The chain of events that led to the death of Joseph Egbunike, a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), began from the seemingly harmless consumption of a meal, Federation Of Investigative Journalism (Fij.ng) report.
According to insiders at the Force Heaquarters, Abuja, Egbunike was eating a meal in his office on Tuesday when “a fish bone stuck in the wrong place”.
“He was eating in his office when he got hooked in the throat by a fish bone, and all efforts to retrieve it proved abortive,” a long-standing FIJ source at the Force headquarters said. “He had to be rushed to the hospital, where doctors successfully removed it via a surgery.”
Egbunike, the source said, felt better after the procedure, so he returned home.
“However, not long after returning home, he started feeling great discomfort again and had to be returned to the hospital; that is where he eventually died.”
A second Force Headquarters source, who also confirmed Egbunike was at the hospital to remove the fish bone, said the DIG, being obese, was always at risk of worsened health condition after any surgical process, no matter how uncomplicated it seems.
“His health was so fragile because he was obese,” said the source, “and he tried his best to manage it, for example with the standard bed inside his office that enabled him to rest at short intervals whenever he felt weak.”
Until his death, Egbunike headed the Police Special Investigations Panel that probed Abba Kyari, the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) and head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), over his alleged involvement in fraud.
He was previously the Commissioner of Police in charge of budget and finance at the Force headquarters.
Egbunike held a Bachelor of Science (Hons) Accounting degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; a Bachelor of Laws (LLB Hons.), B.L.; a Masters in International Law and Diplomacy (MILD); and a PhD in Criminology.
Professionally, he belonged to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Institute of Cost Management (ICM), Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM) and the Chartered Institute of Fraud Examiners.