Friends and colleagues of Joy Adoki, Nelson Nwafor and Fortune Obemba; the three murdered students of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, have demanded justice for the trio.
The students were buried by their assailants in a shallow grave at Etio community, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State according to the state police after they were kidnapped on April 7, 2020.
The police on Friday said its Anti-Kidnapping Unit swung into action after the abduction of Adoki, Nwafor and Obemba were reported.
It was, however, too late by the time the police would apprehend the suspects, from whom one AK-47 rifle, one pistol, three magazines and 72 rounds of live ammunition were recovered.
“They (suspects) confessed to kidnapping the three undergraduates and taking them to the forest. They killed them and buried them in a shallow grave. They had earlier demanded ransom before they killed their victims,” the Rivers police spokesperson, Mr Nnamdi Omoni, said.
One of the suspects, who identified himself as Friday Akpan, from Akwa Ibom State, told journalists that two of his colleagues gang-raped Adoki before eventually killing all of them. He said, “We held the three persons at the sand field. All of us, five in number, killed them. “They (victims) were three: two young men and a woman; two among us gang-raped the female. Bright brought the gun we used in killing them. I am a member of Iceland.”
Adoki, said to be a 400-level student of the Department of Management at the UNIPORT, was murdered alongside Nwafor and Obemba and buried in a shallow grave at Etio community, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Although reports identified Nwafor and Obemba as UNIPORT students, the university on Saturday told one of our correspondents that only Adoki was their student.
UNIPORT spokesperson, Dr William Wodi, said, “Only the girl (Joy Favour Adoki) was a student of UNIPORT; the other two were not. The girl was of the Faculty of Management Sciences. She resided off-campus at Alakahia.”
Wodi also stated that Adoki was expected to be with her parents after the closure of the university since March as a result of the lockdown occasioned by COVID-19.
Meanwhile, a search through her Facebook page showed a beautiful slim lady full of life and dreams. Aside schooling, she ran a side hustle selling footwear.
President, Student Union, UNIPORT, Mr Sowari Dikibo, and the Director of Information, Mr Serekara Fyneface Jr, in a statement on Saturday, said the perpetrators must be made to face the wrath of the law.
The statement posted on the Facebook page of Dikibo and Fyneface Jr stated that the thought that “our friends, course mates and loved ones” were killed in such a gruesome manner was disheartening.
The statement read, “We join other well-meaning members of the university community to call for justice. Justice for the victims, justice for the accused, and justice for society. We demand that the perpetrators of this heinous crime be brought to face the full wrath of the law.
“We also thank men of the Nigeria Police Force, who have shown astute knowledge of their job and have cracked this case. They have indeed proven to us and the general public that they are proactive in protecting the lives and property of Nigerians. May God bless the Nigerian Police Force.
“However, our deepest condolences and prayers are with the family, friends and course mates of those who were taken away from us too soon. May God almighty grant us all the fortitude to bear the loss.”
A friend to Adoki, Gbubemi Okotie-Eboh, wrote on Facebook, “Quite saddening! I felt so touched and just couldn’t stop thinking how wicked and heartless some people could be.
“May God grant their souls eternal rest. I also want justice to take its course. May their families and loved ones be consoled in the fact that God exposed the killers and they won’t escape his wrath. So so painful and heartbreaking.”
Faith David, Nwafor’s schoolmate, said on Facebook that he was devastated hearing the news of his friend’s death, asking that justice should prevail.
Adoki’s friend, Debby Chissy, also wrote on Facebook, “Struggling through the secondary school is not easy, not to mention becoming a 400 level student in a university.
“It’s so painful to lose you all at this tender age. God will pay them (suspects) back in their own coin. Words are not enough to express how painful this is. Rest in peace, Joy!”
Another Facebook user, Niyi Alade, also wrote, “Terrible acts! The wicked shall not go unpunished.”
Also, a Facebook user, Victor Omo, urged to the police to ensure the killers did not go scot-free.
A Twitter user, @MohWorldent, also called for justice for the victims, saying anything less than this would be unfair.
Another Twitter user @OlubunmiMayaki called for justice to prevail, saying, “We have vampires in our universities. Many of our undergraduates have blood in their hands. Governments at all levels have not been able to eradicate cultism from our institutions. Unfortunately, the menace is in our primary schools.”
A commentator on PUNCHonline with the pseudonym, elder, also demanded justice for the murdered undergraduates, saying the suspects “should pay for this crime. These ones have dined with the devil and no longer have a conscience; they are better off not in this world.”
A Nairaland user, Naijaboy, said, “The police should ensure that this case is not swept under the carpet. The victims deserve justice.”
Speaking with Sunday PUNCH on Saturday, the state police spokesperson, Omoni, said investigations were ongoing.
He said, “There is no justification for killing; there is no justification to take a human life. We are investigating.”