Six months after alleged cannibal, Clifford Orji, died at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, Lagos, Saturday PUNCH has learnt that all efforts to locate his relatives proved abortive.
Spokesperson for the Nigerian Prisons Service, Lagos Command, Mr. Biyi Jeje, told our correspondent in an interview on Thursday, that prisons officials had made several attempts to trace his family but were unsuccessful at every turn.
Jeje said, “Within the 13 years he spent in prison, no member of his family visited him. When he was brought into the Ikoyi Prison where he was first kept, he did not say much. He just laughed most of the time.
“But some of our officials, who were specialists in communicating with people like that, were brought in to ask him about his family.
“All he was able to say was that they were far away. But with the little lead to go on with, officials could not successfully trace his family.
“I think the family just did not want to associate with him considering all the things that were said about him.”
Asked if an autopsy was done to determine the cause of Orji’s death on August 12, 2012, Jeje said it was carried out at the Isolo General Hospital, adding that it revealed that Orji died of natural causes.
At the time of Orji’s death, it was reported that he was stooling and vomiting, but a doctor at the hospital in the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, who was in charge of the former inmate, said that did not happen.
The doctor, who pleaded anonymity, explained that the only ailment Orji had was his mental sickness, adding that aside from that, he was hale and hearty.
Jeje had also stated that Orji received medical attention from a doctor from the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, who came once in a month to the Kirikiri Maximum Prison hospital.
“The doctor came once every month to attend to prisoners who had mental illnesses and Orji was one of the people he was treating at the time. We have an agreement with the psychiatric hospital on the treatment of prisoners.
“We also have an agreement with the Isolo General Hospital, which was why Orji was taken there when he died. The autopsy was done there and he was buried by the hospital,” he said.