The bereaved mother of a 21-year-old apprentice hairdresser allegedly killed by a suspected hemp seller in Mowe area of Ogun State has claimed that the young girl was cruelly murdered for money rituals by her killer who is still in police custody, KUNLE AKINRINADE reports.
Brief was etched on the face of Oluwatoyin Odubanjo. For some moments, she tried to talk but no words were forthcoming from her trembling lips.
Sandwiched between a relatives and one of her daughters, she sat on a bench to let out a sorrowful moan over the killing of her daughter, Tunrayo, but she struggled to find the right words to convey her sorrow.
The distraught mother of four recalled how a hemp seller identified simply as Toba allegedly slit the throat of her daughter, Tunrayo Odubanjo, his girlfriend, and dumped her body in a building inside a bush in Kara-Kekere community, Ogunrun, Mowe in Obafemi Owode area of Ogun State.
The bereaved mother said: “My name is Oluwatoyin Odubanjo, a resident of Zion Estate, Pakuro, whose daughter was killed by her purported boyfriend named Toba.
“The incident occurred at Kara Kekere in the Magbon area of Mowe on May 18, 2022.
“My daughter told me she was going to work and left home in the morning for her boss’ salon at Ogunrun village.
“I asked why she was leaving home very early in the morning and she explained that they had a lot of work to do at the salon.
“I gave her money for her meals and transportation and she left home before 8 am, hoping that she would return home in the evening as usual.”
Odubanjo, it turned out, had no inkling of the tragic fate that awaited her beautiful 21-year-old daughter. Barely two hours after Tunrayo left home, however, Odubanjo received the shocking news of her daughter’s gruesome death.
“Around 10 am, one of her friends rushed home and broke the news of her death to me.
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“She said that my daughter had been killed by one Toba who I didn’t know and had never seen before the incident happened,” she said.
Contrary to reports that Tunrayo was allegedly killed by Toba for wearing his slippers when the deceased visited her alleged killer, her mother insists that she was actually killed by Toba for money rituals.
Tunrayo’s killer, according to Odubanjo, subjected her to brutal death for the purpose of money rituals and brazenly bathed on her lifeless body in a white wrapper during which he was caught by residents.
“A woman called Peju, who happens to be a neighbour and witnessed the incident, told us that the said Toba had drugged my daughter before killing her.
“The woman said that the fateful day was the first time my daughter would be visiting Toba who recently moved into the building.
“She said she tried to prevent Toba from killing my daughter but he attacked her too with stones and she had to run for her life for fear of being killed with her new baby strapped to her back.
“When Toba overheard my daughter calling her boss on the phone and raising the alarm that she was in danger, he quickly tied her with a rope and sliced her throat with a sharp end of ceramic tiles.
“On the floor of the building, we saw the rope, tile and bottle of soft drink he allegedly gave my daughter before killing her.
“The woman who lives in the neighbourhood was the one that alerted some boys who stormed the building and found Toba bathing on Tunrayo’s lifeless body with a white cloth wrapped around his waist and the mob apprehend him.
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“He said that his money would increase when he returns from police custody and that the larger the crowd condemning him the more money he would make, having killed my daughter for money rituals.
“The sympathisers were the ones that invited the police and her remains have been evacuated to the mortuary by men of Sagamu Division for autopsy while Toba has since been detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) of the Ogun State Police Command.
“Although, her boss denied that she came to the salon before she left for Toba’s home, we learnt from some of her colleagues at the salon that she actually came to the shop and swept the floor of the salon with a broom and that one of her junior colleagues told her that Toba asked her to come to his new site and gave her money as transport fare.
“The boy called Toba must not be released from police custody. He must also be killed like he cruelly snuffed the life out of my daughter.”
An elder sister of the deceased, Mariam Odubanjo, said her sister did not introduce any man to the family as her boyfriend, noting that Toba was a total stranger.
She said: “We were four girls and she is the second child. She did not introduce anyone to us as her boyfriend. She was very reserved and hardly talked.
“She had promised to help me fix my hair when she returned home that day she was killed.
“One of her friends named Rasheedat was the one that rushed home to inform us that she had been stabbed to death by Toba.
“We have not buried her remains because her body is still in the morgue awaiting autopsy. However, we don’t have the sum of N150,000 demanded for post-mortem examination.
“We don’t want Toba to be released from police custody at the state police command in Eleweran, Abeokuta, and we want him to be sentenced to death too for the heartless killing of Tunrayo.”
Contacted, police spokesman, Mr. Abimbola Oyeyemi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said the suspect was still in custody and would be charged to court soon.
Oyeyemi said: The case is being handled by the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) of the state command at Eleweran.
“Although the suspect insists he didn’t kill the lady (Tunrayo), we are not releasing him. We are continuing with our investigations and he would be arraigned in court soon.”
On the allegation by the family in respect of the money being demanded for the autopsy, Oyeyemi explained that the pathologists are the ones requesting payment from the family for the autopsy.
“Autopsy is not the duty of the police, rather, pathologists, who are specialised in carrying out the post-mortem on bodies are the ones that would be paid for such services, and the police are not involved in such exercise and cannot pay for it,” Oyeyemi said.