- How Lives Of Nigerians Have Been Cut Short At Hotels
- Tips On Staying Safe At Hotels
Lodgers in Nigerian hotels are fast becoming endangered species if events of recent times are anything to go by.
On November 15, 2021, Timothy Adegoke, an MBA student at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, was killed in very mysterious circumstances at Hilton Hotels, Ile Ife, Osun State.
He was based in Abuja but traveled to Ile-Ife on November 5 to sit for an examination at the school’s Distance Learning Centre in the Moro area of the state before he was declared missing.
He was later found dead and buried in a shallow grave on the hotel’s premises following a police investigation of the hotel owner, Dr. Rahman Adedoyin, and his workers. The case is still pending in court.
On January 13, 2022, a 41-year-old businessman father of two, Mr. Azubuike Nwokolo, was found dead in a hotel room in Amichi, Nnewi North of Anambra State.
On January 1, 2022, a 300-level student of the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Jos, Plateau State, Jennifer Anthony, was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend, Moses Oche, in Jos. The incident happened at Domus Pacis Guesthouse, along Zaria Road, Jos.
Also in September 2021, an Ikeja Special Offences Court sentenced a 23-year-old chef, Joshua Usulor, to 28 years imprisonment for killing a 34-year-old lawyer, Mrs. Feyisayo Obot.
The chef killed the lawyer on January 26, 2019, at the Citiheights Hotel, Opebi, Lagos State, where both of them lodged in different rooms.
Usulor murdered Obot, an Abuja-based mother of two, by slitting her throat while robbing her in her hotel room. Obot, an employee of an Abuja-based non-governmental organization – Save the Children – was in Lagos to write a project management examination. She was killed on the day she was due to leave the hotel.
Many Nigerians cannot easily forget how in December 2019, a popular Abuja-based businessman and owner of Firman generating sets, Chief Hyginus Odunukwe, was murdered in a Lagos hotel.
Confessing after he was arrested by the police, Daniel Bob Ibeaji, aged 42, who was said to be the prime suspect in the murder of the businessman, on January 21, gave startling revelations, about how he conspired with three others to snuff life out of Odunukwe at the Atican Beach Resort in Ajah, Lagos, on December 1, 2019.
Three accomplices, Arinze Igwe, 26, Solomon Cletus, 30, and Israel Obigaremu, 35, who were arrested alongside Ibeaji, also stated their roles in the act.
The businessman’s remains, cut into pieces, were recovered by operatives of the Zonal Intervention Squad (ZIS) of the Zone 2 Command from a canal in Ogombo forest, along Ajah Road, while his SUV was tracked to Atican Beach Resort.
On July 22, 2012, the death of Cynthia Osokogu, daughter of General Frank Osokogu (rtd) made headlines in the country. She was allegedly killed at Cosmilla Hotel in Lakeview Estate, Festac Town, Lagos.
The 24-year-old lady, who was a postgraduate student of Nasarawa State University, was murdered by her Facebook friends, having been lured from Abuja to Lagos.
The list is endless.
Just a few days ago, authorities in Abia State sealed off Merry Home Hotels over the mysterious death and disappearance of some of its clients who lodged at the facility.
While the body of a yet-to-be-identified lady was recovered from the facility, several others reportedly went missing with no news of their whereabouts.
Dr. Eze Chikamnayo, the Commissioner of Information in Abia revealed the sealing of the hotel on Saturday in Umuahia, the state capital.
He explained that the government’s action became necessary in view of repeated reports of death and disappearance of clients under questionable circumstances within the premises of the hotel located within the 7UP axis of Ogbor Hill in Aba.
The commissioner stated that the most recent such case was the death of a lady who came in with two young men and a baby in the afternoon on April 15, as confirmed by the CCTV footage in the hotel.
He added that the men left with the baby hours later without the lady, only for the hotel management to break into the room at midnight to find the lady dead with her body dismembered.
Chikamnayo revealed that the government was in receipt of reports suggesting similar incidents within the hotel, especially at the swimming pool area.
He stressed that no responsible government would fold its arms and watch criminal hotspots remain while the Okezie Ikpeazu-led administration would not allow such an environment to thrive.
The commissioner confirmed that everyone suspected to be involved in the April 15 incident has been arrested by the police while the hotel would remain sealed in the meantime.
According to him, Abia is a no-go area for ritualists and murderers and the government has zero-tolerance for any form of criminality.
Chikamnayo warned that any hotel in the state that offers itself for such practice would automatically be sealed and the culprits would be brought to justice.
He also advised parents to monitor their children’s movement properly to ensure they do not fall victim to ritualists and other criminally minded individuals.
Police authorities in the state have also confirmed the death of the lady, saying efforts were ongoing to arrest and bring her killers to justice.
Mr. Geoffrey Ogbonna, the Police Public Relations Officer in Abia, said the body of the yet-to-be-identified lady has since been deposited at a morgue.
The State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), according to him, is handling the case and residents are advised to support the police with useful information regarding the incident.
Safety Tips If Lodging In A Hotel
A Nigerian, Michael West has listed some ways to stay safe while lodging in hotels.
He states that lodgers should endeavor to pay for their stay with an ATM card or through a bank account. He advised against paying in cash as it is not traceable, snap your receipt and send copies to family members or friends as well as your mailbox.
He also advised that lodgers should check their room for video recording devices by switching off the light in the room and bathroom when it’s completely dark if there is a recording device it will glow in the dark.
Let a family member know where you are and get someone to call you at regular intervals.
Look under the bed you are going to sleep and make sure nothing is placed under your bed (calabash and other forms of ritualistic items). Some beds even have graves under them.
Use your own toiletries, towels, and beddings wherever you can.
Do not drop off used or disposables in their toilets. If such can be disposed of later outside and by yourself, it is better.
You may make a secret recording of the hotel and the room as well as your transactions with their receptionists and keep such in your mailbox.
When you finally want to check out, check everywhere (including under your bedsheets and pillows) to confirm that you have not forgotten any item of yours behind.
Always let your family know your location at any given time, even if it is a short time rest you want to have in the hotel.