Benin NBA Asks IG, Obaseki to Investigate Kidnap, Murder of Lawyer

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Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city

Members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Benin-city chapter, and a coalition of civil society groups, both in Edo State, yesterday called on the Inspector General of Police (IG), Muhammed Adamu, to urgently deploy rapid response investigative team to the state over the kidnap and murder of one of their colleagues, Mr. Omon Osobase.

The NBA and CSOs also called on the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to invoke his powers as the Chief Security Officer of the state and provisions of the state law against kidnapping and other crimes with a view to bringing the perpetrators of the act to book.

They stressed that the state government, governor and security agencies cannot fold their hands and allow exercise of lawlessness by individuals and groups to take other supreme power of justice and law in a democratic environment.

The two groups made the call as part of the resolutions after an emergency meeting and press conference held at the Bar House in Benin-city, capital of the state.

Addressing the conference, Chairman of the NBA Benin branch, Mr. Collins Ogiegbaen, said the IG Rapid Response Team led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP Abbar Kari, should carry out thorough investigations into the circumstances surrounding the alleged kidnap and murder of Omobase.

He also challenged the various heads of security agencies in the state, particularly the state Commissioner of Police, Commander of the 4 Brigade of the Nigeria Army in Benin-city and the Department of State Security (DSS) to rise to the occasion within 24 hours by unraveling the circumstances “behind the abduction of Omobase and his fate in the hands of Chief Osadolor and his children.”

Ogiegbaen warned that security agencies should not give room for anarchy in the state as being orchestrated by some persons who are considered as sacred cows, as doing so would spell doom and violence in the society.

He lamented that 10 days after the incident had been reported to the police and other security agencies, no arrest on the suspects and their collaborators had been made.

The NBA leader vowed that if after 24 hours nothing positive is done about the ugly incident and no arrest of those behind the evil act, the body would “pass a vote of no confidence on the security agencies for lack of professional experience and capacity.”

Osobase was declared missing on May 9 after he was beaten to a pulp and taken away in a vehicle by his attackers following his intervention during an altercation between two groups near an open bar on Aduwawa area of Benin-city.

The victim was said to have waded in to make peace between the groups when children of a Benin Chief Priest, Chief Nosakhare, popularly known as Afro, allegedly descended on him, beat him to a pulp after which they dumped him into their vehicle and zoomed to an unknown location.

Sadly, the lifeless body of Osobase was said to have been deposited at the mortuary complex of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) by yet-to-be-identified persons.