Uwa: I ‘pray’ for those who murdered her inside a church – Peju Akande

Uwa: I ‘pray’ for those who murdered her inside a church – Peju Akande


May those who raped and murdered Uwa Omozuwa get some sleep.




She was an unknown; we had no idea how she lived her 22 short years; we just learned that she was a first year student of Microbiology at Uniben. Upon hearing rumours that schools might be opening in June or thereabouts, she had gone to study preparatory for exams.



As is common with us here, we know that for most of the tertiary intuitions, once school resumes; students would be bombarded with tests and exams. Uwa who seemed like one desiring to excel, decided to start studying ahead for her exams.



Where best to study than in the quietness of a church; a church that had been shut down for weeks because of coronavirus. It would be peaceful there, ‘No one will disturb me…Who knows… who knows, God may help me understand even better…



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Uwa: I 'pray' for those who murdered her inside a church – Peju Akande



Don’t we all love such testimonies?



Uwa:  Praise the lord!



Church: Hallalujah



Uwa: I want to testify of the Lord’s doing



Pastor: Go on sister!



Uwa: I testify that, during the coronavirus period; I studied at this very church; I came here every day to pray and study and to God be the glory, I made A-s in all my courses!



Pastor: Somebody shout halleluyah!!!



Church: Hallaluyah!



She must have imagined her being smart would pay off. Isn’t that what we drum into our children; 



“Study hard.”



“Isn’t it your mates that are coming out with 2/1 and first class. Do they have two heads?”



“Instead of following boys all over the place, go and read your books!’



“All you know is sleep, sleep, sleep, you won’t go and read your books!”



And she did just that…



What Uwa didn’t know was, what no parent would ever imagine is that Satan was lurking by. Satan, that familiar spirit is likely a face Uwa knew so well; probably faces she knew well in the community; people she had interacted with…



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Uwa: I 'pray' for those who murdered her inside a church – Peju Akande




They came that day, in garbs fine and familiar, so familiar; she never imagined they would harm her in the first place; not to talk of in the hallowed grounds of a church. 



You don’t go to a church and imagine you would be raped!






In church, you have a fear of God, a sense of a Being whose wrath can destroy you in seconds. You don’t go there to desecrate it, no you don’t! 



But that’s exactly what happened when they got to her that 27th day of May, 2020. They must have taunted her, like Satan did to Jesus in the wilderness…’Where is all your shakara now?’ 



They must have dared her to scream, knowing no matter how hard she screamed; no one would come to her rescue. They must have circled her, like hyenas as she stood trembling, pleading, begging to be spared.




They beat her to submission and raped her repeatedly.




There are photos too gory, too disturbing to look at a second time; her body bloated, torn, brutalized and that horrible gash on her head…the sutures so raw, so tragic. This is no ordinary crime; it’s a crime of passion. The perpetrator(s) must have been someone/people she knew, probably rebuffed his advances. He must have come with his gang of blood thirsty demons with one purpose: rape and then kill her. She must not live to tell! So they took a fire extinguisher to smash her skull. Then they left her for dead.



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Uwa: I 'pray' for those who murdered her inside a church – Peju Akande




Only she didn’t die, not immediately at least, she lingered on, she fought to live.




Did she name the perpetrator(s)?



We don’t know.




I know one thing, though. The person or persons who did this are in my earnest prayers. I pray you find sleep; yes, may sleep come upon you and when you close your eyes to sleep; may demons more ferocious than you, come after you with tongs of fire, snapping at your heels. May the blood of this innocent girl rise up from the ground and curse you night and day; depriving you of comfort, depriving you of quietness, depriving you of joy. 



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May you forever see her battered body follow you in your waking moments; as you put food to your mouth and drink from a cup. May you continue to be chased in your dreams by the tortured body of Uwa and your days never be quiet from her screams in your ears…day and night.




May joy elude you, may you never know peace.




Oh! May sleep, where it finds you, never bring rest to your body or soul!




Yes, I pray for you to sleep and see her, scream to wakefulness and hear her! Night and day…

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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