Police did nothing to the person that raped and killed my daughter- Mother cries out

Mrs Juliet Eze is the mother of a 20-year-old lady, Ngozi, who was allegedly raped and killed in Imufu, Enugu Ezike, in Igbo Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State. She shares her pain with RAPHAEL EDE

What was your last encounter with your daughter before her death?

I was in Abuja with my children. So, when Ngozi finished her secondary school education, she said she wanted to further her education. I told her that I was also interested to see her further her education and she was happy. So I bought her the forms for a nursing school and the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and told her that if she didn’t pass the nursing examination, she would pass the UTME to ensure that she gained admission into a higher institution. I advised her to take her study seriously and accompanied her to the park where she boarded a vehicle to the South-East. While she was in transit, she was calling to tell me where their vehicle was until she got home and we thanked God for the journey.

When were you informed about her death?

So, we were communicating like mother and daughter until one morning I called her on the phone to speak with her but I was unable to reach her because her phone was switched off. Then, I called the father who was at home with her and asked why her phone was switched off. I was harsh on the phone and told her father to give her the phone so that I could speak to her and ask her why her phone was off. It was then that he told me that all was not well and I asked what the problem was. He began to narrate the event that happened – that he took Ngozi to a tutorial centre, that every day, he took her to the centre and when they dismissed, he would go back to bring her home. However, he took her to the centre that fateful day and when he went back to take her he did not see her. He said he searched for her until daybreak. The next thing he told me was that my daughter was killed and stripped naked in a bush.

Was she your first child?

No. She was my second child but my first daughter. She has an elder brother.

When she was found dead, were any of the body parts missing?

I don’t know. Like I told you, I was in Abuja at that time and before I got home, people had taken her remains to the morgue.

Are efforts made by the police to fish out the killers?

What I know is the police said they arrested three suspects in connection with my daughter’s rape and eventual murder. However, when they were released by the police, my husband, stakeholders in the community who helped in their arrest and I were not aware. I only heard about their release from police custody as a rumour until I met one of the suspects the day I was going to the market to buy foodstuff for the family.

How did that make you feel?

That day, my heart was broken. They (suspects) were even boasting that we could not do anything to them. The police did a shoddy investigation maybe because we could not afford to pay them owing to our poor financial standing.

How do you want to get justice for your daughter?

I want the suspects to be rearrested and killed just as they killed my daughter. I want the government to follow up this case and secure justice for my late daughter.

How have you been coping since the death of your daughter?

It has not been easy for me and my family. I was selling okpa in Abuja before this incident happened last year (2019). Since then, I have been in the village. Feeding is even a problem for my family now because my husband is also poor. We have been working hard to feed our children and give them the best education we can afford so that they will take care of us when we cannot do anything and I had hoped on Ngozi that she and others would make me proud in my family. But since she was killed, I have not been myself – I have been downcast.

I have not been sleeping since my daughter’s life was snuffed out in her prime. Sometimes, I wake up at 1 AM, sit up and cry in the middle of the night. Often, my husband would console me that I shouldn’t kill myself. But why I am still sober is that if you check now, there will be no person called Ngozi (blessing) in my family again. Also, those things I knew that she would have done for me will not be done again. Again, those who killed her are out there laughing at me. Those are the things that give me sleepless nights.

How close were you to your daughter?

We were so close that, sometimes, people would ask her in Abuja whether I was her maid. This is because she didn’t go out most of the time without going with me unless she was going to church or school. We were very close and she worked hard and had told me she wanted to study nursing at university. I asked her how we could achieve her dream since we are not rich and asked her to go and be trained as an auxiliary nurse and she accepted. However, following the advice of the people that she should go to university and study nursing because that would be better, we bought both the UTME and nursing forms for her.

Has the community assisted your family since the incident occurred?

Yes. The community helped us immensely; without the assistance of the community, we wouldn’t have been able to bury her.

How many children do you have?

I have five children and she was my second child.

How old was she?

She was 20 years old when she was murdered. She was born in July and she was killed on March 26 and her body was found on March 27, 2019. I have seen her in my dream once (since she was killed). That day I saw her, I had passed her and a small child was calling me, ‘Mummy, mummy’. And I looked and she asked me whether I didn’t recognise her again, that she was my daughter, Ngozi. I went and embraced her and was thanking God for finding her. But one man asked me why was I excited and I woke up. After the dream, I didn’t get myself for some days.

izekor osayawemwen miracle
Izekor Osayawemwen Miracle is a microbiologist, a writer, a researcher, with passion for getting information across to others

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