It is not a fluke, but a true life story. A sixteen year old daughter of the Publisher, Revolution Times Newspaper, Efe Stewart has been allegedly strangled to death in Benin City by a neighbour named Adewale Karinu on the instructions of the deceased maternal grandmother, Mrs. Roseline Igiebor.
The deceased, Vera Oyemwen Efe, an SS2 student of Idia College, Benin met her untimely death in a most grueling circumstances.
The unfortunate incident surrounding Vera’s demise has left a very bitter lesson for parents to learn.
Vera Oyemwen Efe until her death was an ss2 student of Idia College, Benin. According to her friends, she likes attending parties and making friends. Her hobbies include; dancing, writing and acting.
Vera at her age had written three yet-to be published stories she entitled: “College days of Ada, Accra Marine and Terrible Mistake”. She had also written some songs. Vera was very intelligent but stubborn. She inspired to be an actress or a musician before she was cut short by the ugly death. She danced very well.
According to the deceased father Efe Stewart, Vera’s mother Osaretin Irabor separated from him years ago, got married to another man and abandoned their three daughters: Vera, Esohe and Osamudiamen to him. He has been living peacefully with his children until that year Mrs. Roseline Igiebor, their maternal grand-mother came back from America and they went to visit her. As the children continued staying with their grandmother longer than expected, their father directed that the children should return to him but their grandmother refused, insisting that the children were enjoying her company. Why should she send them away. After all efforts made by their father to bring them back to himself failed, he allowed them to be. Until that black Sunday morning she was strangled to death.
On Saturday before the Sunday morning, according to the grandmother, “Vera left the house for the past four days without telling anyone her where about. On Saturday night, she came back home, claiming that she went to her friend’s relation burial ceremony. So, early Sunday morning, her grandmother heard her receiving an invitation call for another outing from one of her friends. To her anger, she demanded the phone from Vera but she (Vera) cleverly removed the sim from the phone and gave her an empty phone. She insisted that Vera provided the sim but Vera refused, claiming she had lost the sim. In this anger, Roseline Igiebor invited one of her sons, Ovbokhan Irabor, a twin brother to the mother of the deceased girl to help discipline the late Vera at about 4am.
According to her younger sister. Esohe an eye-witness, Ovbokhan beat Vera mercilessly with his belt and when he was done with her, feeling aggrieved, she was said to had packed her bags, threaten to leave her grandmother’s house for somewhere else, swearing never to come back again.
To stop her from running away, her grandmother invited a neighbour who lives direct opposite her house, Adewale Karimu to tie the late Vera, so that she would not escape from the house. Meanwhile, she went to cook her Sunday rice and her son Ovbokhan went to wash his clothes behind the house leaving Adewale with Vera at the sitting room to carry out the instruction.
It was reported by her younger sister Esohe who witnessed the tieing process that when Adewale attempted to tie Vera, Vera resisted and bit his hand. In the pain and anger, Adewale pressed her throat hard against a chair and Vera was weakened before Adewale could single-handedly tie the rope round her body. As Adewale was tieing the rope, Vera threatened to report him to his father. Angered by the threat, he marched her chest and tied her tighter than ever before, with both hands tied to the neck, taking the rope round her mouth. With her last strength she muttered “Brother I beg, I go die o, I no fit dey breathe again” she begged Adewale for mercy but he ignored her.
Her smaller sister Osamudiamen said that when grandmother finished cooking, she sent her to call Vera to come and eat but by the time she got to see Vera, she was no longer moving her body. When she reported to Adewale that Vera could not move her body that he should please loose the rope. Adewale told her to forget her that she was only pretending. Though the grandmother directed that the rope round her neck, hand and mouth be loosed. She took the two younger sisters to the church leaving the late Vera with the rope round her too legs.
When Adewale noticed that Vera had kicked the bucket, he took to his heels to unknown destination. It was when Vera’s mother Osaretin came over to the house that she discovered that her daughter had passed on. She called her mother who they said was at entrance of the church before the call came. Madam Roseline came back home with the children. After all effort put together to change the situation failed, they had to call the father and he directed that the girl be taken to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital thinking she could be revived. Unfortunately, after all examination the doctor confirmed her death by strangulation
Vera’s body was laid to rest on Friday while the case is still with the police. No arrest has been made though the land lady of the house Mrs. Roseline Igiebor and all her tenants had evacuated the compound since the incident happened.