‘Slain UNIBEN Student, Omozuwa, was a virgin’
• Edo Commissioner Faults Reports She Was Impregnated By Pastor
The Edo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, yesterday, disclosed that slain University of Benin (UNIBEN) undergraduate, Vera Uwa Omozuwa, was a virgin before she was raped and murdered in the state capital.
She also dismissed social media reports that she was impregnated by her pastor, saying: “We were shocked by some of the different things we saw all over the place, particularly on social media.”
There were reports that the suspect arrested in connection with Uwa’s murder confessed that he was sent by the church pastor because she was pregnant for him.
But Omorogbe, who debunked the report while speaking to journalists during a protest rally organised by members of Edo Women Development Initiatives (EWDI), noted that the news of Uwa being impregnated by her pastor caused serious anguish to the family members, describing it as a terrible story.
“We were all terribly shocked to see what happened to Uwa. It was terrible; it was a brutal experience.
“We were further shocked by some of the different things we saw all over the place, particularly on social media, and that is why it is important we come here. For example, we saw a terrible lie being peddled on social media, not regular press, that Uwa was impregnated by her pastor. That has been refuted, though it caused serious anguish to the family members. It was a terrible story.
“Though one cannot talk much at this point, from the autopsy done on Uwa, it was clearly established that not only was she not pregnant, she was also a virgin. So, how boyfriend and pregnancy came in, only God knows.
“All we are trying to do is to make sure there is no more rape in Edo State. Not only do I believe that rape can be totally eradicated in the state, but the government of Mr. Godwin Obaseki is also committed to ensuring that there is the total eradication of rape culture in this state and that all rapists are given the punishment they deserve.
“We are doing all we can to make sure that this becomes a reality. This is why there is a need for partnership. First and foremost, in any news, we need to know the source of the news that we come across. So, it is important we come here,” she said.
Also speaking, Chairperson of EWDI, Mrs. Roseline Okosun, frowned at the increasing cases of rape across the country and Edo State, in particular, saying: “We decided to come out this morning to speak out against rape. Our mothers are no longer secure and safe with their children. They can no longer leave their children with their neighbours and even with relations anymore.
“Relations are raping our children, fathers are raping their daughters. I grew up here in Edo and I have not heard before that fathers and young boys were raping our daughters in the universities and down to primary school. I don’t know the curse that has been placed on our land.
“We need our children to be safe, wherever they go, they must be safe. Nobody should tamper with them, no matter what they wear, it is nobody’s business.”
In the same vein, a member of the Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA), Stella Ojeme, noted that the culture of silence was not unconnected with the increase in rape cases.
“We are all here to express our deep sadness, anger and dismay over the incident of rape and defilement. We have come to ask all stakeholders to join us to put an end to this menace.
“We are saying we do not want our women and children to be raped anymore. We want our women to be treated with respect and dignity. We are calling all stakeholders to join us to form forces with us.
“We do not want the culture of silence anymore, because probably this is why the menace has thrived so long. We want law enforcement agencies to be up and doing in their jobs.
“We want the government to also put in place all that is needed to protect us from rape. And we want all the laws to be strengthened and the old ones are reviewed.”
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