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THE families of victims of the Orie-Ohabiam Market killings in Aba have asked for the release of the bodies of their relatives for burial, as well as adequate compensation.
UMUAHIA — THE families of victims of the Orie-Ohabiam Market killings in Aba have asked for the release of the bodies of their relatives for burial, as well as adequate compensation. The relatives, who were witnesses before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the deaths of 20 persons in an illegal security operation in Aba on August 4, tabled their demand in Umuahia on Friday.
While testifying before the panel, chaired by Justice Gladys Olotu, Mrs. Florence Ukagwu, the mother of one of the deceased, urged the commission to identify the killers of her son, Chukwudi.
Ukagwu said that her son, a 34-year-old commercial bus driver, was her only hope, being the only male in a family of five children.
She said that Chukwudi, a native of Afugiri Umuahia in Umuahia North local government area, returned to Nigeria from Gabon last year.
Ukagwu said under cross-examination that she learnt that the body of her son had been taken to the mortuary of the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, on August 5.
Another witness, Mr. Cornelius Elewa, a trader from Obizi in Ezinihite local government area of Imo, said that his son, a secondary school leaver, was arrested and detained when he went to see a friend.
Elewa said that he had gone to seek the release of his son, Uchenna, with some money as demanded by those holding him, but found him among the dead on getting to the market.
Also testifying, Mr. Samuel Sunday said that his younger brother, Goodluck Sunday, a taxi driver, who had gone to install a car radio cassette player, died in the incident.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the commission has assured witnesses of their safety, stressing that the government would protect them.
She announced while adjourning proceedings of the panel that any witness who was being threatened should promptly inform the commission.
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This is a great piece of history, which is dear to our hearts as people and very much appreciated.
Many thanks to the people who worked hard in the past and those who are still making efforts to keep the institution.
The labour is obviouly worth it. We are proud of you all.
A lot still to be done, with the motivation of the champions of this course, others will follow as well to maintain the institution
May God continue to keep the edifice for development of future generations to the glory of God and the benefits of our fatherland.