-Joy Odama’s Burial: Colleagues Call for Justice as Her Body is Laid to Rest-
Joy Odama’s colleagues in Cross River University of Technology last Thursday (29th September) called for justice on her death, as her body was laid to rest in her hometown in Abachwo, in Okuku, Yala Local Government Area in Cross River State.
Joy Odama was a student of Department of Mass Communication in Cross River University of Technology who was allegedly killed in the house of one Alhaji Usman Adamu last December in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital. Her death has been trailed by controversy which started when her mother, Mrs Philomina Odama, accused the Alhaji of killing her daughter.
Widespread calls for justice on her death began when Mrs Odama alleged that the Police in Karmo Police Division of Abuja, where the murder took place, have been working in concert with the Alhaji to cover up the cause of her daughter’s death. Last week, the Governor of Cross River State, Senator (Prof) Ben Ayade, also accused the Police of trying to subvert the course of justice on Joy’s death by producing an autopsy report that indicated that Joy died of generator fumes, contrary to what the National Hospital in Abuja had earlier released in an autopsy report as the cause of her death.
Speaking through Mr Alphonsus Eba, the Director of Due Process in Cross River State, Governor Ayade announced that the government of Cross River State has paid the sum of 2.2 million naira to the National Hospital for a fresh autopsy. He also announced that the State government has given the sum of 10 million naira to Joy’s family to aid arrangements for her burial. In addition, he said that the government of Cross River State has sent a petition on Joy’s death to President Muhammadu Buhari and promised to seek for justice on the matter up to the Supreme Court, if that petition fails to produce the desired result.
During her burial on Thursday, students of Department of Mass Communication in Cross River University of Technology and other students of that University expressed their grief through demonstrations, procession, inscriptions on cardboard and chanting of solidarity songs. Comrade Francis Osang, the Students Union President of that University who spoke with this Reporter in an interview, stated thus:
“Ever since I came on board I have worked tirelessly to ensure that Joy gets the justice she deserves. I have written to the press, to the Vice Chancellor and on social media and I believe the case is taking a different phase because the Governor Senator Ben Ayade is very responsive in making sure that Joy gets the justice she deserves. I assure you all that Joy’s burial does not mean her case and struggle for justice is buried as well. Her killers must suffer the penalty as enacted in the constitution.”
Also, the Faculty President of Communication Technology, Miss Costly Anim, stated at the burial that: “It’s quite unfortunate that we lost her and as an individual I am scared and I have learnt a big lesson from Joy’s incident. I advise all students in the faculty and the school at large especially the female students to be contented with the little they have. If Joy was contented with the little her parents can afford, I don’t think she would have left us so early. I don’t blame her anyway because she was only seeking for help but from the wrong source.”
To this end, the community, parents and colleagues of Joy Odama are seeking for justice and are begging the authorities to ensure that justice prevails. We hope that the government would swing into action to ensure that the culprits face the law. By so doing, others will take caution and learn some good lessons from it.
Please see a video on the burial below:
Reported by Kingsley Okon
Year 2 student, Department of Mass Communication
Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH)
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