A primary two pupil of St. Atana Church School in Nung Oku, Ibesikpo/Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State was allegedly raped and murdered on January 1, 2012 by her father’s close friend, Mr. Samuel Atagha, aka Ufia.
We learnt that Atagha went to the deceased’s residence around 7.45 pm on the fateful day when her father, Mr. Innocent Francis, was not at home. He repordly tricked the girl to go out with him on the pretext that he was going to buy something for her.
The girl’s younger brother, Obedient, was present in the house and he overheard Atagha asking her to go out with him so that he could buy her something.
The boy said he warned his sister not to go out since it was late.
When it was 9.30 pm, the girl’s family began to look for her. Francis said they were worried since she had never stayed out late at night and nobody in the house had sent her on errand.
Later, he asked Obedient whether he knew the whereabouts of the girl and was informed that Atagha had taken her out.
Francis said, “When we did not see her throughout the night, my friends, including my tenants and I went to Atagha’s house to ask him about my daughter’s whereabouts.
“He denied ever seeing the girl that day. He told us that we had come to incur his wrath for something he had no knowledge of. But when he noticed that we were very serious, he ran away and we did not see him for many days.
“When we took the matter to his family, he appeared and confessed that he did it and that we should not let any other person hear about the matter.”
Francis had quickly informed the police about the matter immediately and Atagha was arrested.
He said, “I only did my bit by informing the police about the alleged killer of my daughter. Because I am poor, many people seem to take advantage of my situation and treat me badly.
“I don’t know if the police will be able to avenge my daughter’s death. My daughter was easy-going, obedient and loving. I could not imagine how somebody – not even my own friend–could do this type of thing to me. The world is wicked. This is an abominable offence.”
Francis said that his daughter’s corpse was still lying in the bush where Atagha allegedly hacked her to death. Part of the body, especially the belly, had begun to decompose. But the face was still recognisable. He said the corpse was left there as evidence and that they would only bury the girl once the police gave them the go-ahead to do so.
One of the tenants and a close friend to Francis, who gave his name as Innocent, described the slain girl as too precious to lose. He said the victim could cook any type of food and when somebody sent her on errand, she would promptly go without any argument.
He said, “This is not the type of girl anybody can lose. Great injustice has been done to the little girl. We hope the government will intervene in this matter.”
The spokesman for the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Mr. Onyekaozuru Orji, confirmed the incident and said the Police had arrested the alleged killer.
Orji said the the matter was under investigation and if it was established that Atagha actually raped and murdered the girl, he would be charged to court for manslaughter.
He said, “This is a matter of manslaughter. We are investigating the matter. If it is established that Atagha actually raped and murdered the girl, he would be charged to court for manslaughter. There is no hiding place for criminals in this state.”
Orji advised parents and guardians to keep constant watch over their children and wards and should not, in any way, entrust them to anybody.
“That is a pointer to members of the public that they should not be too trusting. We should mind the kind of people we leave our children and wards with. People should properly screen the people they leave their children and wards with,” he said.