A teenager who faked own death in order to avoid financial pressure from family members has been found and arrested by police operatives in Lagos.
On May 15, 2020, the Lagos State Police Command had received a petition signed by one Tony Iji on behalf of the family of one Margaret Adiya Ikumu, 19, from Oni community, Oju Local Government Area, Benue State.
The petitioners stated that their attention was drawn to a post on Facebook stating that the said Margaret Adiya died few days ago and was secretly buried by her two friends Marvelous Mary and Nneka Buddy at Ajah area.
The purported death was published in most national dailies.
Confirming the arrest and quizzing of Margaret, Lagos State police spokesman, Bala Elkana said, “The family further stated that they were able to establish contact with the said friends who confirmed to them that their daughter was dead. That they were instructed by Margaret not to allow members of her family know anything about her death and that they were authorised by the deceased person 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 has been 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 was dead.
“The girl was eventually found by the police to be alive and working as a housemaid in an estate at Ajah. 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 have created the Facebook account and posted her obituary with intent to keep her family away from her. That 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 educational pursuit after the death of her father.
“Her sojourn to Lagos is to work, save some money and return back to school. She admitted using her employer 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. Investigation is ongoing”.