Federal High Court in Owerri, Imo State, on Friday, ordered that an autopsy be carried out on the corpse of Noel Chigbu.
Chigbu, a businessman in Owerri, was allegedly shot dead on April 30, in Owerri, by suspected soldiers for allegedly violating a traffic rule.
The deceased eldest brother and spokesperson for the family, Tobechi Chigbu, had told journalists that some soldiers had shot dead his brother on the day he took delivery of his new Toyota Camry car and was driving home at the close of work.
The distraught Tobechi had said that Noel was killed after dropping off his friend and was driving home.
He had said that the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in the state was the one, who told the family that the soldiers said that they shot his brother dead because he violated their checkpoint rule.
Tobechi had said, “Noel was one of my young brothers. He would have been 39 on May 18, but unfortunately, he was shot dead on the day he took delivery of his new vehicle. His corpse was dumped at the Federal Medical Centre in Owerri by the soldiers, who killed him.”
On Friday, the presiding judge, Justice Maureen Onyetenu, ordered that a coroner’s inquest be carried out on the corpse which had been lying at the morgue of Federal Medical Centre in Owerri for seven months.
The jurist ordered that all the parties in the suit or their representatives must be present while the autopsy is being carried out on the corpse.
The judge’s order followed a request made by the counsel to the applicant, G. O. Anyalewechi, that the court gives an order for the coroner’s inquest to be conducted on the corpse to enable the family to bury their son while the matter goes on in court.
Counsel to the Chief Of Army Staff and the 34 artillery brigade command, Obinze, Owerri, L. B. Berepiki, who did not oppose the application, urged the judge for an extension of time to enable the defendants to file their counter affidavit.
Chibu, the spokesperson for the family, who informed journalists that his younger brother’s wife was delivered of a baby girl last week, said that he was relieved that his brother’s remains would be laid to rest after the coroner’s inquest.