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He Was Poisoned: Father Alleges Foul Play As Cadet Drowns At Abia Hotel


The family of a 20-year-old Cadet Air Force Officer Emmanuel Onyeomereneche has been thrown into mourning following his death in the swimming of a hotel in Abia State.

The young officer, on the cusp of graduation with his class, passed away on April 9, 2024, at Hotel Royal Damgrete.

A report aired by ABN TV says that Onyeomereneche disappeared in the pool around 6:37 pm and was retrieved almost three hours later, by 9:58 pm, following a difficult and delayed rescue operation.

A delayed and challenging rescue effort, reportedly hampered by the pool’s condition and lack of divers, meant his body wasn’t recovered until nearly three hours later.

The tragedy has sparked outrage, with questions about the hotel’s safety standards and emergency preparedness.

Adding to the community’s grief, Emmanuel’s father, Mr. Ephraim Onyeomereneche, has alleged foul play.

Speaking to ABN TV, Mr Onyeomereneche claims an autopsy revealed his son was poisoned before entering the pool, where he also sustained a fatal head injury.

He has demanded a thorough investigation and accountability from those responsible.

Speaking with ABN TV after his son’s burial at his hometown, Okwuta Ibeku in Umuahia North LGA Of Abia State, Ephraim Onyeomereneche claimed that his son had been poisoned before he went into the pool.

He said, “The autopsy has been conducted on June 29th. It was an open autopsy, and the cause of my late son’s death was known and determined.

“Chidiebere was poisoned, and then hit at the back of the head in the pool that broke his skull. Blood entered his brain and he died.”

The father lamented that the Abia State government had not offered the support that the family required to get justice.

He said, “Abia state should be responsible. But I ask for justice, the police, the roles they have been playing have not been the best. They should play better roles.

“We protested to the government house. We protested to the House of Assembly. We also protested at Hotel Royal Damgrete.

“The Abia State House of Assembly has abandoned the matter. The state pretended to see no evil, heard no evil, and are doing no good.”

He also blamed the hotel for lapses that, according to him, had resulted in previous incidents.

He said, “For Hotel Royal Damgrete, let the death of people discontinued from that hotel. Chidiebere is gone alright, but at the same time, let it not continue.

“It looks like on average of every 4 months or thereabouts, one person dies in that hotel. Less than that? I don’t know. Whatever he’s doing that causes those deaths. Let it stop.

“I’ll ask God to fight for me. But for Chidiebere, let him not rest until justice is done. It’s only justice, Nothing else. Just justice. However, it will come, let justice be done.”

Expressing sadness that his son could not reap the fruits of his labour at the Nigeria Defence Academy, he said, “His mates graduated last month. On the day they were graduating, some of them were sending messages to me.

“The personnel parade will be next year, but actually, I’ve been suffering for 4 years without a certificate. It’s not the best.

“It’s not the best. It’s painful. From the days of President Jonathan, the Boko Haram, nothing happened. We survived it, all the stoppings and all the bullets. Only for him to be (killed) at home”, he stressed.

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