When in November 2012, Winifred Okey, received a call-up letter to begin her Nysc programme in Rivers State, she was happy. This was because she wanted to be posted there so that she would be close to her friends, who were staying in the state.
The 23-year-old graduate’s happiness was however cut short after she was set ablaze at the corper’s lodge by her ex-boyfriend. And I hear beautiful Winifred has died as a result of the burns.
“We learnt that her former boyfriend in the university went to her room at night, emptied a keg of petrol on the door and set the building on fire. Other residents rushed to the scene and were able to rescue Winifred and her roommate, but Winifred had been badly burnt.
“They were rushed to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.”
According to members of her family who spoke with Punch, the incident occurred on July 19, 2013.
A member of the family, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “Winifred was the first child of the family. She has a younger sister, Ruth. We were all in Lagos when we received a call from NYSC that Winifred was in a critical condition so her parents travelled to Rivers State immediately."
It was learnt that Winifred’s parents stayed with her at the hospital till July 31, 2013, when the graduate of Home Economics died due to the burns she had sustained.
When Punch asked Winifred’s family why the suspect committed the act, they said they did not know as they had never met him before. A cousin of the deceased said, “Winifred and the guy met in school, but the guy lives in Port Harcourt while we live in Lagos. The incident is still a shock to us.”
Friends of the deceased, however, said the ex-lover had been sending threat messages to her for leaving him. They were not, however, able to state, the cause of their estrangement.
Winifred was said to have started dating someone else, which did not go down well with her ex-lover.
The State Criminal Investigation Department immediately swung into action and began investigations into the matter. It was learnt that the police arrested the culprit, who had burns on his hands.