Gyang Bere, Jos
For Priscilla Alekufo, the demise of a 23-year-old 200 level student of the University of Jos, Plateau State, Miss Mercy Na’an, whose corpse was found in the hostel, will ever remain green. She died in the Zion Block of Narraguta Hostel on 3rd May 3, 2019.
The Department of Marketing student was declared missing by her parents two days before her decomposing corpse was found in the hostel. Priscilla, a 200 level student of Science and Tech Education Department said since the incident, students in the hostel have been living in fear:
“We just woke up that fateful day and were confronted with a nasty odour. We did not know exactly what was amiss. Some were saying it was a rat that was probably smelling. But one girl said the smell was coming from Room 23. She then climbed a chair and peeped through the net at the top of the room and saw the dead body on the bed.
“The students called the school security operatives who came and broke the door into her room. An ambulance was brought and her body was taken to the university clinic. The reason she was not quickly discovered was that the hostel was still scanty because students were yet to fully resume from break. Even her next-door neighbour was not around.
“There are different rumours on the cause of her death, but I wouldn’t know what the cause is. Some people said they saw a deep cut on her both hands and they saw a knife by her body. Since the incident, everyone has been scared and we cannot comfortably sleep when one thinks of it.”
Alekufo said they were comforted when the school authorities addressed and encouraged them to always be conscious of themselves and associate with one another so that if anything is happening to one person, the others can easily know and assist.
She said they were advised not to keep to oneself and that students should always share whatever is bothering them with their fellow students who could have good advice to give or assistance to render.
A neighbour of the deceased who preferred anonymity said they happened to be in the same faculty and that they were also secondary school mates. She said Mercy was a calm and friendly girl: “The rumours concerning her death are disturbing. I have been trying to actually find out the true story since I knew her closely.”
She said the incident was the talk of the town. Some who believed she killed herself were frowning at it that she wouldn’t have done that even if she were pregnant. While some said she committed suicide, others said her eyes were plucked out.
Some others said she had cuts on her body, a knife by her side and blood on the floor. It was also rumoured that her death was not unconnected to abortion. Her phone recovered in the room was switched off.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Tyopev Matthias Terna, said in a statement that the student’s corpse was recovered after students raised the alarm of a nasty odour coming out of her room:
“On 05/05/019 at about 1530hrs, the Angwan Rogo Police Division, Plateau State Command in Jos, received a distress call from the Security Department, University of Jos, to the effect that on same date at about 15OOhrs, some students of the institution raised the alarm over an unusual odour coming out from Room number 23 Zion Hostel in Naraguta, University of Jos.
“After the report, a combined team comprising of the police, security and the medical personnel of the university mobilised to the scene of crime. On arrival, the suspected hostel door was forced open and the motionless body of one Mercy Naan ‘f’ a 23-year-old 200 level student from the Department of Marketing was seen and recovered to the university clinic.
“She was confirmed dead by the doctor on duty at the clinic and her corpse has been deposited at the anatomy mortuary of the same university for autopsy. Preliminary investigation further revealed that Miss Mercy was reported missing by her parents to the Security Department, University of Jos on 03/05/19.”
The statement added that detectives of the command have since commenced investigation to unravel the mystery behind the unfortunate death.