By Jonathan Ugbal and Monday Ogar: House of Assembly Correspondent
The Cross River State House of Assembly on Tuesday passed resolutions seeking to unravel the death of one Joy Odama, a 20-year old Yala native who died under mysterious circumstances in Abuja.
The resolution followed a motion of public importance moved by Regina Anyogo (Yala I PDP) upon resumption of plenary following a two week recess for “A thorough investigation” of the death of Miss Odama, a 200 Level Mass Communication undergraduate in the Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) allegedly murdered one Alhaji Adamu Usman of Karmo, Abuja on December 20, 2016.
The house resolved to set up a 5 man special committee to investigate the matter, write to the Inspector General of Police to set up a panel of investigation to examine the circumstances of Miss Odama’s death and determine the extent of the alleged culpability of the accused Alhaji Adamu Usman.
The House also resolved that the Cross River State Attorney General should liaise with the Attorney General of the federation to facilitate investigation and if need arises, prosecution.
Also resolved was that; the State Security Services (SSS), Human Rights Organizations and other concerned bodies take up the matter to ensure justice is done while the national assembly mandates relevant committees to investigate the negligence and reluctance of the Nigeria Police Force to investigate the alleged murder of Miss Odama.
In addition, the House resolved that the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) should trace the sources of drugs that were allegedly administered on Miss Odama.
How My Daughter Died And We Were Offered NGN400,000 By Killer – Mother
Miss Odama according to her mother, Philomena Odama was last seen on December 20 when she was lured away by the said Usman to visit him in his house at Ibro quarters in Old Kaemo Abuja to help look after his sick maid.
A long time family friend, Elizabeth who hails from Ogoja had two days earlier on December 18 linked the late Miss Odama to Usman read a petition from Mrs. Odama which further said that Usman had called for her (Philomena) and informed her of his decision to sponsor Joy’s education and secured a job in the NSCDC for her (Philomena).
She got disturbed when her late daughter was not picking her calls with Usman feigning ignorance about Joy when his line eventually went through with one CSP Nkem Raphael, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Karmo division informed her of her daughter’s death and threatened her not to make any case.
CSP Raphael said all the girls in Usman’s house were unconscious except one who was responding to treatment and the following day, told Philomena that her daughter had died from natural causes and Usman not arrested because no “Crime has been committed.”
“We asked to know how, why and what led to Joy’s death and the DPO declined further comments. Our lawyer asked if the Alhaji had been arrested but he bluntly told us that as far he was concerned, Alhaji was not culpable, no crime had been committed, that my daughter died a natural death and he cannot arrest Usman Adamu.
“He told the lawyer to take the matter to his superiors but that he had already informed them about the matter and as far as they were concerned, Alhaji could not be arrested,” CSP Raphael said and directed her to the Federal Medical Center, Airport road, Abuja, where he said her daughter’s corpse was deposited where she discovered the late Joy has been embalmed.
“When we asked why my daughter’s body was embalmed without our knowledge, one of the attendants confided in us that Usman Adamu first brought the dead body in the early hours of December 21, claiming to be the father of the girl,” she said.
“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. He left and came back with Nkem Raphael, the DPO, who ordered them to immediately embalm the body. We also discovered that the other girls the DPO claimed were on admission in the hospital were not there.”
On another visit to the station, a girl who was spotted in Usman’s house was in holding and explained that she visited Usman the next day having not being able to make it the previous day where saw Joy lying lifelessly on the floor while the other girls were stooling and vomiting and while trying to escape, was seized by others in Usman’s residence and brought to the station.
“When I was about asking her further questions, some policemen shouted at her to stop talking and whisked her away,” said Mrs. Odama and upon inquiry why the late Joy was embalmed without her consent from the DPO, was told she should not pursue the case but rather, dialogue with Usman.
Mrs. Odama said she reluctantly agreed and when she visited with her lawyer for the meeting, was told by the DPO that the meeting has been postponed since Usman could not be reached, a lie which Mrs. Odama said she unraveled upon her lawyer’s departure.
“Immediately the lawyer left, the DPO quickly called us inside his office and we were so surprised to see Usman Adamu sitting right there. The DPO told us to put off our phones and drop it on his desk, that he does not want the meeting to be recorded. In attendance was the DPO and Michael Obiora, a police inspector.
“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. Adamu then offered to settle the matter with N300,000 and we became infuriated, and there after which we briefed the lawyer.
“The lawyer insisted that further investigation be carried out. The DPO again called for a second meeting where we met with Umoru Usman Shehu; an assistant inspector general of police in charge of intelligence at force headquarters.
“Umoru told us bluntly also that investigation in this matter had been closed and could not be reopened. He asked Adamu to add an additional N100,000 to his initial offer but Adamu told us harshly that, that was the best he could do and that it was his final decision.
“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,” the petition read.
She claimed her daughter was not the first victim of Usman and called on relevant Government agencies and non-governmental bodies to help unravel the case.
Human Rights Group Petition Police, DSS And National Assembly
Meanwhile, Basic Rights Enlightenment Foundation, an Abuja based human rights group have written to the Inspector General of Police, Director of the State Security Services and the leadership of both chambers in the National Assembly over the death of the late Miss Joy Odama.
The letter titled “A Call For Justice And Investigation Into The Murder Of Joy Odama” and dated January 3, 2017 said Mrs. Philomena Odama had approached them over her daughter’s death and they were writing on her behalf.
“Mrs. Philomena Odama approached us and told us a heart-wrenching story of how one Alhaji (Usman I. Adamu) murdered her daughter in cold blood, and how the police at Karimo police station, Abuja have connived with the said Alhaji to frustrate the matter and deny her justice.
“Sir, attached herewith is the letter written to us (BREF) by Mrs. Philomena Odama and now forwarded to you sir, for your perusal and necessary action.
“We employ you sir to use your good offices to investigate this matter thoroughly, to ensure that justice is done.”
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