The rate at which people disappear these days is so alarming. It's either they're kidnapped for ritual purposes or used as ransom to extort money from their families. Some are lucky enough to come back alive while others get killed even after the ransom has been paid.
The story of Cynthia Ukoka is particularly painful to me because it could have been any of us. We've all got facebook, twitter and other social media friends. I have met and made lasting friends from social media and even stayed with a lady I met on Nairaland when I went to Port Harcourt sometime ago and she stayed with me in Lagos too when she came visiting Lagos. Till date, we're still friends, even though she eventually moved to the UK.
How it all happened, according to Bellanaija.com.
There is a lot of speculation about what happened to Cynthia and lack of information leads to rumours and falsities.
No one will know ever know the full story except Cynthia but here is what we can tell you.
24 Year Old Cynthia Osokogu left Abuja in late July 2012 (According to reports, on the 22nd of July 2012). Like many enterprising young people, the post-graduate student of Nasarawa State University was a clothing retailer and had travelled to Lagos to purchase new stock.
What we know is that, these 2 young men picked Cynthia up from the airport in Lagos and drove her to a hotel in Festac. At the hotel, they tied her up, robbed her of all the money she brought to shop for her business and strangled her to death.
The hotel found her body and since her ID cards and mobile phone had been stolen, they could not identify her or call friends and family.
Her body was deposited in a morgue in Lagos.
All this time, her family and friends were praying for her safe return.
At some point, one of the culprits accidentally answered Cynthia’s phone and the call was traced to Festac. Therefore, her missing person’s police report was submitted to the Area E Command in Festac. This enabled her family to find her body in the morgue and also led them to the hotel.
What Happened to Cynthia?
Cynthia had been chatting with some new “friends” on Facebook for a few months. In the course of their conversations, they developed a friendship and a level of trust. These young men were also university students, they seemed normal and promised to host Cynthia when she came to Lagos.
There is speculation that they paid for her plane ticket and promised to pay for her hotel as well. Only Cynthia knows if this is true. Whatever the truth is, Cynthia trusted her new friends and had no idea that they had sinister plans.
They then left the hotel and quickly deleted her from their facebook friend list to remove any trace of their connection.
How the Killers Were Caught
Using CCTV from the hotel, the killers were identified. According to reports, these two young men are university students who have now confessed that they killed Cynthia and she is their sixth victim – the gang reportedly specializes in luring unsuspecting young women, robbing them of their possessions before killing them. Though there is speculation that their motive was ritualistic, it appears that it was greed and their main goal was to rob and kill. The pharmacist who supplied the drugs used on Cynthia and hotel staff have also been arrested. According to Police spokesperson Ngozi Braide, “Six people were arrested on Sunday over the incident and investigations are ongoing”.