Connect with us


/">

BIG STORY

Blood In The Temple: How 100-Level UNIBEN Undergraduate Was Gang-Raped, Killed Inside Redeemed Church [PHOTOS & VIDEO]

Avatar

Published

on

The Edo State Police Command said it had commenced an investigation into the death of a 100-level student of the University of Benin, Uwaila Omozuwa.

It was learnt that Uwaila, who went to read in the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Miracle Sanctuary Mega Parish, Edo Province 10, Ikpoba Hill area of Benin City on May 27, 2020, was allegedly raped and assaulted by assailants.

It was gathered that the men forced their way into the church, where they raped and struck Uwaila in the head with a fire extinguisher.

Our correspondent learnt that the church security guard, who had just resumed duty, wanted to collect the key to the church when he discovered that someone was already inside.

The guard, who found Uwaila in a pool of blood, reportedly called for help and the victim was rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.

It was gathered that the victim did not recover from her state of unconsciousness until she died on Saturday.

Our correspondent learnt that the incident was reported at the Oregbeni Police Station.

The victim’s mother, in a video posted by @town_crierng on Twitter, lamented that Uwaila died despite buying all the drugs asked to purchase.

She said, “I saw a friend, who came to visit me, off and before I came back, someone had called my telephone thrice. When I got back, my children told me that a church member, Mummy Osunla, had called me and when I called her back, she asked where I was and told me that I should come and that she did not know what had happened to my daughter.

“I ran to the place but before I got there, they already took her to a private hospital and when I saw my daughter, I cried. They raped her; the dress she was wearing that morning was white, but it had turned to red; all her body was full of blood. Her mouth and eyes were tied; the hoodlums used a fire extinguisher to hit her head, which left a deep cut.

“We were asked to take her for an X-ray on her head; I did not have money but my church members tried and money was raised and we bought all the drugs that we were asked to buy, but Uwa could not make it. She was unable to say anything till she died; it was just tears that were coming out from her eyes.”

The victim’s father, in the same video, stated that he was unable to celebrate the victim’s admission into the university before she died after seeking admission for five years.

“It was not a mistake; it was not a fault; it was not stubbornness for her to go to the church to study. She had been going there for several years. She struggled for five years before she gained admission into UNIBEN. I was waiting to celebrate her admission before she died.”

Also reacting to the incident, the elder sister of the victim, Mrs Sandra Ogeamie, called for justice on behalf of the family.

She stated, “I called one of my younger sisters on the day of the incident because it had been long since I heard from her, but she did not pick her call at first and when she picked it, she told me that she was in the hospital because our younger sister was raped.

“I was shocked but I kept thinking that the situation could be managed, but she called me yesterday (Saturday) that Uwaila was dead and when I asked her what happened, I was told that she went to read inside the church and some guys came in and raped her and used a fire extinguisher to smash her head.

“Please we need justice because the new pastor in charge of the parish is saying the incident did not happen inside the church. Please fight for me.”

Nigerian actress, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, while calling for justice for Uwaila, tweeted, “I can’t post the pictures I’ve seen of Uwa. She went to church to study. She was 22. She was brutally raped and beaten. The culprits are on the run. Uwa could have been any of us. #JusticeForUwa.”

A former Director-General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dr Joe Abah, called on the police to bring the culprits to justice.

“This is utterly condemnable. The @PoliceNG must ensure that there is #JusticeForUwa,” he wrote.

A Twitter account that creates content for women, @fabWomanOnline tweeted, “She thought she was in the safest place on Earth (a church) and yet not only was she raped, she was also killed in the most brutalizing way ever. The culprits must face the law #JusticeForUwa.”

The Edo State Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, who said the command would investigate the incident, stated that the deceased’s father reported a case of assault to the police.

Nwabuzor said, “The command got to know about the incident today (Sunday); according to the DPO of the Oregbeni Police Station, CSP Lawrence, the father of the deceased reported a case of assault occasioning harm against some hoodlums, who attacked the daughter, while she was in church, and got her injured.

“According to the DPO, he immediately mobilised his detectives to the scene, where they took the decease alive to hospital and after some days, she passed away. Unfortunately, they were unable to get a statement from her, because she was in a state of unconsciousness and there was no eyewitness to say what happened.

“The command will take up the investigation; we will first look at what the father reported to the police and see if it will lead us to something else.”

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on his Twitter handle, @GovernorObaseki, urged the police to investigate the incident and ensure that the culprits were brought to justice.

He tweeted, “I have ordered the Nigeria Police Force (@PoliceNG) to thoroughly investigate the circumstances that led to the death of Miss Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a 100-level student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN).

“The @PoliceNG has been mandated to identify, arrest and prosecute anyone found culpable in her death. The Violence Against Persons (VAP) Law is in effect in our state. #JusticeForUwa.

“Using this law, we would ensure to investigate what exactly transpired and deal decisively with those found complicit in the dastardly act, whoever they might be. #JusticeForUwa.”

Reacting to the incident, the management of UNIBEN also condemned the action of the assailants.

The Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Lilian Salami, in a statement by the Public Relations Officer, Benedicta Ehanire, stated that the assailants’ action must not be condoned by society.

The statement read, “The management of the University of Benin has received with great shock the news of the rape and subsequent murder of one of its students, Miss Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, 100-level, Microbiology Department.

“Reacting on behalf of management, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Lilian Salami, said the actions are condemnable and should not be condoned by any society. She said the current pandemic was already hard on everyone and that compounding it with inflicting additional pain on any family is a wicked act.

“While commiserating with the bereaved family on the loss of their dear daughter, Prof. Salami prayed to God to grant her soul peaceful rest. The vice-chancellor then used the opportunity to call on students of the institution and indeed all young people to be wary of the company they keep and the places they visit. Meanwhile, a delegation has been sent by the university’s management to commiserate with the bereaved family.”

Meanwhile, the RCCG has condoled the family of the victim and urged the police to get to the root of the matter and bring the killers to justice.

The Head, Media and Public Relations, RCCG, Pastor Olaitan Olubiyi, told PUNCH Metro that the victim was a chorister in the parish.

Olubiyi said, “The church wishes to commiserate with the family because it is a great loss; somebody has lost a daughter and a promising member of the family. We are saddened by the occurrence.

“The lady was a member of the choir in one of our parishes and from the report we have, the lady had been going to collect the key to the church to read her books, which she had been using for her private study.

“On May 27, 2020, she did the same thing and it was not until the night guard was to resume that the incident was discovered. Nobody knew what happened. When the guard resumed, he found the lady in a pool of her blood half-naked. The parents were called in, the police were informed and everybody was notified.

“Eventually, she was taken from one hospital to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital. And we learnt that she gave up last night (Saturday). It is really sad for us because we have lost a great member and we pray that the Lord will help the family at this time.”

BIG STORY

Don’t Allow External Forces Destroy Us, Allow Seed Of Peace Germinate —- Sanwo-Olu Begs Lagosians

Avatar

Published

on

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has appealed to residents not to allow external forces to destroy the wellbeing and security of the state.

He spoke on Tuesday during a stakeholders’ engagement, tagged, ‘Internal Security and Conflict Resolution in Lagos State.’

The meeting, which held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, was also attended by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi; human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, among others.

Sanwo-Olu said the coordinated arson and destruction that trailed the #EdSARS protest was a wake-up call to all citizens and security organizations to be vigilant and move against actions that could affect the wellbeing and security of Nigeria.

He pleaded with residents to allow the seed of peace being sown to germinate, while also stressing the need to re-establish communication links between the government and the people.

He said, “We have to reignite the communication link between government and the people so that fifth columnists or conspiracy theorists will not be able to infiltrate and spread disinformation and misinformation that would jeopardize the future of our country or the opportunities available for our youths to contribute to the greatness of our country.”

The forum later moved into an executive session where discussions were held on ways out of the current situation.

The participants, in the 15-point communique issued after the meeting, called on the Federal Government to treat Lagos security as a national issue.

The group also called for increased intelligence gatherings by security agencies by working with neighbourhood security apparatus.

They urged job creation for the youth, including the reintroduction of value-driven programmes, such as Boys Scout, Girls Guild, “in our schools to meaningfully engage young people.”

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

U.S Exempts Nigeria From Trump’s New $15,000 Visa Bond Policy

Avatar

Published

on

The United States Mission in Nigeria says Nigeria is not currently part of the pilot visa bond programme.

The Trump administration had introduced a new temporary policy issued to discourage nationals of some countries with higher visa overstay rates.

Under the new policy, visitors to the US from such countries may have to pay up to $15,000 in bonds.

The visa bond pilot programme is said to target mostly African countries with high visa overstay — the visitors are believed to have entered the country legally on student, tourist, work visas and then stay past their visa expiration date.

According to data from the DHS, almost 30,000 Nigerians overstayed their B1/B2 visas in 2018, ranking as the 5th country with the most visa overstays in the US.

This makes Nigeria the African country with the most visa overstays.

In 2019, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) had reported that Nigeria might be affected by the move of the Trump administration to check the tide of countries whose immigrants overstay their visas at relatively high rates.

On Monday, the US government announced that it had introduced the visa bond pilot programme for B-1 visas (for business travellers) and B-2 visas (for tourists).

It said the pilot programme will run for six months.

There have been concerns that Nigeria may be affected by the policy.

But in a statement on Tuesday, the US mission in Nigeria said the most populous black nation on earth will not be affected by the policy.

“In response to the April 2019 Presidential Memorandum on Combating High Nonimmigrant Overstay Rates, the Department and our embassies and consulates overseas conducted an in-depth analysis to identify and address root causes of overstays,” the statement read.

“Among other efforts to address this challenge, the State Department is considering additional steps to address overstays, including piloting a limited visa bonds program to test, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the operational feasibility of posting, processing, and discharging visa bonds as means to ensure the timely departure from the United States of certain travelers. Accordingly, the State Department will begin a limited six-month visa bond pilot program beginning on December 24, 2020.

“We are committed to combating visa overstays and making sure travelers to the United States respect our laws. The implementation of this pilot builds on our engagement with foreign governments in recent years and will ensure continued progress to reduce overstay rates. Nigeria is not included in this six months pilot program.”

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

Family Of Slain Newspaper Vendor Demands N500m From Gbajabiamila

Avatar

Published

on

The family of Ifeanyi Okereke, the vendor killed by a security aide of Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, is demanding N500 million from the number four citizen.

Last week, Okereke was shot by Abdullahi Hassan, a Department of State Services (DSS) operative attached to the speaker.

According to PUNCH, the demand was contained in a letter addressed to the speaker by Mike Ozekhome, counsel to the family.

In the letter dated November 23, the Okereke family said the demand is not enough to replace their son.

“Our clients have instructed us to make from your good self, the following modest demands: That you use your good offices to ensure the immediate prosecution of your security aide (Abdullahi Hassan), who went on a frolic of his own, clearly acted outside the purview of his duty and responsibility by shooting to death an innocent, harmless and armless citizen,” Ozekhome said.

“That you adequately compensate the Okereke family with a modest sum of N500m only.

“This monetary demand can never adequately replace or take the place of their son, husband, brother, and breadwinner’s life. But it will at least mitigate the obvious trauma and hardship the premature demise of their irreplaceable breadwinner has placed on them.”

The lawyer said if the speaker fails to accede to their demand in seven days, they would take legal steps.

“Take note therefore that it is our clients’ firm instruction that in the event that you fail, refuse and/or neglect to accede to or proffer reasonable compensatory terms to our above modest demands within seven days from the date of this letter, we shall without any further correspondences from us, take appropriate legal steps to enforce our clients’ constitutional rights,” he said.

Gbajabiamila said he has handed over the aide to the DSS for discipline.

He has also visited the family of the deceased to condole with them.

Continue Reading

Most Popular