The minor who was arrested for dressing in a police uniform allegedly stolen during an attack and looting of the Oba Market Police Station, Ring Road, in Benin, Edo State, has been released unconditionally. The 11-year-old boy, identified as Gift Osayuhi, was released at the intervention of members of the Talakawa Parliament, a civil society organization. President of the human rights group, Kola Edokpayi, announced the release of Osayuhi in a social media post. According to Edokpayi, they had to give an undertaking to the police that the young boy would be rehabilitated and reformed.
The picture of Osayuhi, dressed in an over-sized uniform of a police sergeant, had gone viral on social media when he was paraded along with 125 other crime suspects, predominantly alleged looters and arsonists who wreaked havoc on public and private properties during the #EndSARS protest. The minor had declared himself the Inspector General of Police amidst cheers by his peers before he was arrested at the Evbuotubu area where the police station there was also looted and burnt.
According to a social media post by Edokpayi, “the young boy said his dream is to become the IG of Police and we also undertook to ensure the boy is given a proper education so as to help him achieve his dream”. He said “We sincerely thank Edo State Commissioner of Police and Edo State Ministry of Justice for the kind understanding and cooperation. We also met with his mother who told us she is a widow who takes care of the children alone and the little boy usually assist her to sell water and drinks in Ring Road”.
Edokpayi later told journalists that the Parliament was moved to step in when they saw the picture of the boy when he was paraded by the police.