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Pathologist contradicts police at #ENDSARS panel, says Abugu died of anoxia


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AHMED Abimiku, chief consultant pathologist at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), Gwagwalada, says Ifeoma Abugu died of anoxia. This means that she died of lack of oxygen supply to the lungs or tissues.

Abugu was arrested at Wumba village near the Lokogoma area, Abuja, on September 10, 2020, following an allegation by Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operatives that Afam Ugwunwa, her fiance, with whom she had just had a marriage introduction, was a drug dealer.

She died on September 11 with the police attributing her death to drug overdose.

But while appearing before the Federal Capital Territory judicial panel of enquiry probing rights abuses by the defunct SARS and other units of the force on Wednesday, Abimiku said lack of oxygen, which led to her death, could be “as a result of strangulation, choking or suffocation.”

He said the result of an autopsy carried out on the deceased showed that her fingernails, lips and tongue were bluish, indicating that she had a respiratory problem before her death. The pathologist also noted that there were bruises on her knees.

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He said a look at her organs revealed that there was an accumulation of fluid in her lungs, which led to pulmonary congestion, adding that an examination of her kidney also revealed a noncancerous cyst and multiple fibroids.

Explaining further, Abimiku said dead sperm was found in her vagina.

Refuting the testimony of the police, he said body fluid was used to test for all eleven drugs commonly abused, including cocaine, rohypnol, diazepam, barbiturate, marijuana, narcotics, cannabis, tranquillizers, and amphetamines, but all results came back negative.

Under cross-examination by James Idachaba, police counsel, the pathologist said a DNA test could not be carried out on the sperm deposit found in the deceased, because it had been there for over 72 hours.

Following his testimony, the Suleiman Galadima-chaired panel ordered that the corpse of the deceased be released to the family for burial by the police.

The panel further adjourned the case till March 23 for the defendants to appear before the panel.

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