Posted by Amechi Obiakpu | 6 June 2017 | 2,019 times
Mother of a 200 level Mass Communications undergraduate is calling for justice for the murder of her daughter, Joy Odama.
Mrs. Philomena Odama, mother of the deceased, resident at old Karmo village in Abuja, alleged that her daughter, who until her death was a student of Cross River State University, was murdered by one Alhaji Usman Adamu under the pretext of helping her with scholarship for her education.
In a letter sent to News Express, Mrs. Odama, a native of Yala LGA in Cross River State, alleged that her daughter met her untimely death December 20, 2016, after her path with the said Alhaji Usman Adamu crossed two days earlier through her friend, Elizabeth.
Recounting how it all began, she said, “Joy Odama was my first daughter. She was a 200 level undergraduate of Mass Communications at the Cross River State University who just returned for Christmas holidays and met her untimely death.”
Continuing, she narrated: “On December 18, 2016, one Elizabeth from Ogoja LGA, Cross River State who was my daughter’s friend visited us and told Joy to accompany her to see one Alhaji Usman Adamu who she said was a philanthropist that gives scholarship to young students. She said the Alhaji lived in the same neighbourhood, precisely at Ibro Quarters, Old Karmo, Abuja.
“Knowing Elizabeth as a long time friend and without any suspicion, she innocently followed her to the said Alhaji’s house. On getting there, my daughter called me that the Alhaji wants to see me. I asked why and she said that the Alhaji wants to help her with her education with other girls who lived in the neighbourhood and were there with their parents.
“I quickly got to the house and Alhaji Adamu promised to help in my daughter’s education and equally promised to get me a job with the Nigerian Security & Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC). We exchanged numbers, and I graciously thanked him and left with my daughter.”
Mrs. Odama explained that two days later, her daughter got a call from Alhaji Adamu requesting she come to his house to help look after his house help who was said to be sick.
“Two days later on December, 20, 2016 in the evening, Alhaji Adamu called my daughter and said his house help was seriously sick and that she should please come and look after her while he goes to get a doctor. He also said he had called other girls (the other girls we saw in his house the previous day).
“Joy told me I should allow her to go, and I did”. That day, according to her, was the last day she set her eyes on her daughter alive.
“After a while on the same day, I called Joy through her mobile phone and she said she was at the house with the other girls and will soon be coming back. About an hour later, when she was not yet back, I called the same phone several time but she did not pick.
“Out of curiosity, I called Alhaji Usman Adamu on his mobile number: 08179606208, he too did not pick. I became more worried and went to the house but couldn’t gain access to the Alhaji’s apartment.”
Afraid that something may be wrong, Mrs. Odama called her daughter and Alhaji Adamu several times the next morning with no response.
“Eventually, Alhaji Adamu picked his call and to my surprise, he pretended not to know who Joy or I was. When I pressed further he asked ‘did anything happen to Joy?”
At this point, Mrs. Odama suspected that something was wrong.
“In panick, I called my husband (who was not around at the time due to the nature of his work), my relatives and neighbors and we all agreed to report to the Police. As we were about stepping out to the Police station, we saw two Policemen in our house who asked us to follow them to the Police station at Karmo,” she said.
On getting to the station the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), one Nkem Raphael (CSP), informed them that all the girls that went to the Alhaji’s house were all unconscious and all except one is not responding to treatment while the others were responding.
“We requested to see Joy but we were turned down and asked to come back the next day. We pressed further but the DPO insisted we go and come back as directed. The next day being December 22, 2016 I went back to the Police Station in company of relatives and a lawyer who is a close family friend. To my utter shock, I was told that my daughter was dead and has been taken to the mortuary.
“We asked to know how and what led to Joy’s death and the DPO, Nkem Raphael, declined further comments. Our lawyer asked if the Alhaji has been arrested but CSP Raphael bluntly told us that as far he was concerned, the said Alhaji was not culpable and no crime has been committed. He said my daughter died a natural death and he could not arrest Alhaji Usman Adamu.
“The DPO told our lawyer to take the matter to his superiors but that he has already informed them about the matter and as far as they were concerned, Alhaji Adamu cannot be arrested. We requested to know the whereabouts of my daughter’s corpse and the other girls responding to treatment so we can interview them. The DPO directed us to Federal Medical Center, Airport Road Abuja.
“On getting to the mortuary, we discovered Joy’s body had already been embalmed. When we asked why my daughter’s body was embalmed without our knowledge, one of the attendants confided in us that Alhaji Usman Adamu first brought the dead body in the early hours of December 21, 2016 claiming to be the father of the girl.
“But on seeing the body, they suspected foul play and insisted that they will not admit the body until they see a Police or doctor’s report. Alhaji Usman Adamu left and came back with the same DPO, CSP Raphael of Karmo Divisional, who ordered them to immediately embalm the body,” she said.
Continuing she said: “We also discovered that the other girls the DPO claimed were on admission in the hospital were not there. We went back to the Police Station to find out why our daughter’s body would be embalmed without our prior consent.
“At the Police Station, I saw Martha, one of the girls whom I met at Alhaji Usman Adamu’s house, by the Police counter and I asked her what happened to Joy of which she narrated the following.
“On December 20, 2016 Alhaji Usman Adamu called her to come to his house, that he had already called the other girls to help him look after his house help who was very sick. But her elder brother (Emmanuel, who was also in the Police Station with her) stopped her from going to the Alhaji’s house that day. But that she sneaked very early in the morning to the Alhaji’s house the following day and on getting there she was shocked at what she saw. She saw my daughter, Joy Odama lying lifeless on the floor and the other girls were stooling and vomiting. She became afraid and tried to run out of the house but Alhaji Adamu and some people inside the house held her back and brought her to the Police Station. When I was about asking her further questions, some Police men shouted at her to stop talking and whisked her away.
“We went back again to the DPO, Raphael to enquire why my daughter was embalmed without our knowledge and that we heavily suspected foul play and demanded for an explanation and further investigation. The DPO reiterated his initial position and bluntly told us not to pursue this case further, that he would advise us to dialogue with Alhaji Usman Adamu for our daughter’s burial.
“CSP Raphael insisted he had nothing more to do with us until we agreed to meet with the Alhaji.
“On the advice of a family friend, we agreed to meet with the Alhaji to shed more light on what actually transpired. On the agreed date of the meeting, being Dec. 24, 2016 by 10am, we were at the Police Station with our lawyer but on sighting the lawyer, the DPO lied that the meeting had been postponed.
“When the lawyer asked why, he said that the Alhaji was not around and that his number was not connecting, that he would call the lawyer and inform her of the next date for the meeting. Immediately the lawyer left, the DPO quickly called us inside his office and we were so surprised to see Alhaji Usman sitting right there. The DPO told us to put off our phones and drop them on his desk, that he does not want the meeting to be recorded. In attendance were the DPO, Nkem Raphael, DCO, Michael Obiora, (SP), the Inspector in charge of Crime and Alhaji Usman Adamu. On our side was my husband, myself, relatives and a family friend.
“The DPO was the first to speak. He said if we knew what was good for us we should agree to whatever the Alhaji will offer us and desist from further pursuing this matter. Alhaji Adamu then offered to settle the matter with Three Hundred Thousand Naira (N300,000) and we became infuriated with anger, left home and informed the lawyer what happened. The lawyer insisted that further investigation be carried out. The DPO again called for a second meeting where we met with Umoru Usman Shehu, AIG Intelligence, Force Headquarters Abuja.
“Umoru told us bluntly also that investigation in the matter was closed and could not be reopened. He said Alhaji Adamu should add an additional One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000) to his initial offer. He told us harshly that, that was the much he could do in this matter and that was his final decision and it was in our best interest to accept the offer,” Mrs. Odama stated.
Sensing that the police officers were bent on having their way, Mrs. Odama said she was advised by a family friend to collect the said money to give a false impression of acceptance.
“At this point, apparently sensing the threat in his tone, a family friend present called us aside and advised that we collect the money to give them a false belief that we had agreed to their terms while we go home and think of the next line of action, including having it as an exhibit.
“As it stands now, it is very visible to the blind and audible to the deaf that the Alhaji has people in high places within the Nigerian Police Force and has connived with them to deny our poor family justice,” Mrs. Odama posited.
She, however, called on the government and the general public to come to her aid as she seeks justice for the death of her daughter and other girls who had suffered the same fate.
“I am passionately pleading and calling on the government and the general public to come to my aid so that my daughter’s gruesome death will not be in vain. Investigations have revealed that my daughter, Joy Odama is not the first girl that Alhaji Usman Adamu has killed on the pretext of helping them,” she concluded.
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