-Joy Odama’s Murder: Governor Ayade Expresses Fury-
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has expressed fury on the manner the Nigeria Police is handling the murder of Joy Odama, a student of Department of Mass Communication in Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) who was killed in Abuja, in December 2016.
A report published today (Thursday, September 21, 2017) on page 41 of THE NATION newspaper states that Governor Ayade has alleged that Joy’s killer is walking free in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The report adds that the Governor has vowed to ensure justice on the matter by directing the Attorney General of Cross River State to reach the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, “in view of taking the matter to court”. He has also promised to send a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter.
The Governor made this known yesterday in Abuja where he was reportedly represented by Alphonsus Ogar, Director of Due Process in Cross River State. The report states that the government of Cross River State wants the Chief Medical Director of National Hospital Abuja to conduct an independent autopsy on Joy Odama, since the police autopsy contradicted the earlier one by the National Hospital.
Speaking further on justice for Joy, the Governor’s representative reportedly said: ” We want to place on record that this is one death that will bring to global attention the wicked, callous and unquestionable attitude of the Nigeria Police. The Governor has said he will do a personal letter to President Buhari to alert him, because an Assistant Inspector General has been indicted, officers of Karimo Police Station have been mentioned; the Alhaji Usman has been walking as a free man.”
“We call on the Police to arrest him and we also call on well – meaning Nigerians and the NBA (Nigerian Bar Association) to take up this matter. Any injustice to the life of any human being is injustice to all. And as we seek to request for justice, the Governor of Cross River State has directed that we allow Joy Odama to rest in peace. In the light of that, her body will be conveyed to Yala local government on Tuesday and will be interred on Wednesday. That we are burying Joy Odama does not mean that we are burying the matter.”
“The autopsy report from the National Hospital, which we believe to be cogent, convincing and incontrovertible to the fact that she died of acute cocaine poison and juxtaposing the cooked and framed – up autopsy report by the police, which now has subjected the report of theirs to generator fumes is what we want to alert the world about. This can only be resolved by toxicology. Within 48 hours from today, we want an independent expert team of the NMA (Nigerian Medical Association) and the National Hospital Chief Medical Director, reputable government organizations and invite the press to come for a joint toxicology report to be presented to the world.”
“Governor Ben Ayade has given instruction to the Attorney General of Cross River State to commence action with the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation. The Law Firm of Kanu Agabi (SAN) is also on stand by, to get a fiat of the Attorney General should every attempt to get the Attorney General’s Office to prosecute this matter fails.”
“We followed with interest the recondite direction and the conundrum which have been brought into this by activities of the Police. We will allow the rule of law to drive this process through the police, but that is not to mean that we are not conscious of the rule of law on issues of prosecution.”
“….We are alerting the world, from the hills of Obanliku to the creeks of Bakassi that every indigene of Cross River State means a zillion dollars to us, and the life of any, if taken at any circumstances, the government of Cross River shall stand tall to ensure that justice is done. We want to reassure you that in addition to the amount paid for the brief by the legal office of KANU Agabi, the state Attorney General also released N10 million to give a befitting burial to Joy Odama and ensure that the siblings are properly catered for. Arrangements are on to ensure that the parents of the deceased are taken care of by Social Welfare Ministry in Cross Rived State.”
It would be recalled that in Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH), students and staff of Department of Mass Communication wore black clothes and carried out a mournful procession in Calabar campus of the university at the beginning of the 2016/2017 session, when they received news of her death. Joy was expected to join her classmates in starting her second year, before she met her death during her vacation in Abuja, where she lived with her parents.
As her family and well wishers await her burial on Wednesday, 27 September 2017 in Yala, LinCornellah’s blog join them in praying for the peaceful repose of her soul. We also pray that God should grant her family and friends the fortitude to bear her sudden death.
- Cornelius Ellah
Please See Related Post: Can our Honourable Senators Speak for Joy Odama?