No lawyer in Edo and Delta States should offer legal representation to the 10 suspects currently being held by the Edo State Police Command for the abduction and murder of one of their own, 41-year-old Osobase Omo-Iyoha. Omo-Iyoha, father of four, was abducted May 9, 2020, and the suspects on Tuesday led the police to a shallow grave where he was buried in a bush near the Benin City residence of the prime suspect, Osasu Osadolor, son of a notorious Benin chief priest, Nosakhare Osadolor, popularly called ‘Afro’. This was part of the resolutions reached at an emergency meeting of the Benin branch of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA on Wednesday where the lawyers vowed to ensure that justice is not only done “but must be seen to be manifestly done” in the murder case.
The NBA also “totally and in strong terms”, condemned the rape and murder of Uwaila Omozuwa, a 100 Level student of the University of Benin and called for the arrest and prosecution of the suspects. In a communiqué signed by the secretary of the Benin branch of the NBA, Pius I. Oiwoh, the lawyers also called for the arrest of the father of the principal suspect. At a well attended meeting of the Bar summoned to discuss the circumstances and gruesome murder of Omo-Iyioha “by some criminal elements of our society”, the lawyers who had left no stone unturned to unravel the whereabouts of their colleague, resolved that a committee be set up “to monitor and assist in the investigation and prosecution of the six suspects who in fact have made confessional statements to the police”.
They also decided that “no Lawyer in Benin and indeed the Midwest Bar Forum should offer his service in the defence of the suspects as this will attract severe sanctions including the name of such Colleague put in the Black book of the Bar; That Chief Felix Osadolor, aka ‘Afro’, father of the Leader of the suspects, Osazuwa Osadolor, be arrested by the police and prosecuted for his role and complicity in the incident leading to the murder of the deceased”.
The lawyers are to meet at the “Bar House”, their secretariat, on Friday at 10 am from where they would proceed to the scene of crime and exhumation of the remains of the deceased. At the scene of the exhumation, Osadolor, who confessed to the murder of Omo-Iyoha, claimed he was killed “by mistake”. Narrating the circumstances that led to his death, Osadolor, who was arrested May 19, said “we are 10 in number. We reached the beer parlour, they were following my friend to fight. That’s where we revenge. All of them run and we catch one for inside. Na wood dey nack for him head”. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor who was at the scene of the deceased’s exhumation, described the incident as “another case of man’s inhumanity to man”, stating that “by the grace of God, they will pay the ultimate price for committing this act”.