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Rivers police investigate 20-year-old undergraduate murder case

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By Amaechi Okonkwo, Port Harcourt

The Rivers state police command has begun investigations into the missing and subsequent of death of a 20-year-old undergraduate of the Rivers State University, Miss Beauty Nwigbaranee.

Commissioner of police, Joseph Mukan, said he had ordered full-scale investigation into the alleged killing of the third-year student of Education, Nwigbaranee, by her pastor-friend, Sodje Masodje, during the Christmas celebrations.

Beauty was declared missing by her parents after she allegedly went to visit her pastor lover around Eneka area of Obio/Akpor local government on Christmas day and could not return until her lifeless body was found at a mortuary at the Ahoada East local government area last Saturday.

Rivers police spokesman, SP Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the student’s death, saying the command had gone into full-scale investigation of the death.

According to him, the CP also appealed to “all parties to maintain restraint until we are able to conclude our investigation.

“Whatever our findings are will be made public. We can assure the public that at the end of the day, justice will be served.

“All the parties will get justice, including the late girl. Nobody will be spared from the long arms of the law,” Omoni assured.

The incident has generated serious tension, as the family of the deceased is accusing the pastor of a new generation church, Mr Sodje Masodje of having a hand in the former’s death, she having paid him a visit the day she was missing.

It would be recalled that the family had reported Masodje to the Nigeria Army, 6 Division in Port Harcourt, alleging that their daughter, who they said was the pastor’s lover, had visited him that 2020 Christmas Day but failed to return two days after. They said she could not also be reached on her mobile phone.

The family members became suspicious after the same Masodje, whose new generation church is located in Eneka, Obio/Akpor local government area, called them on telephone, asking of her whereabouts. This development forced the girl’s family to officially report the matter to the army, leading to the pastor’s arrest.

Counsel to Beauty’s family, Barrister Gobari Deebom told journalists in Port Harcourt that Masodje surprisingly refused to disclose the whereabouts of the girl during interrogation, rather promising that she would return home. The lawyer said Beauty’s alleged disappearance was initially a case of suspected abduction but that the family later had to plead with the army to hand the matter over to the police for proper investigation.

Last Saturday, Deebom said Beauty’s lifeless body was found at the Ahoada General Hospital mortuary in Rivers state and queried the information provided that the girl was an auto crash victim, saying that there was no trace of injury on her body.

“We discovered her dead body. For somebody that died through motor accident, would there not be bruises or wounds on the person’s body? Even if it is internal bleeding, there must be wound somewhere!

“They said there was a collision with two vehicles. They only saw one vehicle and the vehicle they saw also belongs to the pastor; and the police at Rumuji police station said the second vehicle involved in the accident was damaged beyond repair. If a vehicle is damaged beyond repair, where did you keep it?”

Asked how the family knew that Beauty’s corpse was deposited at the hospital mortuary, he said it was a kinsman of the family who saw the body at the mortuary and contacted the family, having read media reports of the girl missing.

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