Nearly a year after the murder of Uwa Omozuwa, a 22-year-old 100 level student of the University of Benin who was raped and killed right inside a church, there is no justice in sight.
Uwa was killed by some men after she was raped inside a Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) parish on May 27, 2020, during her study hours.
The young lady had reportedly made a habit of using the church hall, during the lockdown, to study.
On the said date, when the night guard at the church resumed duties a little after 7 pm, he found the lady on the floor in the church half-naked and in a pool of blood.
According to reports, she was allegedly raped and hit with a fire extinguisher which caused many injuries that finally led to her death.
Her murder had sparked outrage and calls for justice on social media platforms for months.
The hashtags #JusticeForUwa and #WeAreTired trended on social media as Nigerians and even international bodies called on the government to ensure justice is served.
Amnesty International also condemned the murder while calling on the authorities to do better.
“Rising cases of rape across Nigeria is 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. #JusticeForUwa #RapeIsACrime,” the Human Rights group said.
The Edo state government, however, promised to investigate the incident and fish out the perpetrators.
In August 2020, the Edo State Police Command paraded six persons arrested in connection to Uwa’s rape and brutal murder: Nelson Ogbebor, Akato Valentine, Tina Samuel, Mary Ade, Nosa Osabohien, and Collins Ulegbe.
The Edo State Commissioner of Police, Johnson Kokumo, told journalists that the suspects have already made confessional statements to the Police.
“What we are seeing today, is a result of the uniting efforts of the police to get at the root of the crime,” Kokumo said.
Osabohien, a phone repairer, was the first to be arrested by the police because he bought Uwa’s phone for N17,000, prompting him to lead authorities to Ulegbe who’s been identified as the principal suspect.
Ulegbe confessed to hitting Uwa with the fire extinguisher that has been identified as the murder weapon and recovered from the scene of the crime.
He named Ogbebor and Valentine as other suspects who were at the scene of the crime with him. They both denied their involvement.
Ade, identified as the mastermind, allegedly offered the sum of N1 million to the gang to kill Uwa for ritual purposes.
She denied the allegation and said she would prove her innocence in court.
Samuel was arrested for allegedly assaulting police officers who wanted to arrest her son, Lucky, who has also been identified as a suspect but remains at large.
She said she hadn’t seen her 21-year-old hairstylist son in five months.
Ulegbe denied that he was involved in gang-raping Uwa, but Kokumo said a post-mortem examination confirmed that she was, in fact, raped.
However, one year after Uwa’s death, there is no justice yet for the young lady who was raped and murdered.
When SaharaReporters spoke with Uwa’s sister on Monday, the young lady said seeking justice for her sister has been a turmoil of court cases and adjournments.
She said, “There has really been nothing. The first time my family went to the court, there was no much deliberation and the case was adjourned. Then on March 29 was another court day but the sitting was adjourned again because only one of the suspects was present but I really don’t have an idea why the other one was not present. Nothing really, it’s just about going to the court and they’re always adjourning.”