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Niger Med J. 2019 May-Jun;60(3):122-125. doi: 10.4103/nmj.NMJ_142_18.

An Autopsy Study of Pattern and Yearly Trend of Homicide in Warri, Nigeria.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Igbinedion University, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
Department of Morbid Anatomy/Histopathology, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria.
Department of Morbid Anatomy/Histopathology, Central Hospital, Sapele, Delta State, Nigeria.



Homicide is a common cause of unnatural death and an index of the level of security of the state. The aim of this study was to analyze all autopsied unnatural homicide cases in Warri, Nigeria from 2003 to 2016 with emphasis on age, sex, regional distribution of injury, and circumstance of death.

Materials and Methods:

Six hundred and seventy-four cases were studied and relevant information extracted from police and autopsy records. These information were analyzed using SPSS 21.


Unnatural homicide cases accounted for 69.1% of 975 medicolegal deaths autopsied in this region, with a male to female distribution of 14:1. The mean age of the victims was 33.2 years with the highest incidence occurring in the 3rd decade. Firearms, sharp weapons, blunt weapons, suffocation, and burning were the methods used in 426 (63.2%), 162 (24.0%), 73 (10.8%), 11 (1.7%), and 2 (0.3%) cases, respectively. The chest, the head, and the neck were the most common parts of the body affected representing 275 (40.8%), 162 (24%), and 52 (7.7%) of cases.


Unnatural death as a result of homicide is very common in the study area and mainly perpetrated using firearms and sharps with young males being the most vulnerable age group. The head, chest, and neck are more commonly affected regions of the body.


Autopsy; cause of death; firearm; homicide; injury

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