Strangled ladies: Fears of on- the- prowl serial killer in Rivers

The remains of the latest lady strangled in Port Harcourt

Okafor Ifiebor/Rivers

The fear that a serial rapist who lure young ladies to hotel for sex and later strangle them is on the prowl in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, gained further currency on Friday with the discovery of another dead lady at a hotel in the oil city on Friday.

At least, two other ladies have been discovered killed in the same manner in the past two months in Port Harcourt.

The latest victim of the gruesome killing who is yet to be identified, according to Rivers Police Public Relation Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, was discovered with her two legs tied together with a piece of white cloth while another piece of white cloth, obviously used to strangle her was still on her neck.

The police spokesperson added that the remains of lady, who seemed to be in her early 20s was discovered at a hotel room in Omoku, Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni, local government area of Rivers State.

“Last night the staff of Suits LA Steph Hotel woke up to see a dead girl lying on bed in their hotel. Suits LA Steph Hotel is along Obor road in Omoku main town,” Omoku said.

He said the young woman has been evacuated and the Manager of the hotel has been arrested.

It can be recalled that a lady identified a Jennifer Nwokocha was found dead in a room at Grand Venice Hotel, Woji Road, Port Harcourt on 14 August.

Friends who identified her to the police claimed Jennifer she was lured into a night romp with a yet-to-be identified man for a fee of N10,000 and the Nigerian barbecued beef, popularly called Suya, as an extra.

According to them, the alleged killer came to the hotel at about 10 pm on Wednesday night and offered to pay Jennifer N10,000, which to her was a big deal.

The late Jennifer’s friends later raised alarm at about 8 am the next day.

It was also discovered that the killer had also stolen her phone and her money before fleeing the hotel.

According to one of her friends,” when the killer came into the hotel, he requested that Jennifer be called for her, describing her as “that neat girl”.

“Later Jennifer came and whispered to me that they had negotiated and settled for N10,000 for the night. I left them as the late Jennifer said the man had opted to sleep with her in her room.

“The next day, at about 8am, we found out that Jennifer had not woken up and when her door was opened, she was found naked with her hands tied behind her back with pillow case and another pillow case was used to tie her neck, perhaps to strangle her.”

Detectives from the homicide department of the state police command promptly arrested Jennifer’s friends for interrogation.

The remains of another lady identified as Precious Ewuru killed in the same manner, has been discovered in a hotel in D/Line area of Port Harcourt two weeks before Jennifer’s death.

Nnamdi Omoni DSP and spokesman of the Rivers Police Command said a Task Force would be set up by the Command to enforce the directive that CCTV Cameras be installed in all hotels.

Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Administration, Chucks Ewonwu, receiving protest letter from the women.

A group of women, under the aegis of  Rivers Females on Friday staged a peaceful protest to state Police command over the killings in Port Harcourt on Friday’

The group said at the last count, nine women had been killed by strangulation recently in Rivers, with white bed sheets and white handkerchiefs left at the scene of crime.

The Coordinator of group, Rivers Females, Soibi Ibibo Jack, said the major reason for the protest is to put pressure on the Police to put an end to the mysterious killings.

Ibibo Jack called on the police to double their efforts in ensuring that the perpetrators face the law.

Some of the placards read: “Hotel owners must be accountable and be responsible for their guests”, “She could be your sister, daughter, wife or friend”, “There is no life without women”.

Ibibo Jack said once apprehended, the killer must be made to face the full weight of the law, irrespective of his/her political or social status.

“There is a serial killer on the loose in Rivers State. We want to go out and return home without fear.

“We acknowledge the Police for what they are doing, but we urge them to do more so that the killer is arrested, tried and made to face the full weight of the law”, she said.

In his response, commissioner of Police represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Administration, Chucks Ewonwu revealed that some arrests had been made over the issue.

The women argued that that those who have been dismissing the deadly actions of the serial killers because the victims are deemed to be sex Workers, forget that even call girls have rights to life and that women doing supplies or online trading could be booked to have their transactions done in hotels.