A sober atmosphere engulfed the Government Reservation Area in Asaba, Delta State, on Friday, September 4, as people gathered to witness the exhumation of the decomposing body of 36-year-old Obiageli Onekanse.
The mystery surrounding her disappearance and recovery of her body in a shallow grave is being unravelled as the police arrested two persons in connection with the killing.
Oby, as popularly called by her friends, hailed from Ukwu-Nzu community in the Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state. She was an event manager and interior decorator.
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The suspect, who is a security guard in the house where the deceased lived, fled with her Toyota Avalon car, and stopped at a petrol station along the Benin-Asaba Expressway for refill.
However, it was like a drama as the Fulani guard couldn’t open the fuel tank, a situation which made onlookers curious to know who owned the car.
Saturday PUNCH gathered that the development attracted a police patrol team who invited him for questioning. He allegedly confessed to killing the lady.
During the corpse’s exhumation, emotion ran high as those close to the deceased were inconsolable.
The deceased’s elder brother, Mr Sunday Onekanse, in tears-filled eyes said he searched for his late sister for two weeks when he could not get in touch with her on the phone.
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Onekanse said he spoke with his sister about her wedding plans few weeks before her mobile was unreachable.
He said, “I spoke to her last about her wedding plans. After that day, I was unable to reach her again. Then, I alerted other members of our family to the development and to visit her house because I live in Lagos. We became curious when all efforts to reach her failed. The matter was later reported at the GRA Police Station.
“I left Lagos for Asaba on Monday, August 31. The DPO called me on Thursday to come to the station. When I got there, I sighted my late sister’s co-tenant who is a Nollywood producer at the station.
“The security guard was caught while driving my sister’s car to a filling station to buy fuel. The fuel in the vehicle couldn’t take him through the journey because he was trying to run away with some of my late sister’s belongings.
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“My sister’s co-tenant was arrested on Thursday, August 3, while driving into the premises unknown to him that the police had visited the house earlier in the day and discovered a freshly dug grave.”
He added that the co-tenant couldn’t explain to the police why the place was dug and thus they arrested him.
Onekanse alleged that her sister’s killer removed her underwear and slit her throat possibly for ritual purposes before burying her remains in a shallow grave.
He said, “I don’t think only the guard could kill my sister, cut her throat, dig a grave, remove her pants, bury her in the compound, burn her documents and take away her car without the knowledge of her co-tenant. We are making arrangements for her burial on Saturday (today). We are in pains. “
However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, said investigation was ongoing into the matter. She added that the deceased’s co-tenant was at home when the act was committed but a generator was working then.
She said, “The gateman who killed her said he did it alone and did not involve anyone. He said that when his (gateman’s) wife got to know about the act, he threatened to kill her if she raised the alarm.
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“Whether she (the deceased) was having issues with her neighbour before now has nothing to do with the matter. Whether her documents were burnt or not, what we are saying is based on the investigation we have carried out so far and not on speculations.
“The guard said the deceased owed him salary and didn’t feed him. He demanded money from her around 8pm that day. It was then that he killed her maybe out of provocation. That the co-tenant was around then doesn’t mean he was part of the killing.”