Suicide or murder? Police yet to solve UniJos student’s case

Late Mercy Naan and Room 23 of Zion block of Naraguta Hostel

The stench which engulfed the Zion block of Naraguta Hostel of the University of Jos got all the students of the block uncomfortable as they tried in vain to unravel the cause and direction of the smell. Further scrutiny led some students to Room 23 because whenever they passed there, the smell was stronger. One of the girls brought a chair from her room and climbed to peep through the net, and saw the decomposing body of Mercy Naan, 23, a 200-level student of the Marketing Department.

School authorities and the police were contacted, and the door was broken to evacuate Mercy’s corpse.

Miss Naan was said to have been reported missing by her parents to the Security Department of the university on May 3, 2019. Her mother even came to the hostel to look for her after trying her phone line without success.

Since her corpse was discovered, rumours have trailed her death. While some said she committed suicide, others said she was murdered. Her phone, which was recovered in the room, was switched off, with the battery still having good percentage, which implies that it was deliberately switched off.


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The university’s Deputy Registrar, Information and Publications, Abdullahi Abdullahi, confirmed the incident but debunked the rumours on the cause of her death. He said only the result of the autopsy can explain the true cause of death, and that the police are already investigating the matter.

Meanwhile, the Plateau State Command in a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Tyopev Matthias Terna, said the student’s corpse was recovered on Sunday afternoon after students raised alarm over a putrid odour within the hostel.

“She was confirmed dead by the medical doctor on duty at the University Clinic and her corpse has been deposited at the Anatomy Mortuary of the same university for autopsy. Preliminary investigation further revealed that Miss Naan was reported missing by her parents to the Security Department, University of Jos on 03/05/19,” the statement partly read.

The statement added that detectives of the Plateau State Police Command have since commenced investigation to unravel the cause of the unfortunate death.

One of the deceased’s neighbours, who said they happen to be in the same faculty and were also secondary school mates, described Mercy as a calm and friendly girl. She said the rumours concerning her death were disturbing, and that she has been trying to find out the true story since she knew her closely, adding that the incident has become the talk-of-the-town.

The neighbor, who had craved anonymity, believes that the autopsy result which they are eagerly awaiting would bring all speculations to rest.


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