The rising cases of female killings in Plateau

By Martha Nyam


Jos, the capital city of Plateau state has recently witnessed a number of killings in different parts of the city of young women, sending fear and apprehension amongst residents.

Bodies retrieved by authorities had vital parts of the women removed which many believed could be ritual killings.


One of the bodies retrieved around PRTV in Rayfield, Jos South, was later to be Identified as Miss Plangnan Solomon of Congo Russia, Jos, the other was that of Jennifer Anthony who was found at the Domus Pacis Guest House, Zaria Road, Jos North.

Another, was that of an unidentified young female found killed in a hotel along Zaria Road.

All girls had their eyes plucked, other organs of their body removed and their private parts tampered with.


The Plateau State Police Command in collaboration with its counterpart in Benue state have since apprehended a suspect, Moses Oko, suspected to be the killer of Jennifer Anthony, who is presently standing trial for the alleged murder.

No suspect has been arrested in the other two murders while the police continue to carry out investigation.

Plateau state over the years has witnessed women being killed by unknown people, spouses, boyfriends and sons, a trend which is causing apprehension amongst the gender.


In an incident in 2019, Oladipo Oyefemi, 33-year-old graduate of geology and mining from the University of Jos and a resident of Millionaires Quaters, Jos, was nabbed for killing 24-year-old Patience Musa.

Oyefemi had picked the deceased at the West of Mines area of the city around midnight on Friday, May 31 2019 for a night of fun at an agreed fee of N3,000 for the night.

He, however, allegedly killed the woman while she was at his house and tried to dump her body.

But he was apprehended by a vigilante group keeping watch around the quarters and handed over to the police.

Similarly, Charity Thomas, in March 2018 was brutally killed by her lover, a married soldier is also illustrative of the worrisome trend.

Thomas had visited Sunday Umaru from Kaduna unknown to her parents but met her death when she picked a call from another man in his presence which infuriated her lover.

Just when Thomas wondered why a married man should worry about her caller, the jealous lover, in a fit of anger, used a kitchen knife to stab the girl to death.

The army has sinced court-martialled Sunday Umaru, dismissed him after he was found guilty of killing Ms. Thomas, the dismissed soldier is still standing trial in a Barkin Ladi High Court.

In another incident, Justina Dusu, in July 2016, was hacked by her boyfriend, Stephen Luka, for refusing to abort a pregnancy he was responsible for.

While Justina was lucky to survive the attack and birth the baby thereafter, her elder sister, Simi Dusu, died as Luka attacked the sisters with a machete while they were at his house to talk about the pregnancy.

Luka is still standing a lengthy trial before Justice Nafisat Musa of the Plateau state High Court over the killing.

Another man, Benjamin Toma, who insisted on having sex with his wife when he returned home at was greeted by a tired wife who begged for more time to rest after a long day at the farm.

An infuriated Toma strangled his wife to death, tied a rope around her neck, hanged her on a ceiling fan in a bid to cover the murder and went to bed.

The 37-year-old Benjamin Toma, has since been sentenced to death by hanging by Justice Samson Gang, for killing his wife Vicky, the mother of his two children.

Justice Gang, in a 68-page judgement, condemned Mr. Toma after he pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of culpable homicide.

In an abominable incident, a 24-year-old man, Godwin Banchir, has confessed to killing his 65-year-old mother, Saratu Banchir, for refusing to respond to his greetings.

Banchir, who confessed to committing the crime at their Fuskar-Mata village in Bassa Local Government before Justice Arum Ashoms of the Plateau state High Court, said that he used a stick to beat his mother till she collapsed.

Banchir, has since been sentenced to death by hanging.

These are few of the many cases where women have been brutally murdered in Plateau state, a situation in dire need of solution.

The Plateau state Commissioner of Police Bartholomew Onyeka while parading Moses Oko, after he was arrested in Benue state, advised young girls to be content with what they have and not be carried away by lavish lifestyles.

Onyeka also cautioned young men to work hard and shun criminal activities in a bid to make quick money, adding that such criminal activities would only ruin their lives and cause pain to many families.

Mrs Afiniki John, a resident, said the killings has left her scared and worried for young women and girls in the state.

“The killing of Jennifer has left me shaken because it happened very close to where i live, this was a young girl that had her life ahead of her.

“I want to appeal to young girls to be wary aboutje kind of company they keep and always tell their parents where they are going.

“I now worry too much when my daughters go out, i am worried about their safety but i caution them on the need to remain careful and avoid bad company.

“Having the good things of life is better enjoyed when one works for it genuinely, I want these young men and women to calm down and not engage in things that will cut their lives short or destroyed,” she said.

David Adudu, of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, said concerted efforts needed to be put in place by the authorities to nip the trend in the bud.

Adudu said Penal Code Law of Plateau state specifically prohibits the taking of another life but regretted the slow administration of the criminal justice system, with cases lingering for years in courts seeing witnesses and exhibits get lost most times.

He suggested that a time frame be given for the prosecution of murder cases just like what was obtainable in election petitions so that justice would be speedily dispensed, as justice delayed is justice denied.

Mrs Jennifer Yerima, Chairperson, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) condemned the recent trend describing it as worrisome.

Yerima called on young women to be careful not to fall prey to men who flaunt wealth at them who have no visible means of livelihood.

“These killings are very worrisome and condemnable in everyway, these are girls who had their lives ahead of them that were cut short senselessly.

“I want to appeal to our young women to be careful and not fall prey to men who flaunt wealth at them and have no visible means of livelihood.

“I am a mother, I understand how painful it is to lose a child in such a bad circumstance, I implore parents to continue to talk to their children, both girls and boys,” she said.

Yerima also decried the number of domestic violence cases that has led to the death of women in the state, which she described as unfortunate.

She called on relevant authorities to ensure that the perpetrators of ritual killings and murders were brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others who may want to engage in similar acts.

She also urged women to seek help when in abusive marriages or relationships.


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