• The Igbariam campus of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu University (COOU), was thrown into confusion last week, following the mysterious death of two students in their off-campus residence.

    The late Kelly Okonkwo, who was a student of Entrepreneurship Department, was said to have visited her boyfriend, simply identified as Gerald, who was a 24-year-old 200-Level Public Administration student, in his Diamond Lodge hostel for the weekend. But, three days after they had been together, the love birds were found to be dead.

    Neighbours reported the incident to the police who came and forced the door open only to discover Kelly’s body beside Gerald, who was unconscious at the time. They were almost naked.

    The police rushed the unconscious Gerald to the university’s Teaching Hospital in Amaku, where he died. The late Gerald was the president of Diamond Lodge.

    before his death

    Other occupants, who spoke to our correspondent, described the incident as mysterious, saying the hostel was not attacked by either armed robbers or cultists. Other students living in the hostel and a nearby building, Gift Lodge, fled in fear.

    While Igbariam residents are still pondering over the deaths, there are speculations that Kelly and Gerald may have died from some abuse. Some attributed the mystery death to generator fume and food poisoning; others said they could have been attacked by cultists.

    It was learnt that the late Kelly had bruises around her shoulders, fuelling fears that she might have been raped to death. Some students believe the death was spiritual, because the victims were said to have attended a vigil together at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Otoko on Friday, where the preacher warned students on immorality and premature death.

    The late Gerald’s friend, who declined to give his name, said: “After the vigil, we all came back home to sleep. The last time I saw Gerald was on Saturday morning after he had his bath. At that time, I knew the late Kelly was around. Gerald and I even exchanged pleasantries before he returned to his room.

    “There was a downpour on Saturday and I saw Gerald pulling down his curtain and also shifting his generator’s position. So nobody knows for certain what actually happened.”

    The late Kelly’s course mate, Chizoba Onyechi, said the incident shook the department. She said the late Kelly was expected to join a field assignment being undertaken by her colleagues when the news hit the campus.

    Chizoba said: “We were working on a farm when the assistant class governor screamed and started to cry. She said she got a call that Kelly had died.  Many of us did not believe the news because she was being expected to join the assignment. We all rushed to her hostel, Gift Lodge, only to discover that the incident occurred at Diamond Lodge.

    “I noticed she had bruises all over her shoulders. We carried her body into the waiting police vehicle, because the policemen refused to touch the body. We have been hearing different reports on what caused the death but nobody can say what happened.”
    Chisom Anyanwu (200-Level Mass Communication) wrote for TheNation

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