BY ISRAEL USULOR

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When news broke that Iniubong Umoren, an innocent job seeker who was last seen on April 29, when she left home to attend an interview had been found dead, the manner in which she was murdered immediately brought back sad memories of Cynthia Osokogu who was killed in similar fashion in 2012.

When it was reported that Iniubong Umoren was actually lured through Twitter by a man now said to be 20-year old Uduak Frank Akpan, who later allegedly raped and killed the graduate in Uyo, many Nigerians immediately flashed back to the case of Cynthia Osokogu who was lured in a similar manner from Nasaraawa to Lagos and strangled to death at Cosmilla Hotel, Lakeview Estate, Festac Town.

In 2012, Osokogu, a 24-year-old post-graduate student of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, a boutique owner and the only daughter of Rtd General Frank Osokogu boarded a flight from Abuja to Lagos in what was to be a business trip. She had “sealed” the business deal with a friend whom she met and chatted with on Facebook and who promised to host her anytime she visits Lagos. That flight turned out to be her last. She never returned to her family alive.

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On arrival at the Murtala Muhamed International Airport, she was picked up by Okwumo Nwabufo, and Olisaeloka Ezike who also drove her to the hotel. Once there, the assailants put drugs in her drink, raped and disposed of her belongings. They did not stop there, she was strangled to death. Although her killers, Messers Nwabufo and Ezike were duly tried and sentenced to death in 2017, the pain of her death remains.

The late Cynthia Osokogu

Iniubong Umoren, killed a few days ago in Uyo after been raped is the latest victim of the increasing use of social media to perpetrate heinous crimes. Social media has become very perverse in Nigeria and it is not unusual for people to find love, jobs, and other favours by just speaking out about their needs on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. There have been testimonies of people getting help through Twitter and it was not unusual that Iniubong asked to be assisted in getting a job on the microblogging platform. On April 27, she tweeted that she needed a job and would like to be assisted in finding one.

The tweet read: “#AkwaIbomTwitter please I’m really in need of a job, something to do to keep mind and soul together while contributing dutifully to the organisation. My location is Uyo, I’m creative, really good in thinking ctitically and most importantly a fast learner. CV available on request.”

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That tweet turned to be her last as her killer swooped on it and invited her for an interview in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State with the pretense of giving her a job. She was allegedly raped and killed by Uduak Frank Akpan who is now in the police detention.

Confirming the ugly incident, the Police in Akwa-Ibom State said:

“Men of the anti-kidnapping squad… arrested the perpetrator who confessed to luring his victim to his house in the guise of giving her a job, but ended up sexually and physically assaulting her which led to her death,” the statement read.

“To cover his tracks, he dragged and buried her in a shallow grave in his father’s compound. The deceased has been exhumed and deposited at UUTH (University of Uyo Teaching Hospital) for autopsy.

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“The suspect confessed to have told his local government chairman of his atrocity before escaping to Calabar and was never at any time handed over to the police by anyone.”

Recall that in 2020, Gracious David West who straggled 9 women in hotel rooms was arrested in Port Harcourt. Many of David West’s victims were said to be sex workers who he lured and murdered in hotel rooms. Luck ran out of him after his 9th victim as he was arrested on September 19, 2020. He was subsequently sentenced to death by hanging on October 9, 2020.

Israel Usulor is a journalist and short story writer. You can reach him via @JonalistIsrael and [email protected]

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