Regina's African community joining calls for inquest into Samwel Uko's death
REGINA -- A long-time multiculturalism activist is calling for an inquest into the death of Samwel Uko, whose body was found in Wascana Lake in May
Muna DeCiman said Regina’s African community is grieving Uko’s death, and wants to know what happened in the hours before he died.
“Something definitely went wrong that night (and) that day. Something went wrong and we need an answer,” said DeCiman. “A young promising gentleman, an African icon, and the circumstances that led to his death, it’s not something that anybody cannot have sympathy for.”
Justin Nyee, Uko’s uncle, said Uko died by suicide, after his cousin took Uko to the hospital to get help for his mental health.
“His cousin wanted to let the hospital know what was going on. But, when they got there, the hospital staff (and) the nurses told him, ‘ No, you’re not allowed. No visitors because of Covid-19,’” said Nyee.
Uko went inside, and Nyee said Uko’s cousin gave the nurses his number, but no one ever followed up. Forty-five minutes later, Uko called his cousin to pick him up. The two went to a store, where Uko bought a sleeping pill from a pharmacy, and then they went to Uko’s aunt’s house.
“His cousin left him there, and then he went to the bedroom, and that was the last time his cousin saw him,” said Nyee.
Nyee said the family is pushing for an inquest into Uko’s death.
“A person comes in (the hospital) and you let them out, and six hours later, the person kills themselves. It’s upsetting to us,” said Nyee.
“We just believe that he went to the right place, he took the proper steps, he knew there was an issue and he was still denied help,” said Judy Wani, a member of the Regina community also calling for an inquest.
CTV News Regina reached out to the Ministry of Justice for an update on the Coroner’s investigation. The Ministry said the investigation is still ongoing and “the Chief Coroner is looking at this case very seriously but will not make a decision to hold an inquest until the investigation is final.”