The sister of the late Comfort Benjamin, a teenager who was reportedly raped and killed a day to her 16th birthday in Jos, Plateau State, has spoken out on how the young girl left home and never came back.
During an interview with The Punch, she stated that two days later, her ( younger sister) corpse was found dumped on the street.
What is your name?
My name is Magdalene Otega Benjamin. I am from Delta State but I live in Jos, Plateau State. I am the elder sister to Comfort Benjamin, the teenager who was murdered and her body dumped on the street.
How did this happen?
My sister went out a day before her birthday and didn’t come back all day. We called her lines and they were all switched off. We made contact with everyone around who we thought should know her whereabouts, but our efforts were all futile as no one seemed to have seen or heard from her. We kept calling till it became so late and she still wasn’t back.
How old was your sister?
She was going to be 16 on May 23, 2021. She is the most considerate and caring human I have met and would not just leave have without saying anything to anyone. I am still in shock.
When you did not see her all day, what did you do?
She was around in the afternoon. I saw her at 1pm that Saturday. The next morning, being Sunday, May, 23, 2021, my parents and I went to report to Laama Police Station, Rock Haven, Jos North, Plateau State. They told us to write a statement about all we could remember and where we thought Comfort could be. They also said they would need to wait for another 24 hours before she could be declared missing. So, we gave all the information needed and went home.
Before then, I had gone on Twitter and made a post that my sister was missing. I dropped her pictures and my phone number for people to reach out to me.
Did help come?
The next day I got a call from a man who said he was a patrolman. He said he saw my post on social media and that he had information concerning my sister. He told us to meet him at St. Michael Junction. Before we got there, he was not there anymore. So, we went to the Nasarawa Gwong Division of the Police Force close to the junction. Officers there showed us pictures of my sister lying naked and lifeless on the streets covered in her own blood.
What happened after that?
We went straight to the mortuary at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, where she had been kept and saw how bad her remains had got. Her body was not well-handled. It was left at the entrance, unclad and quite dishonourably. I felt so bad with the way things were. My mom couldn’t help it, she fell to the ground and began to roll. I had never seen anything like that since I was born.
Were there any eyewitnesses who could tell you how her body got to the street?
The vigilantes guarding the area said they saw a tricycle push a body out and zoomed off. They chased after the tricycle but couldn’t get it as they were ill-prepared for the emergency. They checked who was pushed out and saw a young teenager. That was when they called the patrol guard in the area who took pictures of the corpse and took it to the police.
Did your family run an autopsy on the body?
Yes, we did. The doctors at JUTH, when they examined her said there were marks of strangulation around her neck and undue pressure on her head. And from the blood around her private parts, she must have been raped. They also said she struggled to the point of death from the restrictions from her blood vessels. She also had bruises around her body.
My sister was raped and killed for just being a happy teenager. They didn’t let her celebrate turning 16. The pictures she snapped for her birthday were what we used to announce her death. A girl full of life and dreams is gone just like that.