By Osahon Osahon
Mrs. Joy Omozuwa, mother of Uwaila, the 100-level student of the University of Benin who was reportedly raped and smashed to death by unknown rapists, has given more insights on how her daughter was murdered in a church where she had gone to read last week Tuesday.
The 49-year-old distraught woman told our correspondent at her residence at Ogbeide Street, off NNPC Depot Fence Road, Agbor Road, Benin, that her daughter’s killers gagged her mouth with a piece of cloth, blind-folded her and tied her legs and hands before smashing her to death.
Mrs Omozuwa, who sobbed profusely during the interview, lamented the manner her daughter was murdered, while reading ahead of her school exam after the COVID-19 lockdown.
She disclosed that Uwaila, who she simply called Uwa, had been reading at the church premises since the COVID-19 lockdown commenced in the state.
The grieving mother further stated that prior to the lockdown, Uwa has been going to the church in the last five years to read.
She recalled that she left the house same time with the 22-year-old girl on that fateful day only to be called by friends that her daughter had been hospitalized.
Narrating what happened, the mother of five said, “We left home together on that fateful day. She was very vibrant and she loved reading. She had been going to that church to read for the past five years.
“She’s been reading there since the Covid-19 lockdown. She said she did not want to have a carry-over in her exams, to avoid the extra expenses it will bring. She used to come back home early. At times, she would return around 2pm to eat and at times, she would read till about 5pm.
“More so, she had sight problem, so she didn’t keep late night out. But she will always tell me not to panic if she did not come back home on time, that she would be fine.”
Continuing, she posited that, “On that fateful day, a friend from my church came to visit me. While she was with me, I tried to call my daughter around 5pm, but her number did not connect. But, when I returned after seeing-off my friend, I saw three missed calls from a friend, Mrs. Osula, on my phone.
“When I called the number, she told me to come immediately, that my daughter has been taken to the hospital.
“As I was running to the place, my husband was asking where I was running away to, I told him it was Uwa, and I kept on running.
“When I reached there, I was told they met her in the church, her mouth was gagged with piece of cloth, her eyes blind-folded and her hands tied to her back.
“My friend said when she untied her hands, she thought she had died. But when she saw that Uwa was moving her fingers, she realised that she was still alive, so she rushed her to a private clinic in the neighborhood.
“When I arrived at the clinic, the sight of my daughter was pathetic. She was bleeding from her ears and nose. Her eyes were swollen with blood and a big cut on her head. They also raped her. I couldn’t stand the sight. I stepped out of the clinic.
“She wore a jean skirt with a white top that morning. The white top was soaked in blood and it turned red. I cried bitterly. I asked, who did I offend? Even if I offended anyone, I did not promise to pay for my offence with my daughter.
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“The beating was so much. Fire extinguisher that was in the church was used to smash her head.
“When I finally summoned up courage, I took a bucket with water and a napkin and began cleaning her up. Her breathing was faint. She was infused to revive her. She struggled in agony at intervals.
“When my husband arrived at the clinic the following morning, he said the church where she was attacked looked like a place where a cattle was slaughter. He asked that we take her away to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) for better treatment immediately.”
Uwa’s mother howled further that she never envisaged such horrible time as she now currently undergoing over the death of her undergraduate daughter who was studying microbiology at UNIBEN.
She explained that her late daughter had no boyfriend. She described her as the most gentle of her five children who was serious with her academics until her demise.
“Uwa was not a troublesome person. She is my second daughter and she was the most gentle of my five children. She was always reading her book.
“Just last week, her elder brother was jokingly asking when she will show him her boyfriend, but she responded that this was time to study and not to love, that husband will come at the appropriate time”, she recalled.
On efforts made to save keep her alive at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), the devastated mother said, “On arrival at UBTH, the doctors tried. They conducted every necessary treatment methods, including oxygen, were used on her.
“I later confronted the doctor in charge, he told me frankly that the injuries were too much and she had lost so much blood. He told me that her case is a 50-50 thing, but they will do their best. They really tried best, but, I lost her on Saturday.”