From Gyang Bere, Jos
If the father of a 300-level student of the University of Jos, Plateau State, had the premonition that his daughter, Jennifer Anthony, was going to be killed for ritual purposes, he wouldn’t have approved her journey from Abuja to Jos that fateful December 31, 2021.
Jennifer, who was a student of the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, was said to have mounted pressure on her father to allow her come to Jos for the New Year celebrations with her female friend. The father, out of love for his daughter, approved her journey to Jos, but reluctantly.
As gathered, the lady left Abuja that very day and arrived safely at the house of her female friend in Jos. Thereafter, she was said to have connected with her alleged boyfriend, Moses Oche. They were said to have been together throughout the day.
It was learnt that the boyfriend checked her into Room 302, Domus Pacis Guest House, along Zaria Road, Jos, at about 4.30pm that same day, where they passed the night without the knowledge of her female friend.
Perhaps, Jennifer believed that she was catching fun with her boyfriend for the New Year celebration. Her friend kept calling her telephone line to know her whereabouts, but the line couldn’t connect throughout the night. Her friend became apprehensive, but she couldn’t fathom exactly what was amiss.
Jennifer, it was later learnt, had been allegedly drugged by the suspected ritualist, who killed her and removed her eyes for purposes best known to the perpetrator.
Based on the manifest of the hotel, Oche checked out in the early hours of January 1, with no one suspecting him of committing any crime.
Investigations revealed that the hotel attendant who admitted him did not see him coming into the hotel with any lady. And the attendant who took over for the night shift had no physical contact with Oche until he checked out of the hotel.
It was when a cleaner wanted to clean the room for the next guest that he saw a young girl lying in the pool of blood with her eyes plucked out. Beside her was said to be a fork which was suspected to have been used in removing her eyeballs.
The cleaner raised the alarm, which attracted other people, and the matter was reported at the Police Division, Nasarawa Gwom. Also, her female friend who had been trying to reach her had gone to her Facebook page to alert the public that she had been looking for her friend whose line was switched off.
The deceased was later identified as Jennifer Anthony, a 300-level student of the University of Jos, and her father, Anthony, was immediately contacted in Abuja.
The father, who was overwhelmed by the situation, arrived in Jos the following day, sad and devastated. He couldn’t view his daughter’s lifeless body. To say that he was emotionally broken was an understatement.
The body was taken to Plateau Specialist Hospital’s mortuary, and the police commenced investigations into what led to her death.
Crying profusely, he regretted his decision to allow his daughter to embark on that journey of no return.
“She told me she was coming to meet her female friend in Jos; I didn’t know it would end this way,” he mourned.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that Oche, who lived in Bidabi, in the Farin-Gada area, with his parents, has been tracked last to Bauchi; the police said efforts were on to apprehend him for questioning.
The Plateau State Police Command confirmed the incident and said the body has been deposited for autopsy, while the command was doing everything possible to fish out the perpetrator.
In a statement, the police public relations officer in the state, ASP Ubah Gabriel Ogaba, said: “On January 1, 2022, at about 1530hrs, the Plateau State Police Command received an ugly report of an unidentified lady found in a pool of her blood at Domus Pacis Guest House, in Room 302, along Zaria Road, Jos.
“Upon receipt of the report, the Commissioner of Police, CP Bartholomew Nnamdi Onyeka, drafted a team of police detectives to the scene, where photograph of the deceased was taken and the corpse was deposited at the morgue for autopsy.”
He said a full-scale investigation has since commenced to unravel the circumstance surrounding her death in order to arrest the perpetrator(s) of the dastardly act.
Ogaba added that the commissioner has held an emergency meeting with all hoteliers in the state where he exposed them to various workable security tips on how to secure their hotels to avert a recurrence of such ugly incidents.
However, this is not the first suspected ritual murder in Jos, as another young lady was also killed and dumped beside the fence of Plateau Radio Television Corporation, Rayfield, on December 31, 2021.
The lady, whose vital organs were removed, was later identified as Plangnant, a resident of Chwel-Nyap, Congo Russia, in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.