The Edo State Government on Friday gave the state Police Command seven days to conclude investigation into the discovery of a suspected ritual shrine in the state.
Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki, announced this at a joint briefing at the command headquarters.
Osagie stated that there was a need for the police to quickly unravel the controversies surrounding the issue due to the insinuation in some quarters that the place was a morgue and not a shrine.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Edo State Police Command had in a statement on Thursday claimed to have busted a suspected ritual shrine in Benin and arrested three suspects with 20 mummified bodies.
Osagie said: “We are calling for calm and not to pre-empt the outcome of Police investigations.
“There are a lot of speculations going around that the place is a quack morgue where they preserve bodies.
“We are going to leave the situation for the police to do their investigations and brief the public on what was going on there.
“Some persons have been apprehended and are undergoing questioning.
“Some are still being looked for and will be apprehended.
“They will contribute useful information to the investigations.
“The governor has given seven days for them to come back with details of what they find if it was just a morgue, any ritual involved or what is the situation.
“So, the police will be allowed to do the work.
“We will give them the time to come back to brief us.
“We are going to continually brief the public exactly what the situation is.”
The governor’s media aide also noted that the state had taken measure to avert public health crisis.
Also briefing, DCP Olawore Oluwole, Officer-in-Charge, Edo State Police Command Criminal Investigation Department, said the command acted on a credible intelligence that a bungalow located in Uzebu quarters in Ekenhua, Benin, accommodated dry bodies.
Oluwole, however, retracted that there was no indication from their investigation so far that it was a ritual shrine.
The senior police officer said that five suspects had been arrested in connection with the case, while the owner of the bungalow was on the run.
He said: “So far, we are still looking for one of the suspects, Chukwu Otu, and frantic efforts are being made to reach him who was alleged to be the owner of the bungalow.
“I want to appeal to members of the public to remain calm as the command will ensure all efforts will be made to reach the suspects and every other details that are necessary to unravel.”