Managment sacks hotel workers for negligence over Cynthia’s death

The management of Cosmilla Hotel in Lagos, where the late Miss Cynthia Udoka Osokogu was murdered by some men she met on Facebook, has sacked all the staff of the hotel that were on duty, the day of the murder.

The hotel, which is located at Lake View Estate, Amuwo Odofin in Lagos State, is said to have a tradition of ‘proper screening’ of its guests at the point of checking-in, by demanding valid identification of prospective guests.

The front-desk officer was said to have breached the established procedure, paving way for difficulty in identifying the body of the deceased as her attackers had taken away all items that could assist in identifying her.

The hotel rules demand that guests must present their ID cards or passport before given a room in the hotel.

The fake identities of the suspects had made it difficult for the police at Area ‘F’ Command to quickly solve the murder riddle.

Although only two of the suspects were paraded before journalists at the Lagos State Police Command, two others, Orji Osita and Maduako Chukwunonso, who were the pharmacists that sold the drug, used to sedate the late Cynthia, were on Monday, arraigned before the Yaba Magistrates’ Court with the main suspects.

The case is adjourned to the 3rd of October.

The Delta State-born victim who met her untimely death is set to be buried September 7.

Cynthia to be buried on Sept. 7 – family

Cynthia Osokogu, the victim of an Internet dating transaction, will be buried on September 7 at Bebe, Ovia Agbor in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, a family source said on Monday.

Late Cynthia’s mother, Joy Osokogu, who announced the date  in Jos, advised youths to be very cautious of making friends with people that they do not know.

Cynthia, a postgraduate student of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, was allegedly killed by friends she met on the social media, Facebook, at a hotel in Festac, Lagos in July.

The suspected killers of the young woman allegedly lured her to Lagos on a phoney business deal and killed her in a hotel room.

“The youths should be very careful, especially when they are making friends in the social media. Like we have seen in the case of my daughter, such friends may have ulterior motives,” she said.

She described her deceased daughter as “very industrious, hard working and a respectful child.”

She added, “She was my daughter, my friend and my sister. Her memory will never be forgotten because she touched so many lives positively in her short stay on earth.”

Mrs Osokogu said Cynthia’s killers had demanded N20 million ransom from the family.

“The killers of my daughter demanded a ransom of N20 million from my son, Flt- Lt. Kenneth Osokogu,” she said.

She said the killers sent her son, who is in Makurdi, a text message, demanding that he pay N20 million into an account which did not exist.

“The killers were not picking our calls; they only communicated to us via text messages.

“When my son got their SMS, he later replied them that the account number was fake and didn’t exist.

“He sent another message in which he said that if it was a case of kidnapping, he would like to speak with his sister before making any payment but the killers did not respond,” Mrs Osokogu said.

She said, however, that when she spoke with the suspected killers, they did not ask her for any money.

Mrs Osokogu said she spoke last with Cynthia on July 22, when she called to say that she was travelling to Lagos to get her goods.

“But the next day, I didn’t hear from her. When I tried to reach her, all her phones were switched off.

“After one week, the phones started ringing but no one was picking.

“Few days later, people I believe to be the killers, called and said that my daughter was in one Symbol Hospital in Lagos.

“I called the police I had earlier reported the case to, to go and verify if she was in the hospital, they said there was no hospital like that.

“After a while, I called the number and told them I wanted to speak with her but they said that it was not possible.

“When I asked why, they said she would come back but that I wouldn’t speak with her.

“When I called the number again, they said they had killed her and that was when we declared Cynthia missing,” Mrs Osokogu said.

The police in Lagos on Monday arraigned four persons suspected to be connected to the death of Cynthia.

OPINION: The good, bad and ugly sides of social media

Dickson, 32 was in search of money. He turns to the internet in search of the proverbial Golden Fleece. One cold evening in September 2011, while browsing through the Facebook site, he meets Jane, a 28-year-old banker. As the two friends continued their daily chats  Dickson began to generate strategies to scam his new Facebook friend.

Recently, social media including facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo/Google/Blackberry Messengers, Google+, 2go etc have been used for different activities – business, pleasure and networking.

While some use social media as a means to showcase products and services, others use it for pleasure and a way to meet new people.

Still others use social media for sinister purposes with intentions of harming others or defrauding them.

According to Wikipedia, Social media includes web- and mobile-based technologies which are used to turn communication into interactive dialogue among organizations, communities, and individuals.

The benefit of a social media is found in the connections that get drawn between those that participate. Connecting people, recommending resources, identifying expertise, and distributing content are all benefits to those who participate in and use these sites.

For instance, in the story of Dickson and Jane, though  the former intended to defraud the latter, after having a blind date for almost one year, they agreed to meet in Lagos and once that was done, they ended up falling in love. Just three months Dickson and Jane got married.

There are numerous other examples of people who have built a wholesome relationship that began from a social media website. Some have gotten their dream jobs via social media. Others are growing a thriving business on social media.

A simple broadcast from Facebook or Blackberry can send a message to millions of people in different parts of the world.

Like everything in life, if there are merits, there would also be demerits. People with malevolent intentions have capitalized on the ease of communication presented by social media to perpetrate their evil acts.

For instance, I am yet to understand how someone would sit somewhere and spend precious time in typing a lengthy message with false alarm like the cosmic ray nonsense that was circulating on Blackberry Messenger last week.

Another instance and the most tragic was the one in the news this week. Some young undergraduate used the social media to lure an unsuspecting only child of a retired army General all the way from Nasarawa to Festac in Lagos.

According to the news, Ezekiel Nnechuwu Olisa Eloka had spent over four months on Facebook with Cynthia Akuzogwu Udoka. Cynthia obviously thought she had found a friend in Eloka. Unfortunately she was wrong.

Eloka recounted how he treated his guest and facebook friend thus:

“When she got to Lagos, we took her to a hotel in Festac. We thought she had a lot of money, but she said she didn’t have any money.

We put a drug in her Ribena drink. After this, we slept with her for 12 hours in that hotel. We discovered that the tablet did not work quickly on her.

“We then attacked her, tied her up and used cello tape to cover her mouth. After that, we beat her to tell us where she kept the money.”

“When we didn’t get any money from her, we tied her mouth and strangled her and then we abandoned her in the hotel and fled.”

Get the juice from social media with care

In the midst of fraudsters, serial killers, assassins and people with different motives on social media platforms, how can you make the best of this powerful internet tool without regrets.

In the video below, an internet expert, Mercy Abang sheds light on what to watch out for while using the social media platforms.

Written by Oluchi Uwajubogu

VIDEO: How we killed our facebook friend, Cynthia – suspects

The Police in Lagos on Wednesday paraded two suspects in the murder of Cynthia Akuzogwu Udoka, daughter of a retired General.

One of the suspects, Ezekiel Nnechuwu Olisa Eloka, 23, told the police that they killed Cynthia because they believed she had a lot of money. But after taking her life, they did not find any significant amount of cash.

Both Eloka and Echezona Nwabufor, said they met the victim on Facebook and invited her to come to Lagos to buy goods at cheap prices.


“When she got to Lagos, we took her to a hotel in Festac. We thought she had a lot of money, but she said she didn’t have any money. We put a drug in her Ribena drink. After this, we slept with her for 12 hours in that hotel. We discovered that the tablet did not work quickly on her.

“We then attacked her, tied her up and used cellotape to cover her mouth. After that, we beat her to tell us where she kept the money.”

“When we didn’t get any money from her, we tied her mouth and strangled her and then we abandoned her in the hotel and fled.”

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umar Abubakar Manko, briefing journalists on how police were able to arrest the suspects, said detectives made use of the close circuit television at the hotel where the crime was committed to identify them.

 

The Area Commander, Area ‘E’ Police Command, ACP Okoro added that the suspects who are undergraduates of Nigerian universities were nabbed through the call logs of the telephone conversations they had with the victim who was a post graduate student of Nasarawa State University.

The police said that when the suspected killers strangled Cynthia, they called the hotel reception to inform them that there was a corpse in one of the rooms in the hotel. The management of the hotel subsequently deposited her corpse at the mortuary of Isolo General Hospital in Lagos.

ACP Okoro stated that many ATM cards, about 23 SIM cards, different identity cards were recovered from the suspects.

Police sources said the two suspects will soon be arraigned in court to answer a charge of murder.