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A professor of anatomical pathology who led the team of pathologists that exhumed and carried autopsy on the bodies of the Apo six as well as on the corpse of PC Anthony Idam, Prof. Olusegun Ojo yesterday said the mandate to also carry out a DNA test on the bodies may not be necessary as the victims have been duly identified.
ABUJA — A professor of anatomical pathology who led the team of pathologists that exhumed and carried autopsy on the bodies of the Apo six as well as on the corpse of PC Anthony Idam, Prof. Olusegun Ojo yesterday said the mandate to also carry out a DNA test on the bodies may not be necessary as the victims have been duly identified.
Prof. Ojo also told the Judicial Commission of Inquiry looking into the causes of the death that it would be better if the corpses are released for burial within four weeks, as his team would not guarantee their sustainability as the bodies would deteriorate after the four weeks.
The report, which indicated that the identifications of five of the deceased were made possible through the pre burial picture made available could, however, not tag one of the male victims that was in advanced decomposition stage as the time of exhumation.
It also indicated that three of the male victims sustained bullet injuries prior to their death, just as the two other male victims cause of death could not be ascertained due to their advanced decomposing stage while pointing that the female victim may have been strangled.
The team upon exhumation was mandated by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry looking into the circumstances surrounding the deaths to identify the deceased as well as determine the causes of the death among other things.
In a grammatical and pictorial report by Dr. Ojo, the report stated, "The bodies were buried in two unmarked graves. Grave one measured 2 by 1.3 metres contain the remains of four bodies including that of the body which was subsequently identified as female, the first contact was a depth of 45cm. They were all clad in street cloths.
"The second grave was measured 1.5 by 1.2 metres and contained two bodies and the first contact was 20cm".
It also has it that while four of the bodies buried in the first grave were fairly decomposed, the other two in the second grave were in advanced decomposing stage due to the intensity of sun and humidity as they were buried without coffin and were clad in street clothes.
According to the report, "body one was identified as that of Ifeanyi Ozo, followed by Paulinus Ogbonna, Anthony Nwokike, Augustina Arebun.
However, while that of the sixth corpse was identified as Chinedu Meniru, that of the fifth could not be identified because of its stage of decomposition as well as no pre-burial picture".
Dr. Olusegun Ojo who attributed this development to the fact that they (pathologists) depended heavily on the pre-burial pictures of the deceased and were able to identify those as they (deceased) still have their clothing on.
The pathologist who noted that DNA test may no longer be necessary as all the corpses have been identified except one, who from all indications, may be that of the last victim Ekene Isaac who escaped and was allegedly later shot at the Prince and Princess Estate.
Corroborating the testimonies of some witnesses, the report pointed out that the female victim may have been strangled as there was no injury but the loops of the intensive protuding it was evident that some of the male victims duly identified have bullet/pallet passage and injury on them notwithstanding, the cause of death of the last two deceased buried in the second grave could not be ascertained whether there was a fracture.
On the deceased policeman, the pathologist said, "due to the infusion of the embalming fluid, it was not possible to determine the cause of death. However, the anatomical evaluation of whatever abnormalities existed at the death will have to await microscopy which will be ready in two weeks time".
On whether the preservation of the bodies which are now at Garki Hospital Mortuary, Abuja would be prolonged. Dr. Ojo advised. "It would be nice to ensure that they be buried within four weeks. However, if the Commission wants it prolonged, more embalming fluid would be infused and the bodies be inspected on weekly basis".
Also, a new dimension on the type of fire arm used in firing at the victims emerged yesterday as the ballistician, DSP Callistus Obuno's testimony contradicted the testimonies of all the eye witnesses to the shooting including DC Danjuma Ibrahim that AK 47 was used on the victims.
According to him, "from my examination, firearms alleged to have been used in shooting at the victims and the damage done on the 406 Peugeot car could not have been done with AK 47 rifle. but revolver or pistol".
Meanwhile the Cousel to Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prince Nwafor Orizu has attributed the contradictory report of the ballistician as a cover up to stop prosecution of the culprits.
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