Anxiety in Makurdi suburb over murder of lady awaiting NYSC call-up | Dailytrust

Anxiety in Makurdi suburb over murder of lady awaiting NYSC call-up

The tensed atmosphere around the home of late Joy Ogochukwu Onoh at No. 111 off Adikpo Street behind NUJ Secretariat Makurdi was palpable. It was indeed a sad moment as the road leading to the street was also filled with sympathisers.

The sympathisers had grouped themselves in several units all for the deceased Joy, a 24-year-old Mass Communication graduate of the Benue State University (BSU) who was murdered by yet-to-be identified assailants.

The victim was killed in North Bank suburb of Makurdi after she was said to have been taken hostage on Tuesday evening by unknown persons, who had requested that her retail products be delivered to them.

She did not return to her widowed mother after the trip which she made in a hurry. Sadly, the deceased was believed to have also been raped before her eventual murder.

Her corpse was afterwards dumped in a bush path in Low-Cost Federal Housing Estate North Bank.

Mother of the deceased, Grace Onoh, explained that her daughter graduated from the university in March and while waiting to be mobilised for the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), decided to be selling casual outfits for both men and women.

The bereaved mother, who said although the trade was strictly online, her daughter was involved in home delivery, disclosed that Joy was called by an unknown customer on Tuesday evening to deliver some items at North Bank area of the town and that every effort thereafter to reach her daughter, who never stayed out late, proved abortive.

“I was plaiting her hair when a customer called her to bring easy wear and T-shirts to North Bank. So, my daughter quickly abandoned the hair and took the clothes and sneakers with her to North Bank.

“I waited but she never came back. Each time I called her line, it was busy. She left the house at about 5pm and by 9pm, I went to report the matter to the police who found the body of my daughter the next day,” the woman said amid sobs.

Mrs Onoh, an indigene of Enugu State, who had been widowed for 12 years, said her curiosity heightened when her daughter’s phone repeatedly echoed number busy as she kept calling. 

“At a point, she (late Joy) called back crying and only asked that her UBA account number be sent to the phone, then the phone went dead. We made several efforts to reach her thereafter but it wasn’t possible,” the bereaved mother added.

Mrs Onoh described her deceased daughter as a good girl whom she hardly scolded because there was no reason to do so. “Joy knew what to do all the time. She was positively busy all the time. I’m going to miss her presence. I pray that God will expose her killers. God will surely fight for my daughter.”

Corroborating the mother, a friend of the deceased, Onuche Patience, said she had perceived something was wrong when Joy’s fiancée called her at about 8pm that fateful day to ask about her whereabouts. 

Patience said she immediately put a call to the deceased’s mother and found out that she was crying, a development which made her hasten to Joy’s house that night.

“When I got to their home, I joined her mother and younger sister who were busy calling her line without success as the receiver phone was set on user busy. I was still with the sister’s phone when she suddenly called and I screamed, ‘Joy, where are you?’

“She responded by asking us to send her UBA account details. Her voice seemed weak like that of someone who had no more strength to cry. While I insisted to know what was happening to her, she simply said, ‘I will explain later, just send me the account details’, then the call was cut off.

“Joy and I have been friends since our secondary school days. We were roommates at the university and graduated together in March this year. I can’t explain how I feel right now because our friendship unified our families. I missed her, her laughter…,” Patience burst into tears.

Meanwhile, a neighbour of the deceased, Adams Ochokwunu, who is a Customs officer, said he saw the late Joy beckon on a commercial motorbike which conveyed her from the front of their house on that ill-fated journey to North Bank.

“She was born and brought up here in Makurdi. She went to both primary and secondary schools in Makurdi and further studied Mass Communication at BSU from where she graduated earlier this year. 

“Ugo, as she was popularly called, was a quiet and decent girl, who believed in worshipping her God. At some point, some of us even thought she wanted to become an evangelist owing to her frequent study and preaching of the Bible. Some even referred to her as prayer warrior. May those who took her life never find peace,” Ochokwunu added.

Confirming the incident, the Benue Command Police Spokesperson, DSP Catherine Anene, said a case of a missing young lady was reported and that the corpse was later discovered in a nearby bush in North Bank area of Makurdi.

“The corpse has been deposited for autopsy. For now, we have no explanation for the cause of the death but in due time, we will communicate you accordingly,” Anene said.

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