Three months after the brutal rape and murder of Vera Omozuwa, a 100-level student of the University of Benin, the Edo State Police Command on Wednesday paraded six suspects in connection with the crime.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the victim, Vera Omozuwa, a 100-level Microbiology student of UNIBEN, was beaten inside a hall in the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Ikpoba Hill, Benin City on May 13, where she went to study.
She died on May 31, 18 days after, at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
She was 23 years old.
Parading the suspects at the command’s headquarters in Benin City, the state Commissioner of Police, Johnson Kokumo, gave their names as Nelson Ogbebor, Akato Valentine, Tina Samuel, Mary Ade, Nosa Osabohien and Collins Ulegbe.
Mr Kokumo said the police decided to intensify efforts in unravelling those behind the death of the student following public outcry and “the interest by the Inspector-General of Police in the matter”.
He said, “the matter was a great concern to the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Muhammed Adamu who sent to us here in Benin, homicide experts to work with our policemen at the state criminal investigation department.
“What we are seeing today, is a result of the uniting efforts of the police to get at the root of the crime, and today, I announce to you and making public through this medium that the perpetrators have been arrested.”
Mr Kokumo said the post-mortem result revealed that Ms Uwaila was raped.
“The post-mortem results had confirmed that she was raped,” he said.
He said he had earlier told the people of the state and Nigeria at large that the police would do all in their powers to unmask those behind her death.
“I assured the good people of Edo State that we will leave no stone unturned to unravel the mystery behind this,” he said.
He said they (suspects) had made ‘confessional statements’.
“We got N1m to kill her for rituals”
According to the Edo Broadcasting Service Television, Uwaila’s phone was sold for N17,000 to one Osaboyen who was tracked and traced by the police. Upon apprehension, Osaboyen admitted the phone was sold to him by one Collins who confessed to have participated in the murder said he used the church’s fire extinguisher knock the deceased out while the other suspects ‘engaged’ her. The said Collins then fingered one Valentine and Blissing Ugbebor as accomplices in the murder.
Another suspect named Mary who was said to have offered the sum of N1,000,000 (one million Naira only) to the gang to kill Vera Omozuwa for ritual purposes was also paraded alongside the chief suspects. The blood of Vera was allegedly cleaned with a white handkerchief and then handed over to Mary.