Edo State Police Command has arrested five more people allegedly involved in the abduction and gruesome murder of lawyer Osobase Omo Iyoha in Benin City.
Mr. Iyoha, a 41-year-old father of four, was kidnapped on May 9, 2020, beaten to death and buried in a shallow grave in Aduwawa, Benin City. On Tuesday, June 2020, the police exhumed his decomposing body.
The suspects identified as Solomon Esuike, Onobun Solomon, Enoma Okuonghae, Ambrose Amaohin, affectionately known as “Onyeka,” and Valentine Dibie were paraded at the command headquarters on September 23.
Valentine Dibie, together with Osasu Osadolor Afro, Emmanuel David, Uwadia Taiwo Uhumwagho and Saturday Imagbe, were previously arrested in October 2020 for the murder of the lawyer.
They were remanded to prison custody pending trial, but escaped during Benin’s prison break in October 2020.
Officers on patrol spotted Valentine Dibie a few days ago at the Benin Bypass, while the four others were arrested later.
The late lawyer was drinking at his usual spot, celebrating the birthday of a friend in Evbuomodu in Benin when he attempted to negotiate a peace between Osasu Osadolor, the son of a high chief, and another man.
Osasu mobilized over ten of his friends to meet Iyoha, beat him to stupor before forcing him into a Lexus Jeep and took him away. He was not seen for two weeks.
Eyewitnesses report that after the lawyer was beaten to a pulp with a cutlass and a stick, he was thrown into their vehicle and taken away in full view of everyone still at the Bar.
He chased his friends, who were on the ground, with their car, trying to find out what they were doing.
In spite of that, on their way they were ambushed by a group of boys brandishing weapons at them… Unable to follow them any more, they decided to notify the Aduwawa police department.
The DPO was informed of everything. He called Osazuwa’s father, who arrived at the station after a while. Having confirmed to the DPO that his children, led by Osazuwa, had indeed abducted our friend, he also reported to the DPO that Iyoha had been released since 7 p.m. Approximately seven o’clock was when the witness narrated the incident.
“Lacking evidence that the father had returned home, the DPO let him go and sent an officer to accompany the lawyer’s friends to the lawyer’s house to see if the lawyer had returned. At his home, they only met his wife and children. When they asked his wife about his whereabouts, she was shocked, stating that she thought he was still with them (his friends).
“That was the first time she realized there was something wrong. They waited until the next day. It was still unknown when Iyoha would arrive. Then they went back to the Aduwawa station with his wife.”
Police arrested Osasu Osadolor and other members of his gang, including Valentine Ditaken, nine days after the incident.
The gang led the police investigators and journalists to a shallow grave where they buried the lawyer’s body. His remains were exhumed by pathologists at the Central Hospital Benin City and taken to the same mortuary for autopsy.
Valentine told Standard Gazette how his late client was killed for the first time in an open admission.
“I was at Aduwawa when Osasu Osadolor called me to meet him at Evbomodu because someone was embarrassing him. Afterwards, he ordered us to move the man away, where he ordered everyone to beat him. “We beat him with wood and hard iron until he fainted,” he said.
On 19 October 2020, I suddenly saw the prison gate open, and I just had to escape. I immediately went to Ghana and I returned a few months ago. I had taken the police, at that time, to arrest other persons,” Jahadu said.
Solomon Onobun, another suspect, said: “I passed by as Osasu beat a man who was already on the ground. He told us to enter him, and yet I felt so sorry for him. “I didn’t know he would die”
The command’s spokesperson, SP Bello Kontongs, who confirmed the latest arrest, assured that those who escaped prison custody will be arrested soon.
“Our police have been hunting the killers of the lawyer. We are glad that some of them have now been arrested. I can assure you that those who have escaped from prison custody and are still at large will be arrested soon.” he said.