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Family of Nigerian Insurance director who was ‘murdered’ in South Africa seeks President Buhari’s intervention

The family of the late insurance director Mrs. Uju Ndubuisi-Chukwu, has appealed to President Buhari to intervene in the investigation of her ‘murder’.

They are urging the President to empower the Nigeria Consulate in South Africa to engage the South African police in concluding the investigation which it began following her death on June 13 at the Emperor Palace Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Late Ndubuisi-Chukwu was the Deputy Director-General, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) and was in Johannesburg, to attend the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) conference, which between June  9 and 12. She was found dead in her hotel room in the early hours of June 13, the day she was scheduled to return to Nigeria.  

A report issued by the Port Health Services, South Africa stated that she died of “Unnatural Cause Consistent with Strangulation”. The late Mrs. Ndubuisi-Chukwu’s elder brother, Dr. Chiedu Ndubuisi told The Nation that the family wants justice following the controversy surrounding her death, saying the family is open to any other autopsy, if it was required.

He said he believes the South African police are not investigating her death the way they ought to, and that they are yet to release the autopsy report to the family, aside from an abridged death certificate given to them. Dr Ndubuisi said the Nigeria Consulate in South Africa has been making efforts to unravel the mystery behind her death, adding that the Executive Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa has also reached out to the family.  

He, however, alleged that the CIIN where the late Mrs.Uju worked and on which platform she travelled as a delegate to  the AIO conference, and the Insurance Institute of South Africa that organised the event under the AIO, have not done enough to unravel the cause of death.

He said: “After Uju’s death, I was informed and I travelled to South Africa. The report by the undertaker which was what we used to receive her body, showed that she died of unnatural death consistent with strangulation. I was surprised because it is contrary to the initial belief that she died overnight in her sleep. I asked the undertaker what the report meant and he called the pathologists who said my sister was strangled to death.

“I took the report to the Nigeria Consular in South Africa and they started working with police authorities to unravel the cause of death. They have written officially to the South African police. The hotel where she died also promised to cooperate with them. But as at yesterday, the Consular General, Mr. Godwin Adama said they are yet to get back to them. Even the person designated by the Consular to meet the investigating officer  could not meet him on the two occasions he went to the police authorities. This means the police are not investigating the case to unravel who killed my sister. Even the hotel still had in their possession the CCTV footage 13 days after she was killed.  

“Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa has also called to console us and assured us that she will follow up on the matter. I told her that we are open to another autopsy if the Federal Government is interested. We have kept her body in a refrigerating facility to preserve her. As we speak, the South African authorities have not given us the autopsy report which is strange. The family is appealing to Preident Buhari to help us get justice for our dear Uju. Since the South African police are not doing anything again, we want the President to empower the Consular to conclude the investigation. We want to know who killed her and why”, he added.

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