By Lukman Olabiyi
Justice was served yesterday in the case of Cynthia Osokogu, the young lady who was murdered in a Lagos hotel when Justice Olabisi Akinlade of the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere, convicted and sentenced two men, Okwumo Nwabufo and Olisaeloka Ezike, to death by hanging.
Cynthia, a postgraduate student of Nasarawa State University, was murdered at Cosmilla hotel, Lakeview Estate, Festac Town, when she came to Lagos to keep an appointment with a man she met on the Internet. The accused had administered rohypnol flunitrazepan tablet in the deceased’s drink, after which they chained her hands and legs and strangled her to death.
In delivering judgment, the judge held that she found the convicts guilty of four of six charges of conspiracy, murder and stealing, reckless negligence and possession of stolen goods brought against them by the Lagos State government, on the strength of the evidence and exhibits presented by the prosecution and also on their confessional statement to the police.
The court also sentenced Nwabufo and Ezike to 14 years imprisonment for conspiracy to murder, three years for conspiracy to commit felony and another three years for stealing.
The court, however, discharged and acquitted Orji Osita, the third accused person, who stood trial for negligently selling the rohypnol flunitrazepan tablets to Ezike, the second defendant, without a doctor’s prescription and without showing due care.
The court also set free the fourth defendant on the charge of possession of stolen property.
He was freed on the grounds that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, as it failed to link him to the crime.
Cynthia, daughter of General Frank Osokogu, was declared missing by her parents after which her body was later discovered in a Lagos hotel.
She was strangled to death in the hotel by her assailants, who fled with her belongings, including cash, student identity card and phones.
The deceased had made friends with two undergraduates on a social nedia site months before, who, on discovering that she owned a boutique in Nasarawa State, proposed a business deal to her, which brought her to Lagos.
The two men picked her up from the airport on arrival on July 22, 2012, and took her to a hotel in FESTAC Town, Lagos.
They drugged her drink before strangling her to death. Her killers, after leaving, called the hotel management to say there was a corpse in one of the rooms.
Cynthia’s body was deposited at the Isolo General Hospital mortuary by the hotel management, which was at a loss on her identity.
The police had dialled Cynthia’s phone, which was taken away by the killers, and one of the suspects reportedly answered. The phone was traced to FESTAC Town. Also, a closed-circuit television footage in the hotel revealed the identity of the killers, leading to their arrest.