A 20-year-old UTME candidate, Joan Egemba, was stabbed and strangled by some suspected rapists in the Ijebu Igbo area of Ogun State.
Joan had enrolled for the 2016 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination , and PUNCH Metro learnt that the deceased left her home in the Odo Eran, Sango-Ota area around 12pm on Thursday, March 3, for the National Open University of Nigeria centre in Awa Ijebu, where she was posted to sit for the exam the following day.
It was learnt that on Thursday evening, she was abducted at the Ijebu Oru Junction – a few distance away from the centre – by persons suspected to be rapists. Her corpse was said to be found in a bush at the back of a secondary school in Ijebu Igbo with cuts in her thighs.
Punch correspondent was told that the briefs that Egemba wore were torn, suggesting that her assailants were rapists.
Her father, Emmanuel Egemba, said she had called him on the telephone on getting to the centre, informing him that the security guard attached to the centre turned down her request to pass the night on the premises.
He said, “On that Thursday, she left home around 12.30pm, but the bus she boarded at Sango to the centre left around 2pm. She called at 5.30pm that she had arrived there, but the security man at the centre did not open the gate for her and others to pass the night on the premises. I told her to find a place in the area till the following day when she would sit for the exam.
“Around 7pm, I called her again and she said the security man had opened the gate for them. One hour after, I called again but she did not pick her calls. She was supposed to sit for the exam at 6.30am on Friday. I called her around 12pm on Friday, her phone was switched off. As early as 4am on Saturday, I went to the centre to verify whether she sat for the exam or not. I met the security man and he directed me to the JAMB office in Abeokuta. He denied that he allowed my daughter into the school compound to pass the night.
“It was a woman that told us that a girl was kidnapped at Oru Junction and taken towards Ijebu Igbo. We later discovered her corpse on Wednesday, March 9. If the candidates were allowed to sleep inside the school, this incident would not have happened.”
Emmanuel, a retired Assistant Superintendent of Nigerian Customs, said the loss of his daughter was hard to bear, but the family had taken solace in God.
“I learnt it was rapists that killed her. Her body was not mutilated, but she had cuts in the mouth and thighs. Her clothes and briefs were torn and she had bruises in the back.
“We prayed before she left home on that day. While we were praying this morning (Monday) I looked at where she used to sit and it was vacant,” he said.
He stated that the deceased’s mother, Mrs. Chimemo Egemba, was too distraught and could not speak with PUNCH Metro.
A neigbour, who identified himself only as Wale, said the Divisional Police Officer in Awa Ijebu did not act promptly when the case was reported and called for comprehensive investigation to unravel Joan’s killers.
He said, “I followed Emmanuel to the police station on Wednesday, four days after he reported the case, and I asked the DPO if he had visited the school. He said no. He should have gone to the centre instantly to investigate. He is not fit to be a policeman.
“It was at a building beside the NOUN centre that we got the information that the girl was abducted. We traced her to Ijebu Igbo with her picture. At a motor park there, we showed the picture to a man who told us her corpse was dumped in a bush at the back of a school.
“I think she struggled with her abductors while they attempted to rape her. I think they strangled her when they did not succeed in raping her. We want those that perpetrate this act to be fished out and brought to book.”
Wale said a police officer at the Ijebu Igbo division told him that they were overwhelmed by the spate of crime in the community, adding that many policemen had influenced their transfers from Ijebu Igbo to other stations.
The Ogun State Police spokesperson, DSP Muyiwa Adejobi, said the command was working with its Information and Communication Technology experts to track down the suspects.
He said, “We are working on the information we have to get the culprits.