Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
For the family of Mr. Jeffery Mnda, a secondary school teacher in Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State, the past six weeks have been a tortuous one following the death of his daughter, 18-years-old Stella Doosuur Mnda, allegedly in the hands of one Ioryisa Sesugh Jam, on March 25, 2019. Up till now, the father of four children is still in shock as to what could have led the young man, said to be his neighbour, to rape his daughter to death.
How and why it happened
Narrating his ordeal to our correspondent last week, Mnda said on Monday, March 25, at about 10 pm, his daughter was brutally raped and strangled to death by the suspect who is now at large. He said on that fateful day, Jam alias Odidi who resides on the same Danmagana Street G.R.A. Gboko, Benue State, as he does, had accosted his daughter on the road to ask for some favour from her while she was seeing off her friend who had come to visit her.
“My daughter, having escorted a friend who visited her had, while returning came across her younger brother’s friend who requested a transfer of some musical songs from her phone to his. It was during the process of transferring the songs that Jam had the opportunity of perpetuating this heinous crime against her.”
Mnda alleged that, the suspect, who, from the information he gathered, had, on that day demanded sex from his daughter but she refused, started beating and dragging her away into a dark corner where he forcefully had carnal knowledge of her before strangulating her.
“I came back home around 9 pm that night and it was Stella who served my food and packed the plates when I finished. I had no premonition she was going to die,” he said with tears in his eyes. “She was very lively that day and was even trying to sleep when one of her female friends within the neighbourhood came to visit her.
“I’m still in shock that someone I saw hale and hearty could just die within two hours like that. I was in my bedroom when my son came and told me about her death. As soon as I was told, I knelt down and prayed to God. Initially, I was very confused as to what step to take. I thought to myself that should I go and see my daughter’s corpse or rush to the police to report. When I tried to visit the crime scene, I was prevented from going but my son went with the police and had her corpse later deposited in the mortuary.
Narrating further what happened, he said: “My son caught Odidi in the act and shouted his name and he (Odidi) made as if he was going to harm him with a weapon and so my son retreated. It was in that process that he escaped and has not been seen up till now. Ten other boys also saw him committing the act that night said they were all afraid to go close to him because everyone in the area knows him to be a cultist who always moved about with dangerous weapons.
“My wife, Dooshima is really traumatized with the news of our daughter’s death and till now, she still can’t believe that her daughter is gone. I immediately reported to the police at the Divisional Headquarters, “A” Division Gboko the same night. They (the police) came and took her corpse to the mortuary at Gboko General Hospital.”
Father’s trauma and appeal to police
Asked if his late daughter was into any relationship with the suspect before the unfortunate incidence, the sad father who said he was not aware of any such relationship disclosed that people who were around when the crime was being committed against his daughter told him that his daughter while being raped, kept asking what she did to Jam as to make him commit the evil act on her.
“Eye witnesses told me that my daughter was consistently asking Odidi what she had done to him to deserve such violation. They said she also asked him if she was his girlfriend and added that she can never be Odidi’s girlfriend.”
Mnda who also disclosed that his daughter had just finished her secondary school before she was killed lamented that the police had not carried out proper investigation that could lead to the suspect’s arrest.
“Sesugh Ioryisa Jam (A.K.A. Odidi) is known to belong to a cult group and had over the years been terrorizing the environment, especially ladies,” he said. “He has committed terrible crimes which led to his running away from this area until sometime last year when he returned.”
With tears rolling down his cheeks, he appealed to both Inspector General Police and the Benue State Commissioner of police to do everything within their powers to ensure that the culprit is arrested and brought to justice. The man who had since buried his daughter said he had already approached a lawyer to seek for justice for the poor girl and his family in the court of justice.
to the rape
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, DSP Catherine Anene who confirmed that the incident was reported to the police however assured that the police is on the trail of the suspect and will definitely get him to face justice no matter how long it takes, adding that both the IG and State Police Commissioner will not allow such matter to be swept under the carpet by anybody.