The family of the late Chiemeka Arinze, a co-defendant in a case involving suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, aka Evans, who died in prison custody, may sue the Nigerian government and the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS).
Arinze died in a general hospital last Friday, reportedly from "advanced HIV/AIDS" after being rushed there from prison custody.
Evans is standing trial alongside, Joseph Emeka, Chiemeka Arinze and Udeme Upong, over the attempted kidnap of Chief Vincent Obianodo, the Chairman of the Young Shall Grow Motors, before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court.
They are facing a seven-count charge of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, attempt to kinda, sale and transfer of firearms.
But the counsel for the deceased, Ogu Ogedi, on Tuesday, said Arinze's family were considering taking legal action over Arinze's death.
According to the lawyer, he saw Arinze in the hospital last Friday before he died later that day around 9 pm.
He described his health condition at the time as bad but added that his family were hopeful that he would survive it.
Ogedi, at the resumed trial at an Ikeja High Court on Monday, informed the court about Arinze’s death, showing the death certificate of the deceased
The court presided over by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo confirmed the death.
On Tuesday, Ogedi said, as reported by Vanguard, “The family believes that he was hail and hearty as at the time he was taken into custody.
“So whatever that transpired after is what the family is interested in because from the account of the family and as their lawyer, I know that they have told me that he was hail and hearty before he was taken to custody.
“He (the deceased) demanded that we request for his medical report, which informed the processes that we filed before the court and the subsequent bail application, which unfortunately was not heard before he departed.
“His contention was that since he was taken into the custody, he has never been himself, and that was why he insisted that we should file processes, directing for his medical report which we did.
“If you conduct a search in the court’s file, you would find out that these motions are still pending in the court's records before we got the information that he died on Friday.
“I visited him in the hospital on Friday. His situation was very terrible even though the family was hopeful that he was going to make it out of that situation because he was a very strong person.
“But that was not to be; he gave up the ghost around past 9 pm on Friday.
“The family are asking questions. They are meeting and still discussing the way forward. The family will be interested to know what really happened.
“The corpse is still with the Correctional Centre, because he died in custody.
“I formally informed the court of the death of my client to the court yesterday being Monday.”