The Developing story
Cynthia Udoka Osokugo was a daughter of a Nigerian retired Major General Frank Osokogu who was lured to Lagos via Facebook, drugged, raped and robbed by the criminal duo of Okwuoma Echezona Nwabufo and Ezekiel Odera Olisa in 2012. They waited for her at the airport, took her to COSMILLA hotel where they finished her off. Her murder sparked serious outrage worldwide and one of the largest manhunt in Nigerian history was launched to arrest the killers. A High Court in Lagos, sentenced to death by hanging, two of the four persons accused of killing Cynthia Osokogu. The accused Okwumo Nwabufo, and Olisaeloka Ezike, the judge ruled, will die by hanging while the other two were found not guilty and acquitted.
On this day in 2012, Cynthia Osokogu was a post graduate student at the Nasarawa State University. On the same day in 2017, her killers were sentenced to death.
The 24-year-old, who was the last child and only daughter of her parents, retired major-general Frank Osokogu and Joy Osokogu, was murdered by people she met on social media platform, Facebook.
KILLED BY ‘FRIENDS’
According to reports, Cynthia, who owned a boutique in Keffi, a town in Nasarawa, travelled from Abuja to Lagos to meet some people, who had told her that they had a business proposal for her.
On arrival in Lagos, she was picked up at the Murtala Muhammad international airport, Ikeja to Cosmilla Hotel in Lakeview estate in Festac Town, Lagos.
Her drink was reportedly drugged and she was strangled, while her assailants made away with her phones, money and other personal belongings.
After almost a month of searching for her, one of the culprits accidentally answered a call on her phone and the call was traced to Festac, where a missing person’s report was filed. Her corpse was subsequently traced to the morgue.
JUSTICE FOR CYNTHIA
Four people were arrested at the beginning of the investigation, they were: Olisaeloka Ezike, 23, and Okwuno Nwabufor, 33; both of whom were identified as the Facebook friends.
Others were Osita Orji, the pharmacist who sold Ropynol to them and Nonso Ezike, who assisted in selling the deceased’s Blackberry phone.
The Lagos state high court, Igbosere, sentenced Nwabufo and Ezike to death by hanging on Thursday, lifting the hopes of some who had lost interest in the case which started on February 8, 2013.
MARRIAGE PROPOSAL BEFORE DEATH
In one of his appearances in court, Nwabufo claimed the deceased was his lover and that they were about getting married before her death.
Nwabufo, who was led in evidence by his counsel Chris Opara, said he met her at Shoprite in Lekki, in 2011 where he went for shopping, while she was also shopping at a fashion shop, dismissing the allegations that they met on Facebook.
The defendant said when he met her, she was making inquires so he introduced himself to her and she did the same, adding that he gave her his card and she gave him her phone number.
He also said that the deceased told him about herself and they exchanged addresses and became very close from thence.
The defendant, who claimed to be a car dealer and also a part-time undergraduate student at the University of Lagos studying accounting, said he paid the deceased a visit when he went to Abuja and he invited her to where he lodged at Satellite Suit Hotel located at Bwari area council of Abuja.
“The late Cynthia was my girlfriend; we were close as the way lovers are before they get married. She used to visit me often in Lagos. She has been to my house up to five times. I was very helpful to her doing everything a boyfriend does for his girlfriend like monetary support, moral support and advising her always,” he had said.
“I promised her that I would marry her and she accepted but told me it is still early that I should wait till Christmas when
“I would visit her parents in Delta State. Everything about us was going well till the day I heard about her death. I was so devastated but the police didn’t give me the chance to express my feelings and they made me look like a murderer.”
He denied ever knowing about Ryhophnol nor did he put it into Cynthia’s drink.
“I came across the drug during this trial, I don’t know how it looks. It is a fabricated allegation against me. Cynthia is my girlfriend whom I love. I can never think of such and I can’t do such to any human being. I didn’t administer any drug on her, it was the police that told me to accept and to put it in writing and to claim that the pharmacist sold it to me”. he had said before the matter was adjourned.
Now that the verdict has been delivered, Nwabufo can no longer make excuses. Cynthia’s encounter should serve as a big lesson to a lot of people out there.