A Yaba Chief Magistrate’s Court, Lagos, was filled to capacity on Monday as the police arraigned four suspects for the murder of Cynthia Osokogu, daughter of Maj-Gen Frank Osukogu (retd.), on July 22, 2012.
The accused – Okwumo Nwabufo (33), Ezike Olisaeloka (23), Orji Osita (32) and Maduakor Chukwunonso (25) – were charged with eight offences.
Nwabufo and Olisaeloka are students while Osita and Chukwunonso are pharmacists.
Some of the charges levelled against the accused were murder, rape, robbery, administering an obnoxious substance to the deceased without her consent.
The charge sheet read in part, “That you (accused persons) and others at large, between 9pm on July 21, 2012 and 12pm of July 22, 2012 at Room C1, Cosmilla Hotel, Lakeview Estate, Amuwo Odofin, FESTAC, Lagos, in the Magisterial District, conspired among yourselves to commit felony to wit; murder and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 231 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.
“That you (accused persons) and others at large, on the said date, unlawfully killed Cynthia Osokogu by administering her with an obnoxious substance known as Rohpynol Flunitrazepam tablets via a Ribena fruit drink, binding her hands with chain, padlock and taping her legs, neck and mouth, giving her fist blows and several human bites, tortured and strangled her to death, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
“That you (accused persons) and others at large on same date and place did unlawfully have sexual intercourse with one Cynthia Osokogu without her consent and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 258(1) of the criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.”
The accused persons were also charged with robbing the deceased of her BlackBerry phone, passport, driving licence, shoes, hand bag, artificial sex toy vibrator, three wristwatches, four rings, three pairs of earrings and other properties.
Mr. Chukwu Agwu, the police prosecutor, prayed the court to remand the accused persons in prison custody.
The Magistrate, Mr Olalekan Aka-Bashorun, said the accused persons should be remanded in prison custody pending the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The case was adjourned till October 3, 2012.
A mini-drama however unfolded outside the court room as journalists and members of the public scrambled to take pictures of the accused persons.
The lawyer of the pharmacists, who refused to identify himself, tried to prevent our correspondent from taking pictures.
“The pharmacists are not killers. Their charges were only mixed up with those of the other two suspects (Nwabufo and Olisaeloka),” he said.
Meanwhile, the Osokogu family has said Cynthia would be buried on September 7, 2012 at Bebe, Ovia Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State.
Mrs. Joy Osokogu, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Jos, Plateau State that her daughter was “very industrious, hardworking and a respectful child.”
She advised youths to be very cautious of making friends with people that they do not know.
She said, “Youths should be very careful, especially when they are making friends on the social media. Like we have seen in the case of my daughter, such friends may have ulterior motives.”