The family of Alexander Uzoma, a 20-year-old student killed by four suspected Internet fraudsters (Yahoo boys), has demanded justice for him.
The elder brothers of the Business Administration student, who spoke to journalists in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital on Wednesday, faulted a report by the police that the victim was killed after he went out to see a friend.
They stated that Alexander, a fan of Manchester United, left home to watch a football match at a viewing centre around Adigbe, Abeokuta, when he went missing.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, had last week disclosed that the command arrested four suspects in connection with the death.
Oyeyemi also said the suspects confirmed that they dumped Alexander’s corpse on Kuto Bridge in Abeokuta on November 20.
He noted that the suspects told the police that the 300-level student of the Imo State University visited them to learn Internet fraud, after which he took a drug called Colorado and died.
But reacting to the claims, one of the siblings, Jude, said he could not fathom how the police came about the story that his brother went to see a friend.
Jude said, “I was the one who wrote the statement when we got to Adigbe Police Station with our mother. We didn’t tell them he went to see any friend. We said he went to watch football. Where did the police get that information from?”
He added that he and his mother visited Ibara, Obada, Lafenwa and about 15 police stations, including the state police headquarters, Eleweran, in search of Alexander, whose phone he said kept ringing out.
Jude stated that after failed efforts to locate him within two days, the family informed the Association of Imo Indigenes in Abeokuta.
He said steps taken by the association brought about the transfer of the case to the police headquarters.
Also, the immediate elder brother of the deceased, Augustine, said the police informed them that his late brother was in contact with one of the said Yahoo boys, who called him on the phone.
He said, “He was in contact with only one of them; we don’t know how the other three came into the picture. According to what the suspects told the police, they said he followed them to their house, they ate, took Colorado, slept and woke up around 8pm. When they woke up, they found out that he had vomited all over his body and died.”
“We made our investigation and discovered that those guys live on Lipede Estate. The police told us that they tracked my brother’s phone to know his movement. As of 3.36pm on November 20, they said the person called him and they went to a bar at Onikoko.”
“The police also told us that around 6.20pm, his phone was tracked to another place at Onikolobo, and that was where the tracking ended.”
“If those guys are claiming he died at their house, his phone should be tracked to Lipede Estate. The tracking was supposed to end at Lipede, not Onikolobo.”
Augustine recalled how the police said an Uber driver’s car was borrowed to convey Alexander’s body to where it was dumped.
He wondered why “we didn’t hear that the police invited the owner of the car for questioning or that the car was impounded as part of evidence.”
He said the police might be engaging in “foul play” in the way the case was being handled.
“We want justice. Those guys killed my brother in cold blood for whatever reason. We demand that the case be properly investigated; those guys should face the law.”
“My brother was never a drunk or a smoker. He didn’t take anything like drugs. He couldn’t have taken Colorado. He was never into Internet fraud. He didn’t contact them to learn Yahoo Yahoo.
“The police have told us to look for N200,000 to exhume the corpse and conduct an autopsy. The health workers who buried the corpse said they saw a deep cut on his head. We have every reason to believe that he was killed.
“Within this week, we will raise the N200,000 for the autopsy. All we want is that everybody should respect the dead by ensuring justice is served. Those who committed this crime should not use money to escape justice. The police should do their work diligently,” Augustine added.
He said their distraught mother, Christiana Uzoma, a head teacher at the St. Peter’s Anglican Primary School, Ilogbo-Olofin, Ogun State, was with other family members in Imo State to mourn the death of her last child.
@ Punch Newspaper