Cold-blooded murder that unsettled Enugu
If she knew that the people she greeted in front of her residence had come to brutally eliminate her, she probably would have avoided them.
If she knew they actually trailed her from office and lost trace of her when she branched off to her church for her usual evening prayers, she probably would have remained there.
Thursday, March 21, 2019 began like any other day for Dr. Mrs. Maria Amadi, Head, Nursing Services, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu.
On her way home from work, she branched at the Catholic Church located in her neighbourhood for the evening prayers. That concluded, she hurried home, apparently to prepare that evening’s meal for the family.
Oblivious of what awaited her, she arrived at the gate of her residence and greeted some persons, whom she thought lived in the neighbourhood and made to enter.
And like predators, they descended on her, pumped several bullets into different parts of her body until she could no longer help herself. They then fled in their black golf car.
Sympathetic neighbours gathered what remained of Mrs. Amadi and rushed to Parklane Teaching Hospital, Enugu. But the harm inflicted by the bullets could not be handled by the hospital, prompting a referral to Niger Foundation Hospital, also in Enugu. But this also could not help her, as she died moments after getting to the facility’s theatre.
Many have described her death as the climax of a long-standing crisis between the management of hospital and the workers, as the Police had been invited to the facility on several occasions to settle problems even as no week passed without the place being in the news for the wrong reasons.
The immediate past medical director of the hospital, Jojo Onwukwe spent the greater part of his tenure in crisis, which resulted in job losses, interdictions and petitions to anti-graft agencies over allegations bordering on corruption and mismanagement of resources.
All these not only stalled progress, but also distorted the order and seamless functioning of the health facility.
Unfortunately, the hospital is the only government- owned facility that cares for the mental patient, as well as train psychiatric nurses in its nursing school in the entire South East.
Mrs. Amadi, a management staff of the hospital was promoted a deputy director only a few months ago, and by virtue of her position, was to run the hospital’s clinical services, as well as supervise the School of Nursing.
Right now, her untimely death has unsettled the entire state, especially due to the circumstances surrounding it, just as fingers are being pointed in the hospital’s direction as the source of her death.
Shocked by the death, Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has already offered a N5m reward to anyone with useful information about Dr. Amadi’s killers.
Her distraught husband, Sir Marcel Amadi, is in agreement with most members of the public that his wife’s demise was orchestrated from her place of work.
Amid tears, the retiree told The Guardian that his wife was killed because of a document from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, which has to do with the accreditation of the School of Nursing.
He stated that the document dated December 17, 2018, and addressed to the immediate past chief medical director, copied the Ministry of Health, and principal of the school, was kept away from the wife’s knowledge until the day she was killed.
He said: “On the day she was killed, someone from the Ministry of Health gave my wife a photocopy of the document because the ministry was worried that the council’s recommendations had not been implemented. She kept the document in her handbag after studying it, not knowing that information had filtered out that she was in possession of the document.”
Signed by Ndaji Alhassan on behalf of the Secretary General/Registrar, Nursing and Midwifery Council, the document contained information about the removal of certain officials of the school on the ground that they lacked necessary qualifications and administrative acumen to steer the school.
The team in the letter observed that “the vice principal is only qualified as a registered psychiatric nurse. He was not registered as a general nurse and educator with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria. His practicing licence and original certificates were not cited by the team.
“The coordinator of the school does not have cognate experience required for the administrative running of the school. She was never a nurse tutor before becoming a coordinator. The coordinator is also not conversant and informed about the day-to-day running of the school, as she is always unable to give first hand information regarding the school’s activities, as well as on the spot decisions. She always says she wants to clarify everything from the vice principal.
“It is very obvious that she is not capable to administratively manage the school and ensure quality nursing education with her current trend,” among others.
The team, therefore, advised that “a more eligible person by qualification and experience be appointed to the position of vice principal,” while the incumbent may be deployed to the ward, based on his present qualification.
It also sought the employment of a vice principal administration, as well as a more competent and experienced psychiatric nurses to occupy the position of clinical instructors, among others.
Mr. Amadi added: “Before my wife gave up, she said, ‘Daddy, these two people have killed me.’ She mentioned their names and even the DPO here in Transekulu confirmed it because he followed my wife to the hospital and took record of all what she said. She was screaming and kept calling their names until she gave up.”
Asked what the bone of contention between the deceased and staff members of the school was, he said: “It was jealousy. They didn’t want to be under her because she came from the Ministry of Health to head the place. They hijacked that letter because a copy was supposed to go to my wife and another to the chief medical director of the hospital. Someone from the school told me to look for the letter that it was hijacked and that my wife only knew about it on the day she was killed. He said anything that happened to my wife should be traced to that letter.
“So, I opened her bag on the day she was killed and brought out that letter. I read through it and saw the recommendations. I was very close to my wife, and she used to narrate her experiences to me everyday when she returned home from work and I also did the same. She probably put that document in her bag to discuss it with me upon getting home. Unfortunately, they killed her before she could do so,” he said.
Mr. Amadi said copies of the document have been sent to the Police, which may have fuelled the current arrests so far made.
That notwithstanding, he is not comfortable with the way the investigations has gone, and has consequently called on the Inspector General of Police to take over the matter.
He has equally asked management of the hospital to take care of his family, as his late wife was the breadwinner.
He said: “I am a retiree and now the responsibility for our family is on my shoulders. I don’t know how to move on with my monthly pension as we have two children that are still in school.”
Recalling the incident, he said: “It was a dark day for me. I was not at home on that fateful day. I had gone to the press centre for a meeting. I was coming out of the car when my phone rang and they told me what happened to my wife, and that my attention was needed at the Parklane Hospital, where she was rushed to.
“On getting to the hospital, I saw my wife in a pool of blood, with the nurses and doctors at the Emergency Section battling to save her life. They did their best and wanted to carry out surgery, but couldn’t. They asked us to rush her to Niger Foundation Hospital, but on getting to the theatre, she couldn’t hold it anymore. She gave up in my arms.”
Meanwhile, Aku General Assembly (AGA), Igboetiti Local Council, the umbrella group for Aku Community members has vowed to do all in its powers to ensure that those behind the killing of their daughter are brought to book.
In a statement signed by their president, Chief Fidelis Ezeoyili, the group said Mrs. Amadi’s killers would not go scot-free, stressing that four of their members have been killed in the state in the last three years.
They said: “We are very worried, which is why we are addressing this press conference so that the police will also intensify its efforts and not see this matter as something that should be swept under the carpet. We will not take it.
“This is not the first Aku man or woman that has been assassinated recently. It is getting out of hand. In the last two or three years, more than four Aku persons have been assassinated in Enugu State, and if we allow the trend to continue, one day we will wake up and not see any Aku man moving on the streets.”
Ezeoyili, who was flanked by other executive members, demanded “quick action” from the Police and other relevant security agencies to ensure that the killers are apprehended.
When contacted, the Enugu State Police Command said it is “on top of it and doing everything possible to unravel the real killers.”
The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu said: “We are taking necessary actions to unravel the matter. It is a murder case.
The matter is being handled and we will bring it to a logical conclusion. We will not do anything to jeopardise investigation. At the end of the day, we will brief the general public on our findings … We are not resting at all over the matter.”
• The Guardian made efforts to reach the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. O. C. Iteke. As soon as he is ready, the version of the hospital will be heard.
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