This Day (Lagos)

9 September 2012

Nigeria: Police to Release Cynthia's Corpse Monday After Autopsy

Photo: Vanguard
Cynthia Osokogu.

The burial rites for Cynthia Osokogu, the undergraduate student of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, who was slain in Lagos on July 22, were done on Friday in her family home in Boji-Boji Owa, Delta State, though her corpse was not present.

Cynthia was murdered in a FESTAC Town hotel by friends she made on social networking site Facebook.

THISDAY has now learnt that the police may likely release the remains of the ill-fated girl Monday for burial.

A source within the Lagos State Police Command said last night that the corpse of the late beauty queen would be released to her parents after the conclusion of the autopsy tests critical to the progress of the case Monday.

The pathologists were still conducting the mandatory post-mortem on Cynthia's corpse by Saturday afternoon.

The source said Cynthia's body would be handed over to the late girl's family by the police after the pathologists would have concluded the tests.

The delay, which ensured the late English undergraduate's remains could not be buried in her hometown Boji-Boji, Owa, Delta State, on Friday is said to be due to the inability of the police and medical personnel to conclude results of laboratory tests conducted on the corpse and spiked juice given her by her assailants.

Cynthia's assailants had made contact with her on Facebook, tricked her to Lagos on the pretence of engaging in business and murdered her in a hotel in the Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos.

The necessity for the tests was said to have followed perceived loopholes identified by legal advisers after the quartet of Maduakor Chukwunonso (25), Ejike Ilechukwu Olisaeloka (23), Echezona Nwabufo (33) and Orji Osita (32) were arraigned at a Yaba Magistrate Court on August 27 on an eight-count charge that included felony, conspiracy, murder, robbery and rape.

Both major autopsy examinations were conducted on Thursday amidst expectations from investigating officers for written statements on the incident from parents of the deceased, General Frank Osokogu (rtd) and his wife.

A day before, friends and family of the budding entrepreneur gathered in Jos, Plateau State for a service of songs, hoping the body would be available for interment in her parent's family home in Delta State on Friday.

But this was not to be. However, there was a gathering of sympathisers that included Delta Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and his wife at the family's Boji Boji Owa home in Delta State where diggers were seen at work on Cynthia's final resting place.

The father of the deceased said the family was not disturbed by the glitch that prevented them from laying their daughter to rest and the funeral could be organised again.

"When the body is released to us, we will know how to organise the funeral ceremony again," he said on Friday.

"The family is not disturbed by the development."

Governor Uduaghan paid his condolences to the deceased's family during the stalled interment. He also urged the social media to be employed for positive rather than negative purposes.

"The social network should be used for the development of the society like in the developed societies and not for criminal purposes. Anyone could have fallen victim to the criminals," he said.

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InFocus

Lagos Police Hold Murder Victim's Body

Cynthia Osokogu.

The Nigerian police refused to release the corpse of the late Cynthia Osokogu for burial because the pathologists had not completed an autopsy. Read more »