Margaret Adiya Ikumu, a 19-year-old girl who lives in Lagos, has recounted how she feigned her own death on social media just to escape her mother’s financial pressure.
Lagos State Police Command spokesperson Bala Elkana said the news of her death was subsequently posted on social media that led the family to petition the command.
In a statement released today May 24, Bala said the May 15 command received a petition signed on behalf of Margaret ‘s family by one Tony Iji that their attention was drawn to a post on Facebook claiming that Margaret died a few days ago and was secretly buried by two of her relatives, Marvelous Mary and Nneka Buddy in Ajah town.
The family further stated they could make contact with the said friends who confirmed that their daughter had died.
Police discovered during the investigation that Magaret was actually alive, and simply fake her death because of financial demands from her mother.
”THEY TOLD THE POLICE THAT THE FRIENDS INFORMED THEM THAT THEY WERE INSTRUCTED BY MARGARET NOT TO ALLOW MEMBERS OF HER FAMILY TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HER DEATH AND THAT THEY WERE AUTHORIZED BY MARGARET TO SECRETLY BURY HER. TO MAKE THEM BELIEVE THAT THE GIRL IS DEAD, THEY SENT WHATSAPP CHATS TO A MEMBER OF THE GIRL’S FAMILY WITH PICTURE OF A CASKET SHOWING THAT THE GIRL IS BURIED. THE KNOWN PHONE NUMBER OF THE GIRL WAS PERMANENTLY SWITCHED OFF. THE FAMILY ALSO GOT IN TOUCH WITH A MAN ON PHONE WHO CLAIMED TO BE HER BOYFRIEND. HE CORROBORATED THE CLAIM THAT SHE IS DEAD.” THE STATEMENT READ
Margaret, who served as a midwife in an Ajah farm, has been identified by her employer to the police. She is furious with her parents and uncles, according to investigators, for their incapacity to fund her education.
WHEN HER EMPLOYER SAW THE REPORT OF HER PURPORTED DEATH, THEY QUICKLY INFORMED THE POLICE AND SHE WAS BROUGHT TO AJAH POLICE STATION. IN HER STATEMENT, SHE CONFESSED TO HAVING CREATED THE FACEBOOK ACCOUNT AND POSTED HER OBITUARY WITH INTENT TO KEEP HER FAMILY AWAY FROM HER. SHE SAID HER MOTHER WAS PUTTING FINANCIAL PRESSURE ON HER, CONSTANTLY DEMANDING THAT SHE SEND MONEY TO HER. THE GIRL IS APPARENTLY BITTER WITH HER MOTHER AND UNCLES, OVER THEIR INABILITY TO SPONSOR HER EDUCATION AFTER THE DEATH OF HER FATHER. HER SOJOURN TO LAGOS IS TO WORK, SAVE SOME MONEY AND RETURN TO SCHOOL.
SHE ADMITTED USING HER EMPLOYER’S DAUGHTER’S PHOTOGRAPH DR NIMECHI UGORJI (WITHOUT HER KNOWLEDGE) IN THE FICTITIOUS FACEBOOK ACCOUNT SHE CREATED, AS PROFILE PICTURE. AFTER POSTING THE OBITUARY NOTICE ON THE ACCOUNT, HER UNCLE DOWNLOADED THE PROFILE PICTURE AND REPOSTED, CALLING ON MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC WHO KNOW THE PERSON ON THE PHOTOGRAPH TO REPORT TO THE NEAREST POLICE STATION” THE STATEMENT READ