Controversy trails teenager’s murder in Benin

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BY ESTHER ONYEGBULA

BENIN — Controversy has continued to trail the killing of a 15‑year‑old teenager, identified as Lovely Omoregie, in Edo State, allegedly killed by policemen under questionable circumstances.

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According to reports, the deceased was killed on June 5 at about 11.00 am while he was playing card game with five of his friends in front of their residence, 20, Omoregie Street, off Upper Mission, Ikpoba Hill, Benin City.

Vanguard learnt that a police team from the Special Anti‑Robbery Squad (SARS), Edo State Police Command drove into the compound and asked the young men why they were not in school at that time.

According to a source close to the deceased family, before the teenagers could respond the police allegedly handcuffed the boys and later shot the victim thrice and arrested five others.

The names of the teenagers, who were arrested after the late Lovely Omoregie was shot, are Magnus Ohenuwa, 24. Maureen Omofonmwa, 19; Omorogie Osarodion, 17 (elder brother to the late Lovely); Akhere Okwueze,17 and Efosa Uwadia, 18.

 

Attempt to label the deceased robber

While the family of the deceased was left to mourn their dead, on June 6, the Edo State Police Command obtained a warrant from a Coroners Court after misinforming the magistrate that late Omoregie was shot at a scene of robbery. With the new development, the victim’s family approached a counsel to take up the case.

 

Legal intervention

According to the family lawyer, Benjamin Iluobe, who spoke with Vanguard on phone, “I called the Investigating Police Officer, IPO, on phone and warned him that Omoregie should not be buried as an armed robber.

“I also called the Edo State Commissioner of Police not to allow his officers bury the victim as an armed robber. The Commissioner of Police ordered for the arrest of the six police officers responsible for the murder of the innocent teenager.”

The Commissioner of Police also pleaded with me to see him in his office, but I gave him condition that the five other teenagers in custody be released. Which was why the CP ordered for the release of the teenagers.

“Immediately after their release, I proceeded to court on June 9 and obtained an ex-parte motion that restrains the police from burying the murdered teenager and the hospital from releasing the corpse to the police pending the determination of the motion on notice fixed for July 8.

Vanguard reliably gathered that there is a grand plot to cover up the case as those responsible for the death of Lovely Omoregie are senior officers and are offering monetary compensation to the family to discontinue the case.

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