Missing Nigerian Naval officer found dead

O.O. Ogundana
O.O. Ogundana

The Commandant of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College Secondary School, Jaji, O.O. Ogundana, who had gone missing, was found dead and her body dumped inside a shallow well, military sources have told PREMIUM TIMES.

She was allegedly killed by a man who also works as a teacher in the school where Ms Ogundana was the Commandant.

PREMIUM TIMES last week published an exclusive report about the missing officer whose disappearance was confirmed four days after she was last seen in her work place.

The principal suspect, named Simon Bernard, according to our sources, claimed to have been in an extra marital affair with the deceased officer.

The suspect, who allegedly confessed to the murder, said he did it because she betrayed his trust by removing him as the chairman of the school’s Parent Teachers Association. He also allegedly accused her of failing to fulfill a N2.5 million promise she made to him.

The military authorities in Jaji had launched a search for Ms Ogundana, a commander, since Monday when it was discovered that she had gone missing.

Body discovered in a well

After days of search by the military officials, the decomposing body of the missing officer was found on Sunday. The body was discovered in a shallow well bagged in a ‘Ghana-Must-Go’ bag.

“It was at 12.45 p.m. on Sunday that the decomposing body of late Commander OO Ogundana was recovered in Agwanloyo by the railway inside an abandoned shallow well near Deeper life Church in Jaji Cantonment,” a top military official briefed on the matter, said.

The source said three suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of Ms Ogundana.

“One of the suspects is Mr Bernard Simon, a teacher at Command Secondary School Jaji and one Mr Ibrahlm Maman. Both are currently still under investigation and in custody for further investigation,” he said.

The source said the two suspects are being held in custody alongside a ‘barrack boy’ who used to work for the late officer.

“She was killed, forced into a Ghana-must-Go bag and dropped in a well at Anguwan Loya, here in Jaji,” he said.

How the Killers were arrested

According to the military sources, the suspects were nabbed at the point they wanted to dispose the Toyota Highlander car of the deceased officer

After killing the officer, one of the suspects, Ibrahim Maman, was said to have driven the SUV to Kaduna with the hope of selling it.

“On the 16 September a civilian driver from Jaji packed a Toyota Highlander at Air Provost Squadron in Kaduna as a result of fuel shortage,” said the source.

“He went outside the base to get fuel but returned the next day to pick up the Jeep.

“The Air Police on getting information that the SUV belonged to the missing Commander in Jaji, arrested the driver and took him into custody.

“During his interrogations, the man who identified himself as Maman confessed that the Jeep was given to him to sell by someone in Jaji.”

“On 22 September 2019 at about 11.30 pm, after several days of laying different ambushes for the main suspect in Jaji, Mr Simon Bernard who happened to be a serving teacher and former PTA Chairman at AFCSC Secondary School in Jaji was apprehended.”

The source said Mr Bernard confessed to killing the commandant at Anguwan Loya village in Jaji at about 1 a.m. on September 15.

“He claimed to be having extra marital affairs with the commandant; and he confessed to have perpetrated the act because the Commandant promised him N2.5 million and failed to fulfill her promise.

“He also confessed to have picked fights with the Commandant because she sacked him as PTA chairman alongside other staff.

The recovered vehicle is currently parked at the NAF BASE Kaduna.

On the arrested ‘barrack boy’, young men and boys who assist military officials on barracks, the source said he is viewed as an accomplice.

“It is of utmost importance that Jaji barracks boys working for officers be well vetted,” he said.

The Navy is yet to issue a formal statement on the murder of the official.

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