On October 1, the Edo State Police Command paraded three suspected cultists — Omozele John, Smart Ogbeide and Tajudeen Afesume — for assaulting Queen Perri, a TikTok user, in Benin, Edo State.
Earlier in the week, a video of Queen Perri being harassed by the suspects for promoting a song of the Aye confraternity surfaced on TikTok. The moment she promoted the occultic song, using signs, was also shown in the video.
Harrison Gwamnishu, a Delta State-based human rights activist and founder of Behind Bars Initiative (BBI), told FIJ his organisation played a key role in apprehending the suspects.
“The moment the video was released, what we did was to capture the face of one of the suspects from the clip. After this, I flew to Benin, where we came across a volunteer who knew his hideout,” he said.
Armed with the information on the whereabouts of Smart Ogbeide, one of the suspects, Gwamnishu and his team quickly informed the police about it and he was arrested.
Ogbeide’s arrest eventually led to the arrest of Omozele and Afesume as well.
“The police have said the three suspects are going to be charged to court, but we do not know when this is going to be,” Gwamnishu told FIJ.
“We are however following up to ensure that they are made to face justice. We are also yet to find the victim. So as it is, we do not know whether she is truly dead or not.”
According to Gwamnishu, Ogbeide claimed he left the scene after beating the victim. The suspect also said he had no idea whether she was murdered, or whether she was still alive.
“A video has been making the rounds claiming that the lady was murdered and her body dismembered. We are not sure of this. However, we will be going back to Benin on Monday to know how far the police have gone in their investigation,” Gwamnishu added.
Gwamnishu also confirmed to FIJ that the assault was not just carried out by the three arrested suspects alone, but with the active involvement of some others who are still on the run.
Although Gwamnishu could not tell whether the victim was still alive or dead, the Guardian reported on Saturday that Philip Ogbadu, the Edo State Police Commissioner, said Queen Perri was alive and being taken care of at a health facility in the state.
FIJ made several calls to Kontongs Bello, spokesman of the Edo State Police Command, but he did not answer. The text message that was sent to his telephone number was also not replied.
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