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Human heads saga: Suspect indicts management of demolished Onitsha hotel

By Pamela Eboh, Awka on 08/08/2013

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One of the suspects currently being detained in connection with the human heads discovered at Upper Class Hotel, Onitsha, demolished by the Anambra State Government has indicted the hotel management.

Tongues have been wagging since the state governor, Mr. Peter Obi, personally supervised the demolition of the three-storey hotel located at No.8 Old Market Road in the heart of the commercial city in keeping with his administration’s policy to bring down any property linked to criminal gangs.

The suspect, a cleaner at the once flourishing hotel, is among those being detained at the headquarters of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, Awkuzu, in Oyi council area.

Washing her hands off the human heads, she told News Express that she had been telling the hotel management to give her the keys to the hotel room where the human heads were found to enable her clean it because of the stench oozing out from there, but to no avail.

Her words: “I don’t know anything concerning this incident; I am just an ordinary cleaner in the hotel. My daughter just returned from school for holidays and I begged her to assist me clean the hotel before we were arrested. Even before the arrest, I noticed that one of the rooms was permanently locked, even without any guest. I have been telling the manager to give me the keys to the room so that I can clean it but he refused and there was a very bad odour oozing out from the room before our arrest.”

The cleaner (name withheld) and the hotel management, including the proprietor, Chief Bonaventure Mokwe, got into trouble after policemen from the Onitsha Area Command, acting on a tip-off, swopped on the hotel last week Wednesday, July 31, and made a starling discovery in one of the rooms. There, three fresh human heads wrapped in a cellophane bag were neatly kept beside the bed. In the same room were two military AK47 rifles, 40 rounds of live ammunition, some mobile telephones and two army caps.

The visit to the hotel by the police was carefully planned as the police intelligence unit from the Inspector General’s office in Abuja had for about one month been gathering information on alleged criminal activities in the hotel.

Though Chief Mokwe, who inherited the hotel from his late father, did not regularly operate from the hotel because of his other businesses elsewhere in Onitsha, the police ensured that he was in the hotel on the day it was stormed. At the time the police demanded to search the rooms, most of the workers were present and 11 of them, six females and five males, including Chief Mokwe himself, were promptly arrested and hauled into detention at SARS headquarters, Awkuzu.

Investigations are ongoing even as some lawyers and human rights groups have criticised the state government for extra-judicially demolishing the hotel.

Photo shows the hotel being demolished.

Source News Express

Posted 09/08/2013 12:24:40 AM


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