The police in Edo State said they are searching for people who might have witnessed the assault that led to the death of a female student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Edo State.
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.
“As at the day of the incident, she was in a coma, so the police could not obtain a statement from her on what happened,” the police spokesperson in Edo, Chidi Nwabuzor, told PREMIUM TIMES, Sunday evening.
“It’s unfortunate that no person is coming out as an eye witness to give (an) account of what happened,” he added.
Mr Nwabuzor, a deputy superintendent of police, said the victim’s father, Johnson Omozuwa, who reported the incident to the police, is “a hearsay witness” because he was not at the scene of the crime. “He couldn’t tell us who the suspects are.”
Mr Nwabuzor said the police operatives have spoken with the people in the branch of the Redeemed Church where the late Ms Omozuwa was attacked, but that all of them denied being there when the incident happened.
The police spokesperson said they cannot conclude that Ms Omozuwa was raped by her attackers until a medical report is out from the hospitals she was taken to.
The police are investigating the case, he said.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has ordered the police to fish out those responsible for the brutal killing of Ms Omozuwa.
Mr Obaseki is “deeply saddened” by the death of Ms Omozuwa, a statement by the governor’s spokesperson, Crusoe Osagie, said.
The murder of Ms Omozuwa has attracted outrage from Nigerians on social media.
“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.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported the reaction of the university to the murder of the student.
The Vice-Chancellor of UNIBEN, Lilian Salami, in a statement through the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Benedicta Ehanire, described the news as shocking.