As at the time of writing this story, the death of one Miss Joy Odama, a mass communication undergraduate in one of the tertiary institution in the country, is still shrouded in mysterious circumstances. Investigation conducted by LEADERSHIP reveals that on December 18th,2016, the deceased in company of her friend, Elizabeth had gone to one Alhaji Usman I. Adamu, who is believed to be a philanthropist, because he assists indigent students, with scholarship to complete their studies.
According to the mother of the deceased, Mrs.Philomina Odama, “when it was my daughter’s turn to see Alhaji Adamu, she told him that she had come to seek for an assistance to continue with her education. But the ‘philanthropist’ told her to come along with her mother to the house.
My daughter told me this and I decided to go there with her, since the quarters where the Alhaji lives were in the same neighborhood where we reside. I equally met other people in the house seeking for the same assistance from this Alhaji Adamu.
According to her, when the late Joy had introduced her mother, “the Alhaji promised that he would support her daughter in school and also promised the mother a job at the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
“Two days later, on the evening of 20th of December, the Alhaji called my daughter, and told her that his house help is seriously sick and that she should please come and help him look after her while he goes to look for a doctor.
“He also said that he has called other girls (that is some of the girls we saw in the house the previous day). My daughter informed me about this and I allowed her to go. That was the last time i saw my daughter alive.”
Mrs. Odama further narrated that she called the daughter later and she told her that she was in the company of other girls in Alhaji’s house and that she would soon be back. According to her, “About an hour later, she was not yet back, I called her but she did not pick the call. I called her several times and there was no response.
Then I called Alhaji’s number, but he too did not pick. I became worried. I continued calling her number and that of the Alhaji every now and then and the Alhaji eventually picked his call. However, to my surprise, he pretended not to know who l was or who my daughter was.
She continued, “When I pressed further, he replied, ‘Did anything happen to Joy?’, as if he did not know where Joy was. And I knew all was not well.
We were about going to Karmo Police Station, to report the matter when two police officers came to my house and told us (myself and my husband) to follow them to the station. On getting to the station (Karmo Police station), the DPO informed us that all the girls that went to Alhaji’s house were all unconscious; that one is not responding to treatment, while others are responding to treatment.
The next day, which was December 22, 2016, I and some of my relatives and a lawyer, including a close family friend who works with an NGO went to the police station again. That was when they informed me that my daughter was dead and has been taken to the mortuary,” she explained.
Our lawyer asked the DPO if the Alhaji has been arrested. But the DPO said bluntly, ‘As far as he is concerned, no crime has been committed and that my daughter died a natural death and that he cannot arrest the Alhaji.”
In a petition on the matter, an Abuja-based nongovernmental organisation (NGO), Basic Rights Enlightenment Foundation and the family have cried out to the office of the senate president, the House of Representatives, the Human Rights Commission, Inspector General of Police as well as the Department of State Services to hasten action in unraveling circumstances leading to the death of Miss Joy Odama with a view to bringing the culprits to justice.
According to a petition addressed to the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), the biggest worry of the family of the late Joy and the NGO is that the prime suspect in the murder of Miss Odama, is still working free without attempt by the police to bring him to book.
Another source of worry to the petitioners is that the remains of the late Joy had already been embalmed before she was put in the morgue. “The DPO directed us to the Federal Medical Centre Airport Road Abuja and on getting to the mortuary at the hospital; we discovered that my daughter’s body has been embalmed,” Mrs. Odama said.
According to her, she has laboured seriously to see Joy and her younger sister through school before she was murdered in what looked like a ritual killing, taken to the mortuary at the Federal Medical Centre, Airport Road Abuja and embalmed before she was informed by the police at the Karmo Police station that her daughter was dead.
When contacted, the Police Public Relation Officer, FCT, Mr Anjuguri Hamza said he was not aware of the incident.