Ola Chinelo Ofor, the mother of 18-year-old Julia Eke Imaga, who suspected cultists murdered nearly two months ago in Oru-Ijebu alongside her male friend, Oriade Adebisi, had refuted the claim that the girl was the girlfriend of a suspected fraudster. She made the claim with tears and in an emotion-laden voice.
According to Daily Trust, Julia, popularly known in school as Brianages, was reported missing alongside Adebisi on May 28. Both of them were students of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State. While Julia was a first-year Diploma in Law student, Adebisi was a 300-level Computer Science student.
Newspaper reports had portrayed Adebisi as a rich yahoo boy and Julia his girlfriend.
But Ms Ofor, who is a daughter of the late David Ofor, the popular comedian known as Clarus in the now-rested soap comedy New Masquerade, maintained that Julia was neither the girlfriend of a fraudster or a cultist, nor lived a wayward lifestyle before her tragic death.
Ms Ofor told Daily Trust on Tuesday that she was very close to her daughter and the young girl could not have been engaged in waywardness without her knowledge.
“Whatever you might have read about her that she was wayward or belonged to a cult group is not true. Nobody can know my daughter like I do. We were very close to each other. There is nothing that happened to her that I do not get to know because we communicated on phone regularly.
“A week before she was murdered alongside her friend, Oriade, she came on a visit and when she returned to school we were still communicating. Our last phone chat was on May 27, 2018. She and Oriade got missing on May 28. I do remember that she first introduced Oriade as a friend to me on one of our phone conversations. She asked me to speak with him just like she always asked me to speak with all of her other friends,” Mrs Ofor said.
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On conflicting reports about how the murdered friends disappeared, Julia’s mother said it was clearly a case of kidnapping and robbery which later became murder after their assailants had whisked them into the bush and dispossessed them of their belongings, which included Oriade’s Honda Crosstour car, Automated Teller Machine cards the killers used to withdrew money from the accounts of the deceased, shoes, clothes and jewelleries. Two suspects, said to be cultists and OOU students, arrested for the murders, had confessed to the killings.
Ms Ofor added, “After police intervention and lots of back and forth, we were told the first suspect, Babtunde Murtala, had been arrested but the information being given to the police was not helpful until the arrest of one of his accomplices, 18-year-old Rasaq.
“What we were told was that it was Rasaq’s confession that gave men of the Nigerian Police a strong lead. Although I was invited, along with the family of Oriade to Ago-Iwoye that day, there was no breakthrough till when I was advised to go home.
“I later received a call saying both Julia and Oriade had been found dead. From what we gathered, they must have been killed the night they were abducted. Surprisingly, it was the same Murtala, who had been unhelpful and Razak who later led the police to the bush in Oru-Ijebu where the bodies were discovered.”
She said when she had the opportunity of moving closer to Murtala to ask her what her daughter had done to him to warrant her killing, he simply said he was sorry.
“Sorry? Are they birds who can just be killed like that so cheaply? Our demand now is that justice must be done. I want justice for my daughter whose life had been cut short by these bandits. Whatever is the punishment for murderers, I want it visited on them,” she sobbed.
Ms Ofor, a journalist, said she and Julia’s father, George Eke, who currently resides in the United States of America are separated. She also explained that while Adebisi had been buried according to Islamic rites, her daughter’s body is still in the morgue.
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