard are presently at large. The body has since been deposited at a mortuary in Owerri.

Nwanguma noted: “The Homicide Section of the Imo State Police Command is currently investigating the case. The grieving family said they have been cooperating and assisting the police with investigations including providing all the logistic support they have requested to track and arrest the other fleeing suspects and to carry out an autopsy prior to the burial by the family in accordance with their tradition.

“The family is expecting that the suspects will be charged to court and prosecuted for murder upon the conclusion of the investigation. Since the murder of their daughter, the family laments that the owner of the company who simply identified himself as ‘Mr. Halims’’ has called their eldest brother who lives in Owerri only once and has not done anything to assist the police in the investigation of the case or the family in their quest for justice for his murdered staff to whom he entrusted his company. “The family demands justice including the prosecution of all those responsible for the heinous crime and adequate compensation by the company.” Nwanguma revealed that RULAAC was in touch with the police authorities in Imo State over the case and has received assurances of prompt, diligent and effective investigation and fair trial of the suspects and adequate compensation to the family of the deceased by the company.

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