related How suspect linked to rape, murder of Vera Uwaila was arrested as Police HQ takes over case

How suspect linked to rape, murder of Vera Uwaila was arrested as Police HQ takes over case

A suspect linked to the rape and murder of Vera Uwaila Omozuwa was arrested on Tuesday in Benin City, Edo state.

Uwaila, a 100-level student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), died after she was allegedly raped and hit with a fire extinguisher while studying inside a church in the Edo state capital.

A spokesperson of the state police, Chidi Nwabuzor, on Tuesday, said the suspect was arrested after the fingerprint on the fire extinguisher she was attacked with was examined.

The police public relations officer also said the individual was apprehended after the area commander of Ikpoba Hill mobilised his men to take action.

“The items used in assaulting and wounding her was recovered, a fire extinguisher cylinder,” he said.

“Immediately the operatives, who were with the specialist screened the fingerprints on the cylinder, moved the body of the victim while she was still alive and in coma.

“The area commander in charge of Ikpoba Hill Area Command took it upon himself, mobilized his operatives, and moved to town. Around the place of the incident, the suspect was arrested.”

Uwaila, who is a microbiology student, was found in the pool of her own blood after taking to a parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) to read.

It was gathered that she was rushed to the intensive care unit of a nearby hospital, where she would eventually breathe her last in a development that has provoked outrage across social media.

Reacting to Uwaila's death, the RCCG said measures have been taken to ensure the culprit(s) “face the weight of the law” regardless of who is involved.

“As a church, we are deeply touched and condemn in absolute terms this evil visited on an innocent girl as we have equally condemned any act of violence and abuse against women,” the church said.

Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, also said he had ordered the police to thoroughly investigate, arrest and prosecute anyone found culpable in her death.

Meanwhile, the inspector-general of police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has directed the force’s headquarters in Abuja to take over investigations on the case.

On Tuesday, spokesperson of the police, Frank Mba, said the case was taken over from the state following report from a team of investigators and forensic experts deployed to Edo.

He said that the IGP also ordered an immediate deployment of specialised investigators and assets to all gender desk offices of the country’s police to strengthen and enhance the capacity of the units.

“The DIG in charge of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), DIG Anthony Ogbizi Michael, will henceforth provide direct supervision and ensure a speedy and thorough investigation of the case,” Mba said.

“The IGP has ordered the immediate deployment of specialised investigators and additional investigation assets to all the Gender Desks Offices and the Juvenile Welfare Centres (JWC) across the country.

“This is 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.”

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