A 19-year-old undergraduate of Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Verishima Unokyur, has committed suicide in his parent’s home in Mafoluku, in the Oshodi area of Lagos State. learnt on Thursday that the 200-level Social Work student had on Tuesday sent a text message to his best friend, welcoming him into the New Year.
“See you in heaven,” he reportedly said at the end of the message. Our correspondent learnt that the Benue State indigene committed suicide between that time and Wednesday when his corpse was discovered, by hanging himself with his tie. His immediate younger brother, Asor, was reportedly asleep at the time. Asor said their mother was also away, adding that his brother never showed any sign that he would commit suicide.
He said, “I was sleeping when my phone rang and when I checked, I saw that it was my mum calling. She said I should come and open the door for her. As I was coming down, I saw my brother dangling like a pendulum from where he hanged himself. That was around 7am.
“He didn’t complain about anything. But I remember that before I went to sleep, he was quiet. I asked what was wrong with him, but he said nothing. My mum had just the two of us; he was my elder brother.”
Our correspondent gathered from a close family friend that the victim had told his mother that he would die anytime. He explained that the mother, who was alarmed, took him to different prayer houses, which however, did not stop Verishima from killing himself.
He said, “The two children lost their father about 15 years ago. It was their mother that had been responsible for their upkeep and she made them comfortable. She is a top employee of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria. “He had been telling the mother that he had the feeling that he would die soon. “The mother attends one of the Pentecostal churches and so when the boy said he would die, she took him to the church and they prayed for him.
“A night to the day of this incident, the boy picked his phone and sent a text message to his best friend, wishing him a happy new year. At the end of that message, he wrote, ‘see you in heaven’. It was the following morning that his remains were found dangling from his tie.”
A former teacher of the victim, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described him as an introvert. “When he was in secondary school, he always kept to himself. Nobody knew anything about him,” he added. Our correspondent learnt that policemen from the Mafoluku division visited the scene and took photographs of the victim before calling an ambulance to convey the corpse to a mortuary. It was learnt that the mother had been in a state of shock since the incident happened, as symapthisers besieged the family house on Sunkanmi Awoyingbo Street, Mafoluku, to condole with them. A check on the Facebook page of Verishima showed he was an avid fan of DC Comics. He posted photos of super heroes on his cover page at different times.
Our correspondent also observed that some of his friends had started paying tributes to his memory on his Facebook wall and those of other relatives, who posted the news. One Ifeoluwa Comfort said, “When I heard about this sad news yesterday (Wednesday), I couldn’t get myself out of the shock for good 20 minutes. I couldn’t believe it. “What a loss to his family and the world at large. I still can’t think of what could have made him do that to himself. God of mercy, I pray you forgive him.”
Another, Moses Mow, said, “Oh my God! I went to the same lesson with this boy. He was a good kid. Why did this happen?” The Babcock Public Relations Officer, Joshua Suleiman, confirmed the studentship of Verishima. He said, “The incident didn’t happen in Babcock. It happened in the deceased’s home. He was a 200-level Social Work student. From the university’s records, he was an easy-going and obedient student.” The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said the victim was pronounced dead at a hospital.
She said, “The family woke up to find his body dangling from where he hanged himself. He was rushed to a hospital where he was confirmed dead. The case is under investigation.”