Vera Omosuwa: Police intensify manhunt for Uniben student’s killers

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The Police Force Headquarters in Abuja has deployed additional homicide personnel to Edo State to speed up the manhunt for those responsible for the fatal attack on a university student in Benin.

Inspector-General Muhammad Adamu despatched the homicide detectives on Monday morning to complement existing manpower at the state’s police commander, chief police spokesperson Frank Mba said, in a statement Monday afternoon.

The number of additional officers being sent to Edo State was not disclosed in the statement, and Mr Mba did not immediately return a request seeking clarification.

Vera Omosuwa, a microbiology sophomore at the University of Benin, died on May 30 after suffering a gruesome assault from unknown assailants, police said. She was studying at a parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God near Ikpoba Hill when she was raped and brutalised on May 27, the police said in a statement citing initial complaints from her father.

The 23-year-old passed on at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital after doctors tried unsuccessfully to save her. Officers who visited the scene of the attack took photographs, fingerprints and other materials that may aid in their investigation.

Ms Omosuwa’s death sparked yet another cycle of uproar amongst rights activists who decried rising cases of rape and other violent crimes against women. The country’s feeble criminal justice system and limited investigative capacity of law enforcement have not helped the efforts to curb the menace, with many on social media suggesting perpetrators now appeared perpetually emboldened.

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Although Mr Mba did not acknowledge a pattern of violence against women in his Monday afternoon statement, he assured that justice would be promptly and adequately served in the murder of Ms Omosuwa.

“The Force will surely bring the perpetrators of the callous act to book in the shortest possible time,” he said.