Joseph Egbunike, deputy inspector-general of police in charge of the force criminal investigations department, is dead, police sources have coonfirmed.
The late Egbunike, who also headed the Panel the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, set up to probe allegations the FBI levelled against Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, was said to have died on Tuesday at the National Hospital, Abuja after a brief illness from mysterious circumstances.
In a statement on his demise, Muyiwa Adejobi, the force spokesperson, said on Wednesday that Usman Baba, inspector-general of police, commiserated with the deceased’s family and friends.
“The inspector-general of police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc(+),NPM, fdc on behalf of his Management team, and officers of the Nigeria Police Force, regrets to announce the demise of DIG Joseph Obiajulu Egbunike, PhD, ACTI, mnin, FCNA, which occurred at about 9pm of March 8, 2022 at the National Hospital, Abuja, after a brief illness,” the statement reads.
“DIG Egbunike was until his death the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the force criminal investigation department and the supervisory DIG in charge of the south-east.
“DIG Egbunike was a dedicated and seasoned police officer who served the nation in various capacities including as the commissioner of police in charge of Police Accounts and Budget.Advertisement
“An officer with finesse and commitment to intellectual development and was instrumental to the achievements of the giant strides within the Police architecture.
”The inspector-general of police hereby condoles with the immediate family, relatives, and friends of the deceased DIG who passed away in active service of his fatherland and prays for the repose of his soul.”
Prior to his death, Egbunike was the chairman of the panel instituted by the IGP to investigate the FBI allegations against Abba Kyari, suspended deputy commissioner of police (DCP).
In August 2021, Egbunike’s panel submitted its report on the investigation against Kyari to the IGP.Advertisement
In February 2022, the Police Service Commission (PSC) asked the Nigeria Police Force to conduct further probe on Kyari and set up another panel.
Egbunike Died from Surgery to Remove Fish bone and Obesity Complications – Sources
A report by the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) claims that a chain of events led to the death of the Deputy Inspector General of Police on Tuesday.
A source at the Force Headquarters, Abuja told FIJ that Egbunike was having lunch in his office when a fishbone hooked his throat and couldn’t speak well.
He added that the late cop had to be rushed to the hospital, where doctors successfully removed the bone via surgery.
The source disclosed that Egbunike felt better after the procedure and returned home some hours later.
He said that the late DIG started feeling great discomfort again and had to be returned to the hospital, where he died of obesity complications.
The source said: “He was eating in his office when he got hooked in the throat by a fishbone, and all efforts to retrieve it proved abortive.
“He had to be rushed to the hospital, where doctors successfully removed it via surgery.”
Another source at the police headquarters said Egbunike was at the hospital to remove the fishbone but his health was so fragile because he was obese.