A wealthy murder suspect, Anthony Onyeagolu, who is awaiting arraignment and trial for the murder of one Angus Okoye, has been freed by the police.

SaharaReporters gathered that Onyeagolu was released by the Officer in Charge of Legal Matters, Anambra Command, on Monday following the directive of the Commissioner of Police in charge of Legal Matters, Police Force Headquarters, Abuja, Mr Augustine Sanomi.

Okoye, a 48-year-old businessman, was killed after being kidnapped at about 1:30 am on December 16, 2018 at his home in Ifite Isu Village, Isuaniocha, under Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

His family members said he was killed for being the star witness in a case of N100m fraud instituted by the community through the Economic Financial Crimes Commission against Onyeagolu. 

One Chidiebere Okoye, an indigene of the community, who was one of those kidnapped, tortured, shot and presumed dead, survived and was invited by the police to make statement on the incident where he indicted Onyeagolu.

Okoye also named others linked to the incident to include Boniface Enweani, Augustine Adigwe, Mr Moses Emebo, Stephen Ibeania and others.

Elder George Okoye, elder brother to the deceased, in a save our soul message sent to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Michael Ogbizi, said the family members and community had been thrown into sorrow with the release of the principal suspect.

Okoye narrated the trajectory of the murder and the tortuous efforts to get the police to arrest the suspects and investigate them.

He said, “We petitioned the Force Headquarters on 3/1/19 over the alleged murder of our brother, Angus Okoye, in Isuaniocha, Awka, by Anthony Onyeagolu and others.

“A long drawn investigation by officer Amuche, who is now with the IGP Monitoring Unit, was frustrated by a former DC now CP Anyim of Homicide.

“We were ridiculed as a poor family while our brother's dead body lies in the mortuary till date. God touched your heart, out of our prayers we received a call from the IPO Bitrus sometime in September 2019, who said you invited us to revisit our case under DC Anyim.

“We were reluctant because we knew the end would be like this under the same Ayim, now CP in the same case.

“But we were later convinced by Bitrus to come, which we did and actually the three suspects were arrested a year after the murder.

“After concluding the investigation by the IPO under the same CP Ayim, the case was again killed in connivance with the CP Legal.

“Right now, the murderers are enjoying freedom without going to court, having been released in the midnight of April 20 in suspected circumstance due to their compromise as usual.

“Sir, where is your promise that the deceased family will get justice.

“The same murderer-in-chief was released from SCID Awka in readiness for arraignment that led to the killing of my brother. 

“Worst still, the case file was emptied by your legal men in connivance with your CP to get soft landing in court for their wealthy benefactor which they could not even wait to arraign to justify their own side of the bargain with him.”

Meanwhile, the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre has called on the Police Service Commission to order a prompt, exhaustive and effective investigation into the release of Onyeagolu while awaiting arraignment and trial for murder on the orders of Sanomia.

The Executive Director, RULAAC, Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma, who made this call in a statement, said the investigation was with a view to determining the grounds and motive, if any, upon which the suspect could be released at midnight and to determine whether indeed the case file had been tampered with as alleged and appropriate remedial and disciplinary action taken.

Nwanguma noted that upon receiving this information, RULAAC first made contacts with the SCID in Awka and confirmed that the suspect was actually released at odd hours but without the knowledge of the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State, Mr John Abang.

According to him, “RULAAC made several calls, texted and sent WhatsApp messages to Mr Austin Sanomia, CP Legal, Force Headquarters, Abuja, to verify the information that he ordered the release and to understand why, but has received no answer or reply till the time of issuing this alert.

“Our repeated efforts to get the CP Legal to confirm or rebut the information have not yielded any result. 

“We then also sent the information to the DIG FCID, Michael Ogbizi, but yet to get his response.”

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