African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

The death of Agbobli under suspicious circumstances raises many questions

Posted by African Press International on August 29, 2008

Last week the death of opposition leader Kokouvi Agbobli under mysterious circumstances sent shock waves throughout Togo.
But glaring contradictions in autopsy report and an earlier press statement released by the Togolese Minister for Security about the mystery death of the Togolese opposition leader has triggered widespread about the actual cause of his death leading to wild speculations in Lom .
Last week the Togolese Minister for Security and Interior , Colonel Atcha Titikpina said in an official press statement in Lome that the body of Kokouvi Agbobli , a prominent Togolese opposition leader who was reported missing was found washed ashore at a beach in Lome after a search lasting 48 hours.
But an autopsy ordered by the Chief State Prosecutor , Boubadi Bakai later claimed that the opposition leader neither died from drowning nor from any violent means.
The autopsy released by professor Napo Ouro Koura , Chief Pathologist at the University central Hospital in Lome said that the opposition leader died from systematic intoxication induced by the taking of an overdose of medical substances capable of causing death.
The autopsy could however not produce an analysis of the composition of the chemical substances contained in the overdose taken by the opposition leader due to what the pathologist called the lack of appropriate laboratory equipment .
Rather than to smother growing skepticism , the glaring disparities in the Security Ministers earlier press statement and the autopsy released by the pathologist have added more fuel to the conflagration of doubts about the actual cause of death of the opposition leader.
Ayaovi Agbobli , son of the dead opposition leader told the press that the contradictions in the two reports have raised doubts of dust about the impartiality of the Togo government in the whole bizarre scenario surrounding his fathers death.
So aggravated are the doubts that Togolese opposition leaders, Gilchrist Olympio of the Union of Forces for Change , UFC , party and Lawyer Yawovi Agboyibo of the Action Committee for Renewal, CAR, have all joined the Togo National Human Rights Commission in the call for an independent probe into what they called the mystery death of opposition leader Kokouvi Agbobli.
Even though preliminary police investigations seem to support the theory of suicide , opposition groups and many NGOs are insisting that an independent probe will help to throw more light on the whole bizarre affair put an end to the canker of impunity in Togo.
The contradictions between the earlier press statement by the Togolese Minister for Security and that of the pathologist are at the base of their present confusion leading to the million dollar question on every lip here, as to whether the body of the opposition leaders was washed ashore or whether he committed suicide.
Ayaovi Agbobli son of the late opposition leader told the press that the glaring contradictions are raising doubts about the impartiality of the Togo government on the whole issue about his fathers death.
But he said the family was awaiting the final report of police investigations before knowing what next line action to take.

By Ekoue Blame, Lom

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Published by African Press International – API

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