February 8, 2023

An Isoko woman from Delta State,  Elizabeth Ogege, speaks to OPEYEMI ADEFEMI about her struggle to get justice for her 22-year-old undergraduate daughter, Elozino, who was allegedly murdered

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Elizabeth Ogege, popularly known as mama Elozino Ogege. I am from Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State.

What do you do for a living?

I am under the calling of God. I don’t do any other thing. God called me but I am not a full-time pastor. The calling is between me and God. God did not allow me to go into any other business. He called me out of  business to work for Him.

You said you want justice for your daughter, Elozino, who was allegedly murdered. How old was she?

The name Elozino means Light has Come. She was 22 years old. Such a wonderful girl. She would have been 26 by now. She was a 300 Level student of Mass Communication at the Delta State University.

In what circumstances was she murdered?

What  happened wasn’t planned by her or myself, but by the enemy of life. I had a chat with her and she told me she would be coming home on Friday to rest. She was one of the best students in her class. Even some of her lecturers would call to congratulate me and speak highly of her. They were so proud of her. She made me happy.

On that fateful day, she called and said, “Mummy, I have a good news for you; can you guess?” I reminded her that I was not good at guessing. Then she told me she had found a new accommodation in school. She had constantly complained about activities of Yahoo Yahoo boys where she was living, so I told her to look for another apartment on campus.

So, she told me she had seen a new apartment inside DELSU. She said the chief security officer of the university helped her to get the apartment. For some reason, I was suspicious and uncomfortable. I then told her to give  her phone to the man, so I could speak with him. But she told me “Mummy, you too dey fear”. But I insisted I wanted to speak with the man. Still she told me:  “Mummy, no worry; na him dey take care of all of us here. He is the chief security officer.” So, she didn’t let me speak with the man. That was Thursday, November 15, 2018.

I was expecting that she would come home the following day, being Friday. So, I arranged what she would take back to school. Around 4pm, I got a call from her friend. She asked me if I had been in touch with Elozino since morning. I said no. She told me she had been calling Elozino all day but it was a different person that had been taking her calls. I told the friend that it was possible that Elozino misplaced her phone. But later, I reasoned that if she had misplaced her phone, she would have used another phone number to call me. That was the kind of person she was. That was the beginning of this tragedy that I am in.

What happened afterwards?

That evening, we went to the police station but we were told we couldn’t make an official complaint until after 24 hours of the disappearance. At the end of everything, we found out it was someone who was pretending to help her with accommodation that lured her to her death. He took her out of the university campus. I have been in that mess till today.

How did you find out?

They confessed to killing her after they were arrested and it is was recorded. There are video recordings of how everything happened. All evidences even pointed at them. It was even played in court. When everything happened I almost went mad. I didn’t know what I was doing anymore. Government officials came to sympathise with me. Governor (Ifeanyi) Okowa promised that he would do something about it. I am a widow, I don’t know where to start from. Since 2018, the case has not made progress and my daughter is yet to get justice. My daughter’s soul is not resting. If her soul is resting,  as her mother, I should be resting. I don’t sleep at all. The frustration is too much. Maybe they are waiting for me to die, so there will be no justice. Since 2018, I have been going to court every time but nothing comes out of it. Everything is just frustrating. They didn’t even consider her life, the cost of her education and all. She was an actresses and a stylist. She was already the breadwinner of the family. She had just started taking care of me.

On July 17, 2021, I ran mad out of frustration. I ran out naked from the church. What I want is for the soul of my daughter to rest.

The other day while returning from court, a car almost hit me as I wanted to cross the road. What I want is for the soul of my daughter to rest.  I am calling on the whole world, every living soul, every human on earth, please justice for Elozino is justice for all of the victims of happenings like this.  I am depressed. Sometimes I even go crazy. The nakedness is too much. Justice must be given to my daughter so she can rest.

What did your lawyer tell you about the case?

Since a year and a half now that case has not been called. I see this as a trick to make sure I die without ensuring justice for my daughter. My lawyers are complaining because sometimes when they go to court, the judge won’t be present. It is only one judge. How can only one judge handle so many cases? She is also human. No one else is talking about the killing.

What about the suspects?

They said they are in the prison. I have not gone there to see the (alleged) killers of my daughter. They were five but the native doctor with them has died. They are being well taken care of in prison. The day they came to court, they looked very good. The government should ensure justice. If there is no justice, the killers will do worse. God has used my daughter’s case to expose them. They should also pay me compensation. It’s not as if the compensation will bring back the life I had before Elozino was snatched from me; it will just be a push for me and it is my right.

What kind of a person was your daughter?

I don’t really have an adjective to describe who she was because I have never seen that kind of a person in my life. If she offended you, she would apologise to you; if you offended her, she would still apologise to you. That is the kind of person she was. In fact, she lived all her life for God. Any day we argued with her in my house, it was because of church. Everything about her was about God. I have never seen that kind of a person in my life.

I have other children but they are not like Elozino. Everyone says she was a different child. She was three years old when she started seeing visions. She would say “Mummy! Mummy!” and whatever she told you would come to manifestation. She was a prayer warrior and a comforter. She would even discomfort herself for another person to be comfortable. That was the kind of person she was. She loved everyone.

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