My name is Mrs Philomena ODAMA. I am a native of Yala LGA in Cross River State. I am resident at old Karmo village in Abuja.
Joy Odama is my first daughter. She is a 200 level undergraduate of Mass Communications at the Cross River State University; who just returned for Christmas holidays and met her untimely death.
On the 18th Dec, 2016, one Elizabeth from Ogoja LGA, Cross River State who is 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 lives in the same neighborhood, 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 live in the neighborhood who are there with their parents. I quickly got to the house and Alhaji Usman 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; I graciously thanked him and left with my daughter.
Two days later on the 20th December, 2016 in the evening, Alhaji Usman ADAMU called my daughter and said his house help is seriously sick and that she should please come and look after her while he goes to get a doctor. He also said he has called other girls (i.e the other girls we saw in his house the previous day). Joy told me and I allowed her to go. That was the last time I saw my daughter alive.
After a while on the same day, I called Joy 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 severally but she did not pick. Out of curiosity, I called Alhaji Usman ADAMU on his number 08179606208 but he too did not pick. I became more worried and went to the house but couldn’t gain access to Alhaji’s apartment. The next morning, I called Joy and Alhaji ADAMU several times to no avail. Eventually, Alhaji ADAMU picked his call and to my surprise, he pretended not to know who I was nor who Joy was. When I pressed further he said “did anything happen to Joy” as if she does not know where she is. At this point I knew all was not well.
In panic, 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. On getting there, the DPO informed us that all the girls that went to Alhaji’s house are all unconscious; that one is not responding to treatment while the others are 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 22nd December, 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, why and what led to Joy’s death and the DPO, CSP NKEM RAPHAEL declined further comments. Our lawyer asked if the Alhaji has been arrested but CSP NKEM RAPHAEL bluntly told us that as far as he is concerned, Alhaji is not culpable, no crime has been committed, that my daughter died a natural death and he cannot arrest Alhaji Usman ADAMU. DPO NKEM told the lawyer to take the matter to his superiors but that he has already informed them about the matter and as far as they are concerned, Alhaji ADAMU cannot be arrested. We requested to know the whereabout 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 and on getting to the mortuary, we discovered body has already been embalmed. When we asked why my daughter’s body was embalmed without our knowledge, one of the attendant’s confided in us that Alhaji Usman ADAMU first brought the dead body in the early hours of 21st Dec, 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 DPO NKEM RAPHAEL of Karmo Divisional Police 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. 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. She was by the police canter and I asked her what happened to Joy and she narrated the following; ” on the 20th of December, 2016 Alhaji Usman ADAMU called her to come to his house, that he has 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 Alhaji’s house that day. But that she sneaked very early in the morning to 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 Usman ADAMU and some other persons 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, CSP NKEM RAPHAEL to ask why my daughter was embalmed without our knowledge and that we heavily suspect 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. He insisted he has nothing more to do with us until we agree to meet with Alhaji Usman ADAMU.
On the advice of a family friend, we agreed to meet with Alhaji Usman ADAMU to shed more light on what actually transpired. On the agreed date of the meeting being 24th Dec., 2016 by 10am, we were at the police station with our lawyer but on sighting the lawyer, the DPO lied that the meeting has been postponed. When the lawyer asked why, he said that the Alhaji was not around and that his number was not connecting, that he will call the lawyer to 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 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 were the DPO, CSP NKEM RAPHAEL, DCO, SP MICHAEL OBIORA, the Inspector
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 know what is good for us we should agree to whatever the Alhaji will offer us and desist from further pursuing this matter. Alhaji Usman ADAMU then offered to settle the matter with Three Hundred Thousand Naira (N300,000) and we became infuriated with anger, left for 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 AIG Umoru Usman Shehu; AIG Intelligence, Force Headquarters Abuja. AIG Umoru told us bluntly also that investigation in this matter is closed and cannot be reopened. He said Alhaji Usman ADAMU should add an additional One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000) to his initial offer. He told us harshly that that is the much he can do in this matter and that is his final decision and it is in our best interest to accept the offer. 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 believe that we have 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 Alhaji Usman ADAMU has people in high places within the Nigerian Police Force and had connived with them to deny our poor family justice. So, 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.
I am using this medium to appeal to all to help me seek for justice in the painful death of my daughter.
Mrs Philomena ODAMA.