The Edo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof Yinka Omorogbe, on Friday said the slain 22-year-old student of the University of Benin, Uwa Omozuwa, was a virgin before she was raped and murdered.
She was reacting to reports on social media that the suspect arrested in connection with Uwa’s murder confessed that he was sent on the assignment by a church pastor who she was pregnant for.
Omorogbe stated this during a protest organised by members of Edo Women Development Initiatives to the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State Council.
Uwa was raped and murdered in a church where she went to study on May 27, 2020 and her death spared outrage across the country.
Omorogbe noted that the news of her being impregnated by her pastor caused serious anguish to the family members, describing it as a terrible story.
She said: “We were all terribly shocked to see what happened to Uwa. It was terrible; it was a brutal experience.
“We were further shocked by some of the different things we saw all over the place, particularly on social media, and became important to come here.
“For example, we saw a terrible lie being peddled on social media, not regular press (traditional media), that Uwa was impregnated by her pastor. That has been refuted, though it caused serious anguish to the family members. It’s a terrible story.
“Though one cannot talk at this point, but from the autopsy done on Uwa, it was clearly established that not only was she not pregnant, she was a virgin, so, how boyfriend and pregnancy came in, only God knows.”
Omorogbe, who noted that rape could be totally eradicated from society if the criminals were given deserving judgement, solicited the partnership of the mainstream media.
“All we are trying to do is to make sure there is no more rape in Edo State. Not only do I believe that rape can be totally eradicated in the state, government of Mr Godwin Obaseki is committed to ensuring that there is total eradication of rape culture in this state and to ensure that rapists are given deserving punishment. We are doing all we can to make sure that this becomes a reality.
“This is why there is need for partnership. First and foremost, in any news, we need to know the source of the news we come across,” she said.
Also speaking, the Chairperson, Edo Women Development Initiatives, Mrs Roseline Okosun, described the increasing cases of rape as worrisome.
A member of the Federation of International Women Lawyers, Stella Ojeme, also said the culture of silence could be the reason for the increase in rape cases.