“If ASUU had not been on strike, she may not have been killed,” a sympathiser cried as he condoled with the bereaved family. The sympathiser was at the home of the Agunbiades whose daughter, Folajomi Racheal, was killed by robbers in her grandmother’s Ibadan, Oyo State home on August 22.
The late Folajomi went to stay with her grandma, following the closure of her school, Adekunle Ajasin University in Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State over the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike.
To her bereaved family, August 22 is a day not to remember. It was a sad day for the family. The day their promising daughter was killed in a robbery at her grandmother’s home at Alasia-Meta in Amosun Community, on Alakia-Isebo Road, Ibadan, Oyo State.
She was a 200-Level Geography and Planning Science student. She joined her elder sister to stay with their grandma.
The three-bedroom apartment, was rented by the late Folajomi’s mother, who lives in the United Kingdom.
Five days before the robbery, Folajomi’s sister, Nike, was told in her church to fast and pray against sudden death in her family. Folajomi and Nike fasted for three days. At 9:45pm on the fourth day, the two sisters were at home with their grandmother and a caregiver when a two-man robbery gang broke into their apartment.
The robbers were said to have ransacked the flat, carting away valuables and money.
As the robbery was going on, our correspondent gathered, one of the robbers threatened to shoot Nike if she did not show them where money was kept. When she heard the assailants threatening to kill her sister, the late Folajomi started speaking in tongues. This, it was gathered, enraged the robbers, who were said to be drunk. One of them pointed a gun at Folajomi and shot her in the head. She died instantly.
When CAMPUSLIFE visited the compound, Nike, who sobbed endlessly, said she was in the bedroom with their grandma when the robbers broke in. “A few minutes before the armed robbers came in, Folajomi just stepped out of the bathroom where she had gone to take her bath. As she was preparing to sleep, they barged in, asking where we kept money. They collected our phones and took N20,000 before they shot my sister,” she said.
After killing the undergraduate, the robbers fled.
In a chat with our correspondent, the chairman, Alasia-Meta Amosun Community, Comrade Olaide Adeyemi, said he was listening to the Nigerian Television Authority Network News when he received a distress call from a resident that there was a gun shot on Edun Road.
Adeyemi said he immediately informed the Monatan Divisional Police Headquarters in Alabebe, Ibadan, and “they responded promptly”.
But the robbers were said to have locked the gate to the house and escaped before policemen arrived on the scene. When the policemen eventually entered the building, they met Folajomi in a pool of her blood.
The policemen, led by Bayo Ajao, a deputy superintendent of police (DSP), were said to have taken an account of the incident before Folajomi’s remains were taken to the Adeoyo Hospital morgue.
The late Folajomi was described as “gentle and quiet” by her classmates and friends.
Her class governor, Kayode Omotayo, described her as “a very gentle and quiet lady”. He said: “She was friendly and always welcomed everybody to play with her. She has only one close friend in the department, Stella Akinduyite, with whom she attended lectures. In fact, she was loved by everyone in the class.”
When CAMPUSLIFE met Stella, she recounted how she met the late Folajomi and became intimate friends.
“I met her during our pre-degree programmes but we started our friendship when we were both admitted into the same department. She was my best friend and we did everything together. We moved and read together. Since I live close to campus, she would come to my place to read whenever examination was approaching,” she relived.
She added: “The sad news was broken to me a day after the incident. A classmate called me and wanted to know if I heard what happened to Folajomi. I was shocked when I was told she was killed by armed robbers. I could not sleep for days because she was more of a sister than a friend.”
The late Folajomi’s half brother, Abiodun Olukunle, described her as the “most gentle” among his siblings. “She was nice and easygoing. She never quarrelled with anybody,” he said.
The late Folajomi’s fiancé, who gave his name simply as Francis, a graduate of Political Science from the Babcock University in Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, told our correspondent that they were planning to marry next year.
“I was with her and Nike until 5pm on that day. We had a lengthy discussion and I promised to come around very early the following day to spend the weekend with them. I did not have a premonition of what would happen that night. I could not believe it when I was told she was killed until I set my eyes on the body at the mortuary,” he said.
Francis added: “Ever since we started our relationship, I have never had cause to regret anything. She was simply the best.”
The President of the AAUA Students’ Union Government (SUG), Julius Adeniyi, 400-Level English Education, condemned the killing, praying God should give the bereaved family and her friends the fortitude to bear the loss.
Folajomi’s remains were interred last Thursday at All Saints Cathedral Church Cemetery in Ogbonkowo in Ondo State.
When contacted, the Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, Olabisi Okuwobi-Ilobanafor, a DSP, said the case had been transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department. She said the criminals would be arrested and prosecuted.