The traditional chiefs in Idanre Local Government Area of Ondo state who are trying to cover up the death case of a pregnant woman, Mrs. Justina Joshua, are now begging the family and representatives of the victim from Akwa Ibom to settle the case outside the view of prosecution, SaharaReporters learned.
Mrs. Joshua, an Indigene of Akwa Ibom died on June 8th, 2016, as a result of a tree being felled in a remote farm of the Onipanu community of Idanre and her death has since attracted public outcry.
The suspect involved in her accidental death is an indigene from Idanre who is also a subject to the throne but has been shielded from being investigated even with the help of police in Idanre who are trying to cover up the death case.
The deliberate neglect of her corpse at the General Hospital in Idanre as a result of repugnant tradition has also sparked public condemnation, our correspondent reported.
Already, the Director of the Ondo State Legal Aid Council, Barrister Kubiat Ikpidungise has written a petition to the office of the Commissioner of Police, Hilda Ibifuro Harrison, over the case.
Inibehe Effiong, a human rights lawyer who has been following up the case has vowed to unravel the main circumstances surrounding the death of the late woman.
SaharaReporters learned that both legal practitioners have also reported cases of threat to their lives in the state following their interest in the case.
“I now receive strange calls. Some people are even threatening me with juju while they have been attacking me spiritually in my dream over this case”, one of them said.
The leaders and representatives of the Akwa Ibom Community have also complained over assault and threat to their lives and properties since they have started calling for justice over the murder case.
On Wednesday, These disgruntled traditional chiefs represented by the Olu of Onipanu, Claudius Ademehintoye made pleas and begged for ‘peaceful settlement’ in a meeting with the Akwa Ibom leaders held at the Headquarters of the Ondo State Police Command on Igbatoro road in Akure.
Ademehintoye told the leaders of the Akwa Ibom community that the traditional chiefs with the cooperation of Owa of Idanre, Oba Fredrick Aroloye, have resolved that the corpse of the pregnant woman should be released to her family for burial in her village.
“We have to beg you [Akwa Ibom leaders] to please forgive us and forget this case and let us settle it amicably before it gets beyond the control of this area.
“We know it was a terrible mistake and negligence on our part and we have been able to realize this because none of us asked for the sad incident that occurred to this pregnant woman. Please forgive us.
“The family of the victim can now take the corpse of the pregnant woman away from the morgue to her hometown for necessary burial," the Olu of Onipanu said.
Inside sources at the meeting told SaharaReporters that the traditional chiefs have agreed to release the corpse of the woman [Mrs. Joshua] from the Idanre General Hospital by tomorrow[Thursday] to the Ondo State Specialists Hospital in Akure.
The source further disclosed to our correspondent that the repentant chiefs have also resolved to bear any financial implications that might attract the movement of the corpse from the morgue.
The meeting also had in attendance the Director of the Ondo State Legal Aid Council, Kubiat Ikpidungise, who was joined by Inibehe Effiong, SaharaReporters learned.
Speaking, Ikpidungise who has repeatedly condemned the repugnant tradition that forbade the timely burial of the late pregnant woman told our sources that the police might have a case to answer over the identity and whereabouts of the killer-suspect.
“Now, my major grouse is who are these killer-suspects because the police claimed they have been arrested but where are they, we want to see them and ask questions," she queried.
But, sources in Idanre revealed the names of the killer-suspects as Seun Oke [tree cutter], and Aye Awote [Farm owner] to SaharaReporters through an underground investigation.
Also, Effiong told SaharaReporters that the case is being resolved in good terms that would favor the Awka Ibom leaders and representatives.
“The representatives of the Owa of Idanre and the relatives suspects begged and cried profusely for the corpse to be taken away immediately and unconditionally and for a peaceful settlement.
“They came with their lawyer who described his clients' conduct as "adding salt to injury."
“Further discussions on the movement of the corpse to Akwa Ibom State and the burial arrangements will take place within the week (they actually begged that it should be today but we rejected),” he said.
The police have promised to ensure the case is resolved with an assurance that the corpse would be transferred to the Ondo State Specialists Hospital in Akure by Thursday.