Fresh facts have emerged as to how a Deputy Inspector-General and the head of the Nigeria Police Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Joseph Egbunike died on Tuesday.
Egbunike's death, according to sources who spoke with FIJ, began from the seemingly harmless consumption of a meal.
The late DIG was reportedly eating a meal in his office on Tuesday when “a fishbone stuck in the wrong place.”
The source said, “He was eating in his office when he got hooked in the throat by a fishbone, and all efforts to retrieve it proved abortive. He had to be rushed to the hospital, where doctors successfully removed it via a surgery.”
The Police Chief, according to the account, felt better after the procedure and returned home.
“However, not long after returning home, he started feeling great discomfort again and had to be returned to the hospital; that is where he eventually died.”
Another source who also confirmed Egbunike was at the hospital to remove the fishbone, said the DIG, being obese, was always at risk of worsened health condition after any surgical process, no matter how uncomplicated it seems.
“His health was so fragile because he was obese,” said the source, “and he tried his best to manage it, for example with the standard bed inside his office that enabled him to rest at short intervals whenever he felt weak.”
Until his death, Egbunike was in charge of the highest investigating arm of the Nigeria Police.
Its functions include investigation and prosecution of serious and complex criminal cases within and outside the country. The department also coordinates crime investigations/prosecution throughout the force.
Egbunike had, in late 2021, investigated suspended police chief, Abba Kyari, but did not indict him despite indictments by the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In July, Egbunike also faced contempt following the alleged disobedience of the order of the Federal High Court, Enugu Judicial Division.
Egbunike graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka with BSc in Accounting. He also had a Bachelor of Law, a master's in International Relations and a PhD in Criminology.