Cynthia Osokogu, the young student who was killed in July 2012 by some of her Facebook social media friends, was asphyxiated, that is: suffocated to death through blockage of air into her lungs.
In his testimony before the court today, the Chief Pathologist of Lagos State, John Oladapo Obafunwa, said the postmortem he carried out alongside five other colleagues on September 6 showed that the deceased died of blockage of air into the upper part of the air ways.
Efforts by Victor Opara, the counsel to the first defendant, Okwumo Nwafor, to prevent Mr. Obafunwa’s testimony from being taken failed as Justice Olabisi Akinlade insisted the trial was too important to be delayed with flimsy excuses.
The Chief Pathologist, who is also Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University, said he first saw the corpse on July 23 (a day after the fateful day of Cynthia’s murder.
“The body was naked; the two hands tied to the back with brown tape and supported with padlock; the two legs were also taped together,” he said. “The mouth was stuffed with head net and handkerchief, also tied with brown tape round the head to secure the materials in the mouth.”
Mr. Obafunwa also said there were pin-point holes in the white eye of the corpse as well as inside the upper part of the air ways and surface of her lungs, a condition he termed as ‘petechial hemorrhage’.
The pathologist's testimony further revealed that the deceased had suffered pulmonary Oedema, an overweight of the lungs from being soaked by blood.
“The left and right lungs weighed 400 and 500 grams respectively… due to blood accumulation”, he said, noting that the normal weight would be 250 to 350 grams.
Apart from her death resulting from asphyxia, the pathologist also said also observed that the deceased had multiple bruises and abrasions suspected to be from biting.
His testimony further strengthens the belief that a dose of ‘Rophynol’ sold to the suspects by a pharmacist, Osita Orji, was not responsible for Cynthia’s death.
Mr. Akinlade adjourned to trial 24th and 21st May, 2013.