Killed by Jumping: The untold story of Ephraim, the latest UNIBEN suicide victim
A student of the University of Benin was found dead on Sunday July 14th, 2019, after alledgely jumping down from the fourth floor of the administrative block of the department of Sociology and Anthropology. The tragic incident happened at about 7:30PM. The deceased, whose name is Ephraim Imaghodor, was a spill-over student of the department of Actural Science. He had two courses to pass in order to be a certified graduate of the university.
Before it was evacuated by officers of the University of Benin security department, a close look at the corpse showed a break in the deceased head wherein blood gushed out to the ground. Also, his waist had twisted far from its supposed position.
Meanwhile, TOWN CRIER confirmed that shortly before killing himself, the deceased sent a phone text message to his sister, who resides in Lagos.
The text message reads:
“Meet me at the Faculty. I love you. Bye forever.”
EPHRAIM WAS FOUND DEAD AT ABOUT 7:30PM. BUT WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED TO EPHRAIM BETWEEN 6PM TO 7:30PM?
At about 6PM, Mr. David Obasuyi (Caretaker of Aigbaghonghon hostel) stormed the hostel with seven vigilante men to apprehend Ephraim, who had been reported to have been smoking marijuana in the hostel. TOWN CRIER gathered that he had initially been warned by the caretaker to desist from smoking within the hostel.
Occupants of the hostel, who claimed to be around when the caretaker brought the seven vigilante men to apprehend the deceased, told TOWN CRIER that Ephraim was repeatedly slapped on the face, publicly gang-beaten up, malhandled and then draggged to the vigilante secretariat at the Ekosodin town hall, where he was rebuked on the negative implication that his smoking could cause the hostel. After which, he was ordered to evacuate the hostel, the following day.
TOWN CRIER equally gathered that Ephraim had legally occupied a room in the hostel during his undergraduate years but returned to squat with his cousin to write his spilled-over courses.
On setting him free, at the secretariat, he told his cousin and two other hostel mates who came for him to show concern at the vigilante base, to return to the hostel, while he went inside the University of Benin campus, where he was later found in the pool of his own blood, at about 7:30PM.
WHAT TOWN CRIER FOUND OUT WHILE INSPECTING THE PREMISE OF THE SUICIDE INCIDENT
On inspecting the premise of the incidence, TOWN CRIER found a pair of adidas customized slippers at the department of Sociology and Anthropology, the fourth floor of the administrative block of the faculty of Social Sciences. The slippers were seen in an orderly placed form—the kind of orderliness that comes when one pulls off her or his slippers to enter a room.
TOWN CRIER led a friend of the deceased to the location of the slippers to confirm if they actually belonged to Ephraim. On sighting the slippers, the friend screamed in agony and kept shouting:
“Yes o! Yes o! Just now? Vigilante Secretariat to school! Just now! Just now! How come? But why? Ephraim, why? Why, Ephraim?”
The orderliness of the slippers and its distance from the iron that demarcated the fourth floor from the empty space suggests that Ephraim carefully pulled off his slippers and sprinted before throwing himself downwards.
REACTIONS OVER EPHRAIM DEATH
Inquiring about the likelihood of the deceased being a depressive patient, the cousin of the deceased, speaking to TOWN CRIER, disagreed:
“It is not true. There is nothing depressive about my brother. He is an average student. Although two courses held him back from graduating, he has never for once bothered himself about the courses. He was a very lively multi-talented young man. He played football and chess. He enjoyed cooking. He was a beautiful singer and a happy instrumentalist. There’s nothing depressive about Ephraim. I can tell you that,” he said.
He went further insisting that whosoever is peddling the story of depression is only attempting to divert the attention of the public from the torment Ephraim suffered in the hands of the caretaker and the Ekosodin community vigilante. According to the cousin, the caretaker and the vigilante men should be made to explain what happened to Ephraim when he was in their custody.
“Around past six, the caretaker came with seven vigilante men to bundled Ephraim because he was smoking at the back of the hostel. Myself and few other occupants were present when they stormed in. They kept slapping him on his face, beating him ruthlessly, before they publicly dragged him away to the vigilante secretariat. The caretaker called me via phone to join them at the vigilante secretariat.” he said.
“So,” he narrated on, “I went there with two other occupants of the hostel. It took us few minutes to get to the secretariat because it was a bit far from our hostel. When we got there, Ephraim was seated on a chair. He wasn’t talking. He was just strangely shaking his head, while one of the vigilante men kept talking about the negative implication that smoking of marijuana could cause the hostel. After the sermon, they ordered Ephraim to park out his belongings from the hostel and never to be seen again. Then, they asked us, including Ephraim, to leave.
“But Ephraim told us to return to the hostel that he was going to the campus. We obliged, only for us to hear shortly after the tragic news of his death. Ephraim actually left the secretariat to go and commit suicide.”
Also speaking to TOWN CRIER, a female occupant of the hostel believed that the public ridicule that the caretaker and the seven vigilante men did subject Ephraim to, led to him taking his own life. To her, the caretaker and the seven vigilante men need to explain what actually transpired between them and Ephraim.
As at the time of filling this report, efforts to reach either the caretaker or the leadership of the Ekosodin community vigilante group prove abortive.
Ephraim is said to be buried Tuesday 16th, 2019.
Ephraim is the fifth student of the institution who had committed suicide in the ongoing first semester, within the space of four months.