Monday, June 19, 2017. 22:25GMT
 Alhaji Usman Adamu Murdered Joy Odama, Moves Freely Without Police Arrest

Philomena is the mother of an undergraduate female, Joy, allegedly murdered in Abuja by one Alhaji Usman Adamu. The troubled woman, her lawyer and one teenage freind of Joy, said to be privy to the activities of the man called Usman Adamu. Share their stories as narrated to ADELANI ADEPEGBA

Tell us about yourself.

I am Philomena, mother of late Joy Odama. Joy was my first daughter and she was a student of Cross-River State University of Technology. She came back for Christmas holidays before she met her death.

How did you meet Alhaji Adamu?

It was within the week on December 18, 2016, we were home that day when Elizabeth came. She is our neighbour. I know her. She was close to me and she used to come to my house. We ate together. I didn't know she had any intention. She pleaded with Joy to accompany her to see a man that wanted to assist her with her education. She said she didn't want to go alone. She also pleaded with me to allow Joy to accompany her and since she was a girl I know, I permitted Joy to go with her. Not up to 30 minutes, I called Joy to know if they had seen the man and she confirmed that they had met him. I asked her not to stay too long.

IG part of those shielding Joy's killer - Lawyer

Shortly after, she called me that the man said he wished to know me. She pleaded that I should come and that the man promised to help her. I went and met the man. He promised to get me a job in the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. That was the first time I met Alhaji Adamu.

What happened after that day?

On December 20, it was a Tuesday and I went to Karmo market. When I returned, I didn't see Joy at home. I called her and she said the daddy (Adamu) called her to come and take care of her house help that was sick. I didn't know the house help but I told her to come back early since it was getting late. I called again and she assured me, that she was there with another girl who is a nurse. I asked her to give one of the girls the phone so I could speak with her. She did. She gave the phone to a girl called Gift who said she was from Imo State. Around 8 pm, I called her again, her phone rang but she didn't pick the calls. I began to get worried. I went to the Alhaji's house but the gateman didn't allow me in. I went back home and I was restless, I couldn't sleep throughout the night. In the middle of the night, I called again. The phone rang but there was no response. I remembered that Alhaji called me so I dialled his number, but it took some time before he responded. I tried to introduce myself as Joy's mother but he pretended as if he didn't remember me. He then asked, 'Did anything happen to Joy?' and hung up.

I called again but he didn't respond. Before I could take any further step in the morning, two policemen came to my house. They asked after my husband, but I said, "what happened to Joy? They only asked me to come to Karmo police station to see the divisional police officer.

What happened at the police station?

When I met the DPO, I asked what happened to my daughter, but the DPO, Raphael Nkem, sent me out. He asked his boys to take me out of his office; he said, 'Go out, I don't want to listen to you. Go and meet the DCO.' I went to meet him and it turned out to be the man that came to my house. I asked where my daughter was and he said I shouldn't worry, that she was fine. He said she only had a health challenge and was admitted to a hospital. He asked me to come back the next day. My heart was set on fire. I couldn't do anything. Her friends in the neighbourhood came to meet me and asked what the police told me. I narrated everything and they said we should go back to the station and demand to know what happened to Joy. That night around after 10 pm, we trekked to the police station, but they didn't open the gate for us.

One of the policemen simply told us that the officers in charge had gone home and that we should come back the next day. Early next day around 6 am, I was at the station, but one of the policemen said it was too early. He told me to come back by 10 am. You know how insulting the police are when they see that you are not connected, they take you as nobody? They talk to you rudely. That was what they did to me that day. I left and before 10 am, I was at the police station with my family members. That was when they told me my daughter was dead. It was on December 22 that they broke the news to me.

Did the police tell you how she died?

The DPO was saying it was a pity she died a natural and sudden death. We demanded to see the girl, but he said they had taken her to the mortuary. They refused to take us to the hospital. They only directed us, with the receipt that was issued by the hospital. The girl had been embalmed before we got to the Federal Staff Clinic. The pathologist was shocked to see people coming to claim the girl as their family member. They didn't even put her in the mortuary. She was placed on the floor. They refused to allow me to see her body. I only saw her face and hair. One of the mortuary attendants, who heard me speak in Idoma language, told me that Alhaji brought the girl on December 21 for embalming, saying she was his daughter. She said they refused and asked for a death certificate, adding that he left with the body and came back with the DPO of Karmo Police Station who ordered them to embalm the corpse. The funny aspect is that they asked a 14-year-old girl, Martha, to pay for the embalmment and sign the documents.

Who is Martha?

She is one of the girls that introduced Joy to Alhaji. He named the little girl as the sister to my daughter and they forced her to sign the embalmment forms. The girl told us that the police directed her to say it was generator fume that killed my daughter. We asked the DPO why she was embalmed without our consent. All he said was that he would arrange a meeting so that we could settle the matter. We were thinking Alhaji would explain how the girl died. On December 24, we went to the meeting but when he saw us with our lawyer, he was not comfortable. The meeting was for 10 am but we stayed until 2 pm. When the lawyer noticed that it was because of her that the DPO did not want to convene the meeting, she left.

All the DPO told us was that Alhaji's number was not connecting. Immediately the lawyer left, he went out and brought Alhaji. I thought the man would tell us how the girl died in his house, but it was the DPO that spoke. He was his mouthpiece. He said he would advise us to agree to whatever Alhaji would say, that my daughter's death was a natural one that could happen to anybody. Before we had the meeting, he asked us to drop our phones. When I excused myself to go to the toilet, he asked one of his boys to follow me. But he didn't know that our lawyer, Augustine Okechukwu, was with us. He came disguised as a family member. Alhaji later spoke and said 'sorry and that he would give us N300, 000 to bury the girl.' DPO said Alhaji has tried. He talked and talked but I kept crying. I left.

Did you accept the money?

We did not but another meeting was scheduled for December 26 and my uncle, a policeman came. Alhaji came with somebody who was introduced to us as an Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Umoru Shehu. He was dressed in Hausa attire. We met them at the Idu Karmo Police Station and when we got there, they were all saluting him. At first, my uncle started to talk but as soon as the AIG was introduced, he became calm like cold water. The AIG got angry that my uncle was talking while he was there. He then said all the civilians should go out before the meeting could continue. It was only my uncle that was there, so we didn't know what they discussed. The DPO later told us he would ask Alhaji to add N100,000 to the earlier offer and that we should take it and bury the girl then forget about the matter. A family friend advised us to take the N400,000 and use it as evidence against them when the need arises and that we shouldn't sign anything. A family member collected the money that day.

Is the money still intact?


What did other girls say about Joy's death?

I saw Martha at the police station and I asked her what happened to my daughter. She said the police asked her not to say anything. When she wanted to narrate to me, a policeman drove me away. She later told me that she was not at the house that night. She added that she wanted to go there but her elder brother locked her in. She also said that early next morning, she went to Alhaji's house and saw Joy lying lifelessly on the ground. She said she thought she was sleeping and tried to wake her but discovered she was already stiff. She said she wanted to shout but noticed that the room was turned upside down and she saw vomit and some excreta on the ground which the nurse asked her to clean before the police arrived and took her away, ordering her not to say anything.

Did you interact with the nurse?

I have not seen her till date. She is the main person that would know everything that happened.

Why did you think Alhaji would want to help your daughter?

If something wants to happen, one may get foolish. I thought he was a godsend. I thought he was somebody that could help me, especially when he promised to get me a job.

What was your impression of him when you met him for the first time?

When I met him, I won't lie to you, I felt something. Inside me, I was pleading the blood of Jesus. It was the reason I told my daughter that we should leave and that was the first and last time I went there.

Did you see other girls at his place the day you visited him?

Yes, I saw Martha, Elizabeth and my daughter. Another girl came but I didn't see her face because she turned her back to me.

The police claimed they are looking for Alhaji. Do you believe them?

They are not looking for him. Since December, the man has been moving freely. People see him and that was when I began to hear a lot of stories about him. In my area, people knew him as a very troublesome man. From the beginning of this matter, the police showed that they were partisan. They treat the suspect like a VIP.

What is your view on the allegation that he was sleeping with the girls?

I believe it. Martha told me that he has been sleeping with her for the past few months. He said whenever he makes love to her, he gives her postinor-2 tablet to prevent pregnancy. She said the nurse told her that the injection she used to give the girls was for energy. When a new girl comes to Alhaji's guesthouse, the nurse would befriend her and tell her good things about Alhaji. In fact, they brainwashed my daughter. It was the reason they succeeded in injecting her with hard drugs.

Where was your husband when this incident happened?

He travelled and came back when the incident happened. Since his arrival, we have been involved in the matter together.

What are your plans now?

I am a Nigerian. I think if I committed a crime, would treat me as a criminal. All I need from Nigeria is justice to show that I am a Nigerian. I need nothing but justice because I know what a lot of people have said. Ezekiel, who is Alhaji's cook, said the man thought we had buried the girl and he was moving freely, unconcerned. He still goes to the house and still sleeps with girls there. If the police did their job, he wouldn't have the audacity to do that. Only God knows how many girls he had dealt with and how many he would still deal with if he is left to continue with his acts.

He should pay for his crime. He cannot pay for the life of my daughter. How much can he pay for her life? Look at me, I now have just one child (breaks down in tears).

As the Force Public Relations Officer (Jimoh Moshood), what can you say about the allegation that police are shielding those suspected to have killed Joy?

The police are not shielding the killers. In fact, the Inspector-General of Police has directed detectives to intensify investigations and get to the root of the matter. The IG has also directed that a new autopsy should be conducted.

Why are the suspects walking free?

The suspects are not walking free. The main suspect is in our custody and undergoing interrogation. He surrendered himself to the police, but that does not exonerate him from the allegation. There is no cover up and it is wrong for any lawyer to accuse the police of such.

What sanctions did the police mete out to the DPO accused of suppressing investigation into the crime?

The DPO was queried for the way he handled the matter and was redeployed.



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