There was a mild drama on Thursday when one Osaro Nappiar, an Edo resident, identified his mother’s corpse at an uncompleted building at Ekenhua road in Benin City.
The man was among those who visited the site when the operatives of the Edo State Police Command were cordoning off the building that residents described as a den of ritualists.
Speaking with journalists, the command’s spokesperson, SP, Chidi Nwabuzor, said the man told the police that he actually deposited his late mother’s corpse at a mortuary run by one Chukwu Otu as he was looking for funds for a befitting burial.
“The man clarified that the owner of the place who is on the run (Otu) was operating somewhere at 1st East Circular Road, Benin City where his mother’s corpse was deposited,” he said.
Chibuzor said the man told the police that his mother died at a hospital at Uselu last year so he took the corpse to Otu’s place but had not gone there since then because he had no money for the burial.
Nappiar said when he raised money, he went to the place but was told Otu had relocated to Ekenwan road, Asoro area, and when he got there, they asked him to produce evidence of the corpse deposited there, but he was not with the card earlier given to him.
“As he was unable to produce the card, they asked him to come on another day and that was why he came down here. He has produced the card and that card is now with the police,” he said.
Nwabuzor said four suspects who were arrested have been helping the police in their investigation.
Meanwhile, one of the suspects, Gideon Friday, denied any involvement in the alleged ritualistic act.
He said he only came to check whether his application for the position of a driver had been granted.
“So when I reached there to ask for the director, some community people came and started beating me without listening to my story and later took me to the station,” he said.
However, SP Nwabuzor said such a place could not have been a mortuary, as mortuary ought to have a signboard, not a shrine stained with blood. (Daily Trust)