From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Since her 26-year-old daughter, Kate Oguoh was found buried in a shallow grave at an apartment in Okaka, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, in July 2022, Mrs Ebimoboere Oguoh has been inconsolable. This festive season, she and her late daughter would have made plans on how to make the season memorable, but Kate is no more, leaving her mother heart-broken.
Mrs Oguoh, who fell sick after the incident and is now a shadow of her former ebullient self, spoke of her trauma in a chat with Saturday Sun. she said she wants justice for her daughter.
Though the suspected murderer, 27-year-old Joseph Fekala has confessed to killing Kate over an argument on the N50,000 debt he allegedly owed her, Mrs Oguoh believes her daughter was set up to be killed. She therefore wants all those connected to Kate’s death aside from Joseph to be arrested and brought to justice. According to her, Kate’s best friend, Elizabeth, who is a sister to Joseph, has strangely cut ties with the family.
She reaffirmed her stance that her daughter was set-up to be killed, noting that under normal circumstance; Kate can never leave the comfort of their two-bedroom apartment at Opolo, to come and stay at the room where she was killed in Okaka.
“Every morning when I woke up, she was the first person I called. After calling her, I would now call my senior sister. On the fateful day of her death, I called her twice, but her phone was switched off. In my thoughts, I said maybe her phone ran down from those calling her for their goods because she had told me earlier that she was expecting her goods shipped from abroad. Later my elder sister called me to come to her place and cook for our mother. Even while in my sister’s place, I still called her but her phone was still off. I became apprehensive.
“Her fiancé, who lives in the United Kingdom and was home in Lagos, also called me, saying that he could not get through to Kate. He also expressed worry that he had not been able to reach her since morning. He said it was impossible for her phone to be off such that he wouldn’t be able to reach her. He said that something definitely was wrong.
“I decided to go to her place at Okaka and when I got there I was angry because the environment is not where she should be staying. You can’t compare it to our house at Opolo. I was so angry about why she was living in such an environment.”
Mrs Oguoh maintained that based on the claims of another victim over her experience in the house, she wants the police to further probe the death of Kate and not close the case because Joseph has been arrested.
“Elizabeth was my daughter’s best friend. It was Elizabeth that got the house for Kate. It was she that introduced my daughter to her brother and also convinced her to lend him N50, 000. It was the money he did not want to refund that led him to kill her. The way the house was built ensured that Joseph had access to Kate’s room which made it easy for him to be killed. Before his arrest when he was being questioned, a lady came there and narrated how she was tricked to rent the house until her boyfriend came to visit her and demanded she move out of the house. She told us that it was as if a spell was cast on her because when she moved out, she realised her senses and wondered how she ended up staying in the house. The Police must dig further to know what has been happening in that house.
“Since the death of Kate, Elizabeth, who is her best friend, has not visited our family to commiserate with us. She initially refused to pick my calls and now she has blocked me from reaching her. Why is she being shielded from questioning by the Police? Because Joseph confessed to the crime does not mean there are no other people involved in her death.”
Investigations at the Bayelsa State Police Command confirmed that Elizabeth, who was the link between the accused and the deceased, was not invited for questioning. A source said now that the mother of the deceased is raising the issue, the police might need to look into it.
When Saturday Sun contacted Elizabeth, she picked the call. But when the reason for the call was mentioned, she dropped the call and refused to pick again.
Joseph has been arraigned before Justice Ineikade Eradiri of the Bayelsa State High Court but the case is yet to fully take-off due to absence of legal representation for the accused. The case which came up on December 5th has been adjourned till January 9th 2023.
The prosecutor, Ms Ebimette Ekeuwei Ottah in an interview assured that the prosecution team would do everything to ensure justice.
“This is a serious case against the state. The prosecution is not relenting and would ensure justice is done,” the prosecutor stated.