Nigerians, outraged by the murder of a female university student inside a church in Edo State, are demanding the killers be brought to justice.
The victim, Vera Omozuwa, a 100-level Microbiology student of the University of Benin, 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, the police said.
She was 23 years old.
Using the hashtag #JusticeForUwa on Twitter, several Nigerians have condemned the brutal murder of Ms Omozuwa. They are calling on the Nigerian police not to allow the case slip into the list of unresolved murders in the country.
Contrary to the opinion expressed by Nigerians that Ms Omozuwa was raped by her attackers, the police in Edo, South-South Nigeria, said such conclusion could only be drawn after a medical report is received from the University of Benin Teaching Hospital and one other hospital, the first hospital she was taken to.
The police spokesperson in Edo State, Chidi Nwabuzor, told PREMIUM TIMES, Sunday evening, that they are searching for people who probably witnessed the attack on the student.
The police in the state have, therefore, requested people to give to the police useful information that would lead to arrest of those behind the murder.
The hashtag #JusticeForUwa trended on Sunday on Twitter because of the large number of Nigerians that took to the microblogging site to express their anger, as well as demand action from the Nigerian authorities.
“We demand justice for Uwa,” the Mirabel Centre, which provides assistance to rape victims, said in a tweet, on Sunday. “It is our collective responsibility to ensure Uwa gets justice!”
Nse Ikpe-Etim, a Nollywood actress, said on Twitter, “Uwa’s dream of becoming a nurse has now been dashed by rapists and murders.”
“All she wanted to do was read. When will girls feel safe again?” she added.
A renowned Nigerian cleric, Johnson Suleman, condemned the murder of Ms Omozuwa and also called for the arrest of her killers in a statement he posted on Twitter on Sunday.
Kiki Mordi, a Nigerian journalist tweeted, “My heart is broken into a million pieces”.
Right group, Amnesty International, condemned the murder of Ms Omuzuma in a Twitter post on Sunday, and called on the Nigerian authorities to “discard discriminatory laws that condone rape or prevent its successful prosecution”.
“Although rape is a crime in Nigeria government’s response to it continues to be, woefully inadequate
“Rising cases of rape across Nigeria was a result of the failure of law enforcement to ensure that rapists face justice. We are deeply concerned that perpetrators of rape in Nigeria invariably escape punishment,” the group said.
“I used to be afraid of chewing a gum inside church or stepping in with dirt on my shoes but nowadays people have the guts to go in there to rape and kill?” One Twitter user (@staarrgirlll) commented.
“The evil men will never go unpunished,” she added.
Meanwhile, the General Overseer of the RCCG, Enoch Adeboye, has said that the church management would cooperate with the police in its investigation into the murder.
“I and members of my family condemn this act strongly and urge everyone to stay calm as we are already looking into the matter and cooperating with the police to establish the facts of the shocking situation,” Mr Adeboye said in a Twitter post on Sunday.