The year 2021 started with the world trying to grapple with the several challenges that came with the Covid-19 pandemic. As the year went by, Nigeria and her citizens contended with daily attacks by insurgents, consistent kidnappings by bandits, farmer-herder clashes and agitations for Biafra and Yoruba Nation.
In the midst of all these incidents, the year also witnessed some murders that are yet to be resolved. Here are five major unresolved murders in 2021:
On April 29, Iniobong Umoren, 26, a fresh graduate of the University of Uyo, left her home for a job interview at a location in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
The interview later turned out to be a hoax, as Umoren would become a rape and murder victim in the hands of Uduak Akpan, the supposed interviewer, at his residence.
While confessing to the crime in July, Akpan claimed he had struck Umoren on the head with a stabilizer during a physical struggle, and this resulted in her death.
After a nationwide outcry over the whereabouts of Umoren, her remains was found in a shallow grave in Akpan’s father’s compound.
The culprit also confessed that Umoren was his seventh rape victim.
There were speculations that Akpan was working for an unknown network of human organ traffickers.
In June, Chidinma Ojukwu, 22, a student of the University of Lagos State (Unilag), allegedly stabbed and killed Usifo Ataga, the CEO of Super TV, at a shortlet apartment in Lekki, Lagos.
During her initial confession after her arrest, Ojukwu claimed to have had a long-standing sexual affair with the late Ataga.
She said Ataga tried to have sex with her on the night of the incident, but she refused because she was tired. She claimed the late CEO then forcefully had his way.
Ojukwu said both of them smoked afterwards and ‘got high’. Subsequently, she got a knife from the kitchen and stabbed her lover multiple times after an argument broke out that same night.
On October 12 however, Ojukwu turned around and pleaded not guilty while standing trial at a Lagos High Court.
Ataga is known to be adept in martial arts and this made many believe Ojukwu, who has a smaller frame, could not have singlehandedly murdered the deceased.
The next hearing on the case is expected on February 14, 2022.
YUSUF ALOWONLE OMOMEWA
In August, Yusuf Omomewa was murdered by unknown persons around the Lagos State University (LASU) premises.
Prior to his death, the deceased was a student rights activist and founder of the Educational Rights Campaign in LASU.
Although the student leader graduated in 2019, he was held back to face the school’s Student Disciplinary Committee (SDC) over an unsubstantiated allegation of admission racketeering.
Many believed the reason he was held back by the school was connected to his antecedents as a prominent student activist.
Omomewa’s death led to a series of protests by LASU students demanding an investigation into the incident.
After the report of an autopsy conducted on his body was released, Omomewa’s family claimed his death was premeditated based on the outcome of the report.
Till date, the police have not made any arrest in connection with his murder.
On November 15, the body of Timothy Adegoke, an Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife, Osun State, MBA student, was found dead at a location very close to Hilton Hotels and Resort, a hotel he was believed to have checked into before his untimely death.
Adegoke, 37, a chartered accountant and father of three, had travelled to Ile-Ife from his Abuja base on November 5, with the hope of sitting for exams at the OAU Distance Learning Centre.
He was initially declared missing on November 7, before his corpse was found eight days later.
Prior to the discovery of his body, a search party had visited Hilton looking for him, but the staff members on duty denied ever seeing him.
However, after an investigation by the police, it was confirmed that Adegoke was indeed lodged in the hotel on November 5.
Rahmon Adedoyin, the owner of the hotel, and six others are currently in custody as the police investigate the strange death.
In late November, Sylvester Oromoni, a 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, was suspected to have died as a result of bullying by five seniors in his school.
When the incident led to a public outcry, the management of the school denied that he was bullied, and claimed he died as a result of a leg injury he sustained while playing football.
However, in an interview with the press, Oromoni’s father said medical tests showed damage to his son’s liver.
The Lagos State Police Command, under the leadership of Hakeem Odumosu, would later charge all five minors suspected to have bullied Oromoni for conspiracy and homicide.
The Lagos State Government also ordered the indefinite shut down of the school.
After spending 13 days in juvenile detention, the five students were granted one million naira bail each, with a condition that they also produce sureties.
While most of the murder cases are currently in court, it is evident that 2021 will not see justice served. Whether the coming year will be different, no one knows.
Be the first to receive special investigative reports and features in your inbox.