BusinessDay

20 embalmed bodies: Obaseki wants police to conclude investigations in 7 days

Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Friday, gave the state Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, a seven-day ultimatum to unravel the circumstances surrounding the 20 embalmed bodies found in an uncompleted building in the Ekenwan road axis of the state.

The governor gave the directive through his special adviser on media projects, Crusoe Osagie, at the police state command in Benin.

Obaseki said various reports have emerged since the news about 20 mummified bodies found in a building broke out in the state. He said this has given room to comments from various citizens of the state and across the federation, adding that it is proper for the citizens to know the truth and the police should help out in record time.

“We don’t want to pre-empt the outcome of the police investigation but the police are actively doing their investigations. There is a lot of speculation going around, some people suspect that the place is a quack morgue where they preserve bodies.

“All kinds of speculation are out there. So, we are going to leave that to the police to conclude their investigations and brief on exactly what is going on there.

“Some people have been apprehended. They are undergoing questioning. Some people are still being looked for. They will be apprehended and they will contribute useful information as well in due course. The governor has actually given us seven days for them to come back to us with details of what they found, was it just a morgue, or was any ritual involved? What actually is the situation?

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“No conclusion has been drawn yet. So the police will be allowed to do their jobs. We are going to give them time to come back and brief us. We are going to ensure that we give the public continuous briefings about what is going on”, he said.

The governor added that public health measures have been into place to ensure there is no public health risk around the neighbourhood.

“Steps are being taken by the Edo State ministry of health and that is why we have the permanent secretary here. We have the director of public health also here to ensure that there is no public health crisis resulting from this”, he said.

Obaseki said the state is calm just as he tasked the citizens of the state to remain law abiding.

“On the whole, we are just calling for calm. Edo is safe, there is no crisis, there is no indication here that there is any ritual killings involved or anything but a lot of speculations are going on and this is the reason we are doing it police is active in its investigations and they will come back to us and let us know exactly what has transpired”, he said.

On the part of the Edo State Police Command, through the officer in charge of the Criminal Investigative Department, Olawore Oluwole, said investigation was still ongoing to arrest the operator of the morgue, Chukwu Otu.