- Force Headquarters takes over investigations into rape, murder of Uwaila
After days of rage, the Federal Government has directed the Police to unravel the circumstances surrounding the gang-rape and murder of a female student of the University of Benin, Uwaila Omozuwa, in Benin City, capital of Edo State.
Uwaila, a 22-year-old Microbiology student, was raped and killed in an empty church in Benin City, where she had gone to study, a crime which has sparked national outrage.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja, that the government has also directed the Police to unravel the serial sexual abuse of a minor in Jigawa State by 14 men.
In the statement signed by his Special Adviser, Mr Segun Adeyemi, Alhaji Mohammed said that bringing the perpetrators of the heinous crimes to justice, the government will be serving a strong notice of its total aversion to gender-based violence in whatever form.
The Minister described the gang-rape and murder of Omozuwa as “a cruel and barbaric act that offends human sensibility, in addition to being antithetical to decency,” stressing that “no society will tolerate such depravity.”
He said the serial sexual abuse of a minor by 14 men in Jigawa State “is not only repulsive, but highly condemnable.”
”It is said that the true measure of a society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members,” he said.
The Minister assured that the Federal Government would do everything possible to stem the growing tide of gender-based violence in the country.
Meanwhile, in response to the directive, Inspector General of Police (IGP) M ohamed Adamu, has ordered the “immediate transfer of the ongoing investigations into the inhuman sexual assault and death of Miss Vera Uwaila Omosuwa which occurred recently in Benin, Edo State from the Police State Headquarters, Benin to the Force headquarters, Abuja.”
The IGP’s directive is sequel to the preliminary report from the team of investigators and forensic experts earlier deployed to assist the Edo State Police Command in the investigations into the unfortunate incident.
The DIG in charge of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Deputy Inspector General of Police, Anthony Ogbizi Michael, will henceforth provide direct supervision and ensure speedy and thorough investigation of the case.
In a similar vein, the IGP has ordered the immediate deployment of specialized investigators and additional investigation assets to all the Gender Desks Offices and the Juvenile Welfare Centres (JWC) across the country.
This to strengthen and enhance the capacity of the Units to respond to increasing challenges of sexual assaults and domestic/gender-based violence linked with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and other social ills within the country.
Meanwhile, the IGP has called on members of the public to provide the police useful information that could aid investigations into ongoing cases of sexual assaults and domestic/gender-based violence across the country. He also enjoins parents and guardians to pay closer attention to their children and wards in these trying times.