Residents of Ogbor Hill, Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia State, have been living in shock and fear since last week following the news of “horror” taking place in Merry-Home Hotels Limited situated in their area, as mysterious deaths and sudden disappearance of people had become a regular occurrence.
Worried by the ugly reports emerging from Merry-Home Hotels Limited, residents of Ogbor Hill had sent out a save-our-soul message to the Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, the Commissioner of Police and other heads of security agencies in the state to investigate reported cases of deaths and missing persons in the hotel.
Some residents of the area who narrated their experience to TheNewsGuru.com lamented the notoriety of the hotel which they alleged had become the bastion of mysterious deaths and missing customers.
The residents said they were further alarmed that despite several reports by concerned citizens and residents of the area to security agencies, they were yet to arrest or parade any of the suspected persons.
One of the residents, who gave his name simply as Ezenna, claimed that some of the residents who reported the hotel about cases of alleged deaths and missing persons to the police are now living in fear because of threats from the suspects and failure of the police or their sister agencies to arrest them.
Ezenna said: “The latest case of death at the hotel occurred on 15th April, 2022 when a young lady, whose identity is yet unknown, was killed while her two-year-old baby girl was stolen by her killers.
“Her killers were two young men, whose identities are yet to be revealed by the management of the hotel even though their faces were captured by the CCTV camera installed in it.
“Information available to us says that more than seven murder cases have been traced to the hotel since the beginning of the year. But they were all said to have been covered up to save the hotel’s image.
“Few days ago, some youths vowed to set the hotel ablaze if the killers of the innocent young single mother of one was not unveiled.
“The police station is currently investigating and has released the director of the hotel who has not fed the police with the necessary information on the killers of the lady.
“The incessant killings in that hotel and the fact that the police has refused to prosecute any member of the hotel’s management and staff for conspiracy and murder is annoying. The governor needs to do something about it.”
Contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the Abia State Police Command, Geoffrey Ogbonna, who confirmed the incident to journalists, added that the woman’s corpse had been deposited at the morgue while investigations were ongoing to unravel the people behind the dastardly act.
Ogbonna, who disclosed that the matter was before the state Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), urged anyone with useful information to help the police to identify the people behind the act.
“Anyone with useful information could also walk into any police station in Ogbor-Hill in whose jurisdiction the incident occurred to report what they know about the murder and stealing of the two-year-old child,” he said.
Following the outcry of Ogbor Hill residents and wide condemnation of the incident, the state government has sealed off Merry-home Hotels Limited.
The state’s Commissioner for Information, Dr. Eze Chikamnayo said the seal-off was in view of repeated reports to security agencies about series of death within the premises of the hotel under questionable circumstances.
According to Chikamnayo, the most recent was the death of a young lady who came in with two young boys and a baby in the afternoon. And as confirmed by the CCTV, the boys left with the baby in the evening without the lady only for the hotel management to break into the room around midnight and found the lady dead with her body dismembered.
The information commissioner who revealed that reports available to the state government had shown other incidents of killings taking place in the hotel, especially around the hotel’s swimming pool corner, where unverified reports say young men gather to consume illicit substances and exotic drinks.
He, however, disclosed that everyone suspected to be involved in the murder and kidnapping incidents had been arrested and the case had been transferred to the state CID for investigation while the hotel would remain sealed pending the outcome of investigation.
He warned that Abia State is a no-go area for ritual murder and dismemberment of people’s body for any purpose, adding that the state has zero tolerance for any form of criminal act.
He warned that any hotel in the state that offers itself for such ugly practices would be sealed automatically and the culprits would be brought to book.
He frowned at the discovery in the hotel of more than 80 teenagers in very compromising positions and indulging in anti-social activities.
The Commissioner advised parents to undertake full monitoring of their children’s movements, pointing out that the welfare of the citizens remain the priority of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who since he assumed office in 2015 has proved that security remains the bedrock of development in the state.
Abians are begging the state government and security agencies to ensure that the latest incident is not swept under the carpet and that justice served as they wait patiently for the outcome of the police investigation.
This is even as they have called on security agencies to beam their searchlight on hotels and brothels as 2023 elections approach.
How another middle-aged lady was gang-raped, killed in Ebonyi hotel
A lady in her 20s identified as Ugochi Nworie was on Saturday night allegedly murdered in a popular hotel in Ebonyi State. Her body was found days after she had lodged in Hope-In Hotel located on Enugu-Abakaliki Expressway.
There were, however, conflicting reports of the circumstances that surrounded her death in the hotel. While one report on the case claimed that the victim was ganged raped, another claimed that it was a case of ritual killing.
The victim, an indigene of Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, was said to have encountered some “strange” men at the hotel, after a party that lasted into the night. It was gathered that the men, who came into the hotel in a saloon car christened “Colonel”, negotiated to give the victim N50,000 to enable one of them spend the night with her.
It was gathered that the victim’s lifeless body was later discovered in the hotel on Sunday afternoon, after her female friends had reported a case of a missing person to the police.
Sources close to the victim alleged that late Ugochi’s vital organs, including her eyes and breasts, were missing at the time her body was deposited at a mortuary in Abakaliki. But another source said the victim was found dead on Monday, May 2, 2022, a day after she arrived at the hotel located at G-Hostel Junction, Abakaliki, the state capital, with some men.
An eyewitness claimed that Ugochi was found dead with her two hands and legs tied, her eyes blindfolded and her private part allegedly cut off. The source said the lady was found dead in the hotel room after the door was opened by the police, with her legs, hands and mouth tied.
Many used condoms that were said to have been recovered from the room, however, suggested a case of gang rape.
One of the female friends to the late Ugochi, who pleaded anonymity, said: “After we partied in the hotel with Ugochi, we decided to go home but Ugochi decided to stay back because some men promised her N50,000 to spend the night with them.
“They priced me N100,000 but I refused because I didn’t know them. I lied to them that my boyfriend was in town, so I would not be able to spend the night outside my home.
“We warned Ugochi not to follow them but she refused because of the money. So, we left her behind and went home.
“When we didn’t see her the next day, we went to the police and reported the matter.
“We heard the men tell someone that they were from Ghana. We don’t know whether it is true or not. One of the vehicles they came with to the hotel had “Colonel” written on the number plate.
“Ugochi killed herself. Assuming she listened to us, she wouldn’t have died. This is too bad and painful.”
Confirming the incident, the spokesperson of Ebonyi State Police Command, Loveth Odah, vowed that the police would arrest and prosecute the killers. She said the Commissioner of Police in the state, Aliyu Garba, had directed thorough investigation of the matter.
Odah said that efforts were in top gear to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of the act to serve as a deterrent to possible offenders. She said the investigation indicated that the deceased lady was gang-raped, as more than 12 used condoms were discovered in the room.
“Investigation is still ongoing and we will continue to update the media and public as we unravel more details on the matter,” she said.
The police spokesperson said the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Kpirikpiri Police Division in the state indicated that the incident happened in Hope-in Hotel, situated at 9, Ngbowo Street, Abakaliki.
“The DPO reported that the incident was discovered during a routine check on the hotel when it was found that a room not accounted for.
“So the DPO decided to enquire from the receptionist, who told him that the guests in the room were unknown to him.
“Efforts to open the room proved abortive until he requested for the spare key to open the door, only to discover the lifeless and naked body of the lady with her legs, hands and mouth tied to the bed in the room,” Odah said.
She said the corpse had been deposited in a morgue.
Odah warned the general public, especially young ladies, to be careful of the type of friends they keep and where they go, especially at night.