A 19 year old house help, Joy Okom Adole has been allegedly beaten to death by her mistress, Mrs. Nene Fortune Stephens, over allegations of stubbornness.
Mrs. Stephens has however claimed that the deceased committed suicide by hanging.
The deceased, Joy Adole who hails from Onyohu, Ochodu-Ukpa, in Oju Local Government Area of Benue State until her death was living with her Mistress in Lagos, as a house help since January 10, 2020.
Narrating how Joy joined the family in Lagos, Joy’s brother, John Adole explained that “Joy began her ill-fated search for greener pastures in January this year with the assistance of an in-law called Okponya Omonya Hannah, who took her to Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
“From there, another in-law, Blessing, took her to Lagos and handed her over to one Johnson Odewu, a native of Ohuma Uwokwu, also in Oju LGA, who, in turn, fixed her as a house help to Mrs. Stephens at Gbagada, Lagos. She became a resident staff with the Igbo couple, with effect from January 10.
“Trouble started for her on April 10 when she demanded for her salary for the three months she had worked. By Sunday, April 19, Joy’s relationship with her mistress had deteriorated beyond repairs.
“Her madam, two weeks ago, while the Lockdown was (already in force), called Blessing the known guardian, and complained that the girl was very stubborn and that she should come and pick her. Blessing said that she couldn’t move because of the lockdown and that after the lockdown she would pick her.
“The woman called again on Sunday, April 19th and complained about late Joy and she even said that she beat the hell out of the girl until her husband asked her to stop. That Sunday 19th April, Blessing spoke with Joy and assured her that after the Lockdown, she would come pick her.
“Then, on Monday 20th of April, the madam’s husband called Blessing in the morning to request for any contact details of late Joy. At 11am the madam also called Blessing requesting for the girl’s BVN. Blessing became uncomfortable with the calls and requested audience with the girl. It was at that point that she was told that Joy Okom Adole of Onyohu, Ochodu Ukpa was dead, allegedly by hanging. The woman took these pictures and went to the Police station to report.”
According to Eje Philip Agwu, another of Joy’s relations in Lagos, they got details of what transpired when the deceased spoke to Blessing on Sunday, the day before her death.
Agwu narrated that, “Joy said when she could no longer bear the beating, she left her mistress’ house to try and get to any of her relations but when she could not get any vehicle to take her, she returned to her madam’s house but could not gain entry. She stayed there until her husband came out and saw her.
“When asked, Joy told him it was because she couldn’t get transport. The man went and told madam who allowed Joy back into the house. Mrs. Stephens asked her what she was carrying in her handkerchief and she said indomie noodles. The madam then started accusing Joy of stealing her noodles and her money.”
John insists that her sister was murdered by Mrs. Nene Stephens who faked the alleged suicide. According to him, the woman is trying to pay her way out by telling the police she is ready to pay any amount so she can be free to take care of her baby.
“We demand justice for Joy. The unfortunate demise of this promising young lady must not be shoved under the carpet. We ask that the police do a thorough investigation and determine if this was truly a suicide and if not, bring the culprits to book,’ said Betty Abah, Executive Director of the Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE).
For update and more details the number to reach is Joy’s brother John Adole 08131099720 and Philip 08081991640. The matter has been transferred to Lagos State CID, Panti, Yaba.