Parents of OAU undergraduate speak on daughter’s controversial suicide

The parents of Mercy Afolaranmi, the
student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, who died in a
controversial circumstance last Thursday, have called on the Osun State
Police Command to investigate the death of their daughter.

The parents, who spoke with PUNCH Metro
on Thursday, rejected reports that Mercy committed suicide, saying she
had told them  that she would return home on the day she was alleged to
have taken poison.
It had been reported that 16-year-old
Mercy killed herself after allegedly getting a poor grade in a
compulsory 100-level first semester course.
There had been speculations that the
Ekiti State indigene took rat killer mixed with a black substance after
getting an E in CHM 101 and was rushed to a private hospital where she
Our correspondent had reported a Facebook
post by her brother, Timothy, who raised doubts over the claim, saying
she was a devout Christian who would not contemplate suicide.
Findings by PUNCH Metro revealed
that Mercy was a worker at the OAU Deeper Life Campus Fellowship, the
campus arm of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, where her parents were
Her mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Afolaranmi,
said Mercy called her on Tuesday to announce that she would be coming
home for a seminar in Ado Ekiti.
She said, “On Tuesday, she called me and
said she was coming home to deliver a paper at a seminar  for some
teachers. She said the group would foot the bills for her transport and
“On Wednesday, around 2pm, I decided to
call her telephone line to know if she was on the way. When I called,
her roommate picked the call. She said my daughter was sleeping and I
asked if she was not coming home again. She said she was not coming home
because she was ill. She said my daughter was sleeping and she had also
shut the door on herself.
“Around 6pm, I called back and it was
the same girl that picked. She said Mercy was still asleep and her door
was locked. I told her to go and knock the door and tell her that her
mother wanted to speak to her. She said my daughter replied that she
would speak with me later.
“Around 7.30pm, I called again and she
said it appeared like my daughter had taken rat poison because she was
vomiting. I asked how she knew since she was not with her. She said the
smell of the poison had got to where she was. I was alarmed and asked
her to get people to force open the door. She said she had done that and
the door had been opened.”
The victim’s mother said the friend
demanded N20,000 which was requested for Mercy’s admission to a private
hospital where she was rushed to, adding that the phone later went off.
Elizabeth said when she got to the hospital on Thursday, some Mercy’s friends observed that her pulse was weak.
She said her daughter was taken to the
Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital where she was rejected, as
the doctors said it was too late.
“I was weeping and praying for her
return to life. I clutched to her. The hospital workers said I should go
to the mortuary to continue my prayers and I did. Later, some church
members asked me to let go of the body after they also offered some
“My daughter was a child of God. She
became born again at a tender age. How can she kill herself? She died
atop the note she made for the lecture she was to deliver in Ado Ekiti.
People thought it was a suicide note and they gave it to the police as
evidence of her suicide. But when we got to the station and the
Divisional Police Officer opened it, we all saw that it was the note she
made for the lecture. They did not allow my daughter to fulfil her
mission in life. They cut short her life.
“She didn’t kill herself; she was
murdered.  She made soap on Monday, which is still in her room. She was
going to sell the soap. If she wanted to die, she could have used the
soap chemicals,” she added.
Mercy’s father, Matthew Afolaranmi, said
his daughter was taught as a Christian to know that suicide would take
her to hell fire.
He said, “She knew that anybody that
kills himself or herself is going to hell fire. When I got to her
school, the testimonies I heard from brethren confirmed what I have
always known. Even though she was staying outside campus, she never
allowed anything to distract her from the things of God. Before the
incident, she met the president of her fellowship for counselling on her
spiritual life. So, how could such a thing happen and the next thing is
for her to kill herself? All the circumstances around this case show
there was no way she would kill herself. A girl that was coming home and
then she suddenly killed herself. How?”
PUNCH Metro learnt that although the autopsy report had been released, the deceased’s family had yet to access it.
The brother of the victim, Timothy, said
the police were unenthusiastic about  the case because they had
concluded that his sister committed suicide.
He appealed to the police to look into the matter and give his sister justice.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Folashade Odoro, did not pick her calls.
She had also yet to respond to a text message about the incident.
The Commissioner of Police, Adeoye Fimihan, said he had no comment on the case.
“I don’t have anything to say,” he said.

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