Nigerian police have arrested five persons suspected of abducting and gruesome murder a legal practitioner in Benin, Osobase Omo Iyoha.
One of the suspects, Valentine Dibie, is known to the authorities as he was an escapee during Benin’s October 2020 prison break.
On 9 May 2020, Standard Gazette reported how the kidnappers allegedly murdered Iyoha and buried him in a shallow grave around Aduwawa in Benin City, Edo State.
Standard Gazette disclosed that the lawyer was drinking at his usual spot, celebrating one of his friends birthday in Evbuomodu in Benin when he attempted to broker peace between the gang led by Osasu Osadolor, one of the children of Nosa Osadolor, also known as “Afro”.
Angered, Osasu mobilized his friends, numbering over ten persons, to the scene where they met Iyoha, beat him to stupor before forcefully dragging him away in a Lexus Jeep.
The lawyer’s time of death was unknown, but his attackers hurriedly buried him in a shallow grave in a bushy area in Aduwawa.
An eyewitness who pleaded for anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue had told SG that, “After the barrister was beaten to a pulp with cutlass and wood, he was taken into their vehicle, and carried away in the full glare of everyone still at the Bar. His friends, who were on the ground, chased after the car with their car, hoping to find out where they were taking him.
“However, On their way, the boys brandished their guns at them, scaring them off the road… Unable to tail them any further, they decided to report the matter immediately to the Aduwawa police division.
“After explaining everything to the DPO. He put a call to the Afro man, who showed up at d station after a while.
“He confirmed to the DPO that his children, led by one Osazuwa, indeed abducted our friend, but he also told the DPO after placing a call to his son that the Bar had since been let go since 7 pm. This was at about 7:30 pm that same day.”
“On the strength of that, the DPO allowed the Afro to go, and he sent one of his officers to accompany the lawyer’s friends to his house to ascertain if he has come home.
“When they got to his place, they only met his wife and children at home. They asked his wife about his whereabouts, she was shocked, stating that she thought her husband was still with them (his friends).
“That was the first time that she realized that something was wrong. They waited until the next morning. Still, Iyoha had not shown up at home. Then they went back to the Aduwawa station in company with his wife.”
However, nine days after the incident, the police arrested Osasu Osadolor and other members of his gang, including Valentine Ditaken.
The gang took the police investigative team and journalists to the shallow grave where the deceased was buried.
They were charged to court for the abduction and on suspicion of murder, while others at large were declared wanted.
In October 2020, all the accused persons remanded in prison custody awaiting court trial escaped from custody during a protest in Benin city.
A few days ago, Valentine Dibia was again arrested after officers on patrol spotted him at the Benin Bypass.
Officers later arrested four other persons who were involved in the murder of Barrister Iyoha.
The suspects have been identified as Solomon Esuike, Onobun Solomon, Enoma Okuonghae and Ambrose Amaohin, fondly called “Onyeka”.
In his first open confession to the incident, Valentine said, “I was at Aduwawa when Osasu Osadolor called me to meet him at Evbomodu that someone is embarrassing him.
He then asked us to move the guy away where he ordered everyone to beat him. We used wood and other hard iron to beat him until he fainted.
“I left and went home. I later saw on television that the man has died. I was among those arrested and was taken to prison.
But when I suddenly saw the prison gate opened on 19 October 2020 and I just had to escape. I went to Ghana, and I came back a few months ago. I was the one that took the police to arrest other persons here with me now”.
Another suspect, Solomon Onobun, told Standard Gazette that “I was passing by when l saw Osasu beating a man who was already on the floor. I heard him said we should enter him, but l felt so sorry for the late man. I never knew he will die”.
Edo state police public Relations officer SP Bello Kontongs stated that ” our policemen have been looking for those who killed the lawyer. We are happy that some of them have now been arrested.
“I can assure you that those who escaped from prison custody and are still at large would be arrested soon”.©Standard Gazette, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Standard Gazette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.