In a curious twist, a police prosecutor has presented an affidavit to the Chief Judge of Enugu State, seeking to exonerate and free three staff of Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu currently standing trial for the murder of Mrs. Maria Amadi who until her death was Head of Nursing Services at the hospital.

Mrs. Amadi, from Aku in Igbo-Etiti LGA of Enugu State, was shot and killed by gunmen at about 4.00pm on Thursday, 21 March 2019, right in front of her home at Trans-Ekulu, Enugu.

Enugu Police arrested and charged for the murder three members of staff of the hospital, including the principal of the School of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, Mrs. Buzo-Ruth Maduka, and the vice principal, Afam Ndu.

The affidavit, which was deposed to on 24 June 2019, however pointed to two other persons, Chidi Nwobi and “Amingo” as being among the gang of robbers behind the brazen daylight murder.

According to the police prosecutor, the affidavit was sworn to by Mr. Samuel Ekwechi a self-described pastor who also introduces himself as a private investigator,

In the affidavit, Ekwechi swears that “by virtue of the level of my involvement in the intelligence work,” he witnessed a 19 June 2019 interrogation of two suspects by the police in the persons of “Chidi Nwobi and Amingo in relation to the crimes they have been committing.”

“Without any molestation or torture of any sort, Chidi Nwobi openly confessed to many armed robbery escapades and in particular confessed that it was he and his gang of other three persons that shot the deceased Maria Amadi at Trans-Ekulu Enugu, and that they did not mean to kill her but only wanted to rob her of money and other valuables.”

On the basis of the alleged self-confession of Nwobi, Pastor Ekwechi therefore concluded that “all … members of staff of the Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu who were remanded in this case, as well as all those still currently held in detention at Abuja as part of investigation into this case, are by virtue of the open confession of Chidi Nwobi and Amingo completely innocent of the allegation.”

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He emphasized in the affidavit that the alleged murderers claimed that they were “not paid, sponsored, hired or instructed to kill or attack the deceased by anybody else,” and that the interview was “video-recorded and can now be confirmed by the police authorities in the State.”

The affidavit marked Motion No: E/210m/2019 was dated and filed by the pastor on the same day, Monday, 24 June 2019.

When contacted by newsmen to comment on the development, Enugu Police Command spokesperson, DSP Ebere Amaraizu, said he was out of town.

The killing of Nurse Amadi provoked consternation and anger in the Enugu medical community.

In a rare show of solidarity, members of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Enugu State chapter, the Joint Health Sector Union, and the Association of Resident Doctors staged a public protest against the murder.

Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi equally announced a bounty of N5million to anyone with information that leads to arrest of Nurse Amadi’s killers.

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