Following the death of 31-year-old Christopher Onoriode Akpomowei Awin, the nephew of the First Lady, Mrs, Patience Jonathan, a petition has been sent to the Inspector General of Police (IG), urging him to order a thorough coroner’s inquest into the circumstances leading to Awin’s death on June 7, 2014.
Awin who was said to have drowned in a swimming pool in Aguda Hotel, Abuja, had been invited by members of the Ijaw Students Association, University of Abuja chapter, which held its annual cultural week activity in the hotel.
Mr. Festus Keyamo, who filed the petition on behalf of the Awin family, noted that when the picnic which was part of the cultural week activities ended at 4 pm, the other students left for the UniAbuja campus while Awin stayed back to swim.
But to the dismay of all, Awin was found dead by the pool side, having drowned in the pool at about 6 pm same day.
According to Keyamo, “In a most bizarre twist of events, Mr. Christopher Awin was found drowned in the swimming pool of Agura Hotels at about 6 pm later that day and officers of the Garki Division of the Nigerian police were called in.
“A post mortem has been carried out by a certified consultant pathologist who confirmed that his death was as a result of drowning and further added that if the victim had received help within five minutes of being submerged, he would have survived.”
The deceased’s family expressed concern that despite the fact that two life guards were on duty at the pool on the day of the incident, their son’s life was not saved, because the life guards had left their duty post for over an hour.
“Our enquiries have shown that there were two life guards on duty at the pool who curiously left their duty post under flimsy excuses. Further enquiries also revealed that there was a busy bar beside the swimming pool.
“Inspite of the expected attendant staff presence, the body of the victim was not found until over one hour after he had drowned,” the petition said.
The petitioner also raised some questions for the attention of the ID: “Why did the life guards charged with the sensitive responsibility of safe-guarding guests abandon their duty post for so long?
• Why would the Agura Hotels leave a guest in a public swimming pool unattended to for so long?
• Was there no bartender at the Bar adjoining the swimming pool for so long a time?
• Why did the police hasten to reopen the swimming pool (as a crime scene) that was initially sealed for investigations?
• Why has no member of staff of the Agura Hotels been charged for culpable homicide till date?”
Keyamo said the Awin family, which considers the death of their son as “curious”, therefore urged the IG to dig into the case with a view to unraveling the circumstances leading to the drowning of their son.
“We are respectfully inviting you to employ your good offices in ordering a full coroner’s inquest for the purpose of resolving the foregoing queries and charge all those found culpable to court,” the Awin family told the IG.