Cynthia Udoka Osokogu
What Happened to Cynthia? – 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.
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. 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.
They then left the hotel and quickly deleted her from their facebook friend list to remove any trace of their connection. 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.
How the Killers Were Caught? – 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.
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”.
What we can learn from this? – We have seen so many online comments judging Cynthia. This could have happened to anyone. With social media, this false sense of comfort and trust can be very misleading. We know couples who met on Facebook or BBM groups and are still together. If you ask them if they took security measures to protect themselves when they first met, many will confess that they did not. We hear of friendships built on twitter and BBM, where the first meeting was in the home of one of the friends. The truth is anything can happen. You have to be savvy and wise.
Cynthia was the only daughter and the last born of her parents – Ret. Major General Frank & Mrs Joy Osokogu. She was dotted on by her three elder brothers and parents. She was vibrant and enterprising. Everyone misses her so much! May Cynthia’s gentle soul rest in peace.
Tribute to Cynthia by her best friend, Aishatu Ene Ella: In the last few days I have seen had my heart torn, stripped and broken in pieces first by the disappearance and death of my Dearest friend and secondly by the wickedness exhibited by Nigerians, passing judgment on someone they never knew or met.
When she was officially declared meeting we put up a number online so people with information can call and help out, of over 500 calls we received in 3 days, only 2 of those calls were from people who actually helped with information. One was my dear friend Nuhu Kwajafa, the other was the Area Commander who called to inform us of the arrest of the people.
The others were heartbreaking to say this least, I wondered how her mother would have coped if she had to deal with silliness, pettiness and undeserved hate from strangers, who just took one look at a lady and decided to judge her based on her looks.
When the sad news of her death broke, I made a comment and said I hope “all those who have insisted she was with a man would have their answer now and let her rest in peace” how wrong I was, They wouldn’t rest, they would only go back and manufacture a more hurtful and painful story, formulate more rumors and pass it around as facts, hmmm it is well. I have no comments for hateful people, I just want to share with you the real Cynthia, the Cynthia we knew not the one who hateful people have created in the last few days.
Cynthia was born on 10th of November 1987 to Gen Frank and Joy – Rita Nkem Osokogu, Udoka as her Mother named her, even as a baby was a uniting factor in her family. Her Mother had 3 boys before her, she was the last baby and only girl. Her Parents had settled in Jos where we were and still neighbors, We became friends because in those days there were only few houses in the area. I was the last child and so didn’t have a lot of playmates my age, her brothers were my mates and Cynthia as the only girl didn’t have much friends around the neighborhood either so she tagged along when we had our “adventures” and “yawo”.