Owner Of Alleged Benin ‘Ritualists Den’ Shows Up, As Govt Says Bodies Date Back To 2014

Betty Idemudia, Reporting

Mr. Chukwu Otu, the alleged owner of the building where 20 mummified bodies were discovered in Benin City has turned himself in to the police.

Stonix News gathered that Otu showed up afternoon of Monday, August 22, 2022.

Otu was accompanied by his lawyer to the state Police Command headquarters in Benin City, donning a black T-shirt.

He was immediately led to the Commissioner of Police’s office and back to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), where he gave his statement.

It was gathered that as of the evening of the same day, Otu, whom some sources refered to as a mortician, was still being held by the police at the police command headquarters in Benin City.

Confirming the development, the Public Relations Officer for Edo State Police Command, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, said he was aware that Mr Otu had turned himself in at the command headquarters, Benin City.

The presence of the suspect at the police station has finally foreclosed earlier reports that he was on the run.

Meanwhile, five suspects earlier arrested when police stormed the building last week, are yet to breathe the air of freedom, as they are still being detained at the command headquarters in Benin.

It was gathered that a team of Edo State government pathologists, led by the state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria, visited the embattled facility last Saturday.

It was learnt that a one-by-one pathological checks and documentation were conducted on the mummified bodies.

The team was said to have recorded 24 corpses against 20 earlier announced.

It was further scooped that some of the mummified bodies dated back 2014 as none had a recent date on their tags.

Sources hinted that the state government may take custody of the mummified bodies on completion of the ongoing investigation.

It explained that government may go further to issue a public notice requesting depositors of the bodies to claim them, thereafter, the unclaimed ones will face mass burial.

Recall that the Edo State Police Command had, Wednesday, August 17, 2022, announced that its operatives busted a “ritualist’s den” where 20 mummified bodies were discovered at Asoro slope, Ekehuan road, Uzebu quarters, Benin City.

The bizzare news, which sent both social and traditional media agog, drew controversies as people held divergent views on the true nature of the building.

While some condemn the horrifying sight, others maintained that it was a morgue as the discovered mummified bodies were tagged.

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