Ikeja – A Consultant Pathologist, Prof. John Obafunwa, on Friday said that Cynthia Osokogu, who was murdered in a Lagos hotel on July 22, 2012, died of asphyxiation.
Obafunwa, who is the Chief Medical Examiner of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, made the statement while testifying before Justice Olabisi Akinlade of an Ikeja High Court.
The News Agency of Niigeria (NAN) reports that Obafunwa gave evidence at the resumed trial of four men charged with the alleged murder of the 25-year old lady.
The defendants, Okwumo Nwabufo (33), Olisaeloka Ezike (23), Orji Osita (33) and Ezike Nonso (25), are facing a six-count charge of conspiracy, murder, stealing, reckless negligence and possession of stolen goods.
Led in evidence by the Lagos State Attorney General, Mr Ade Ipaye, the pathologist said the post-mortem report showed that Osokogu was choked and gagged by her killers.
He said: “From our findings, the deceased was asphyxiated, which means absence of oxygen supply to the body.
“That was the immediate cause of death. It was as a result of the blockage of her upper respiratory airways.
“This blockage was caused by the deceased being gagged and choked.”
Obafunwa said there were also multiple bruises and abrasions on Osokogu’s body.
“There were bruises on her arms, back and what appears to be bite marks on the front of her two thighs,” he said.
The witness told the court that the injuries on the body of the deceased could not have been self-inflicted.
Also, the court admitted as exhibits, 15 photographs of the crime scene, which were taken at Room C1 of Cosmilla Hotel, Lakeview Estate, FESTAC Town, Lagos, where Osokogu was allegedly murdered.
The photographer, Mr Lucky Enimelo, told the court that policemen from Area `E` Police Command in FESTAC, had asked him to take the pictures.
“After snapping the pictures with my digital camera, we went to a laboratory to print them. The police instructed me to delete them from my memory card and also from the laboratory’s computer,” Enimelo said.
NAN reports that the manager of the hotel, Mr Victor Ugweke, also testified before the court.
Ugweke said after he was notified by the hotel’s receptionist that there was a body in one of its rooms, he went to report the matter at FESTAC Police Station.
He said he accompanied the police to the General Hospital in Ikeja, where they took Osokogu’s body.
“When we got there, they said she was dead and the police took her body to the mortuary,” Ugweke said.
Nwabufo and Ezike are standing trial for allegedly murdering Osokogu, whom they had met through Facebook, a social networking site.
Osita, a pharmacist, is being prosecuted for negligently selling Rohypnol Flunitrazepan tablets to Ezike, which were allegedly used to drug Osokogu before she was allegedly killed.
The fourth defendant, Nonso, was charged with being in possession of three Blackberry mobile phones belonging to the deceased.
The matter was adjourned till May 24 for continuation of trial. (NAN)
Comments are moderated. Please keep them clean and brief.