Just days after President Muhammadu Buhari directed the re-opening of investigations into the murders of Bola Ige and Aminosari Dokubo, the acting Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has also directed a fresh inquiry into the murder of Barnabas and Blessing Igwe, which occurred in 2002 in Anambra State.
Barnabas, who at the time of his gruesome murder was the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, in Onitsha, was killed alongside his pregnant wife while alighting from his car on September 1, 2002.
There were unconfirmed reports at the time that before his death at a hospital where he was rushed to, Barnabas had made indicting statements against the then governor of Anambra State, Chinweoke Mbadinuju.
As leader of the Onitsha Bar, Barnabas was popular for his courageous criticism of Mbadinuju’s administration especially regarding the then governor’s protracted indebtedness to the state’s workforce.
The governor after the expiration of his tenure in May 2003, later faced a high profile murder trial in both Abuja and Anambra state in 2006. He was slammed with a three-count charge of conspiracy to murder the Igwes.
But he was discharged and acquitted by Justice D.O.C Amaechina of Onitsha High Court following an application he brought before it for a judicial review of the murder charges against him.
Vanguard newspaper quoted some police sources as saying that the IGP was not satisfied that despite the progress made on the case by investigators, which lead to the arrest of the suspected killer who later confessed to having pulled the trigger, nobody has been brought to book over the matter.
The newspaper’s source said investigation into the matter has been concluded and the case file handed over to the Anambra State Director for Public Prosecution, but up till date, nothing was done and the suspects are allegedly walking free on the streets.
The IGP is said to have told the new investigating team to go all out for the suspects and ensure the matter is resolved once and for all and that those involved in the heinous crime are brought to justice.
IGP reportedly promised the team total support and non-interference in the investigation.