Gender & SGBVNews

Suspect In Femicide Case To Be Extradited To Nigeria, Authorities Say

The suspect is said to have purchased a new passport and changed his identity while on the run; dates on the Sierra Leonean passport alleged to belong to him suggest he fled to the country in July.

Benjamin Best Nnanyereugo, suspect in a highly publicized femicide case has been arrested in Sierra Leone and will be extradited to Nigeria, HumAngle has learned.

A viral social media post made on X (formerly known as Twitter), on Saturday, Oct. 21, revealed that Nnanyereugo was arrested by Police in the West African country after he was identified.

When contacted by HumAngle, Ben Hundeyin, spokesperson of the Lagos State Police confirmed that he had indeed been arrested and will be extradited to Nigeria where he will face legal actions.

In July, Benjamin Best Nnayereugo made a series of posts confessing to the murder of his 21-year-old girlfriend Augusta Onuwagbagbe,  during an argument in his apartment in Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria.

The confession was followed by mass outrage on social media calling for his arrest but for three months, there was no official statement credited to the Nigerian Police on what it was doing to bring him to book.

This seeming silence sparked various conversations around the rate of femicide in Nigeria and the ‘unlooking’ attitude of the authorities; the outrage also birthed the hashtag, #JusticeForAusta as well as a petition calling for his arrest.

In what was lauded as a “long overdue welcome development,” the Nigeria Police on October 11, released an official gazette declaring Nnanyereugo wanted, “following the exhaustion of all available options to bring him in.”

Nnayereugo’s arrest which is coming ten days after, is said to have been aided by the gazette which has been shared daily and severally on social media platforms.

But in a video posted on Instagram after the arrest, Cordelia Okonye, the mother of the victim said that her immediate and extended family played key roles that led to his arrest.

“I sent his passport photograph to all my relatives and friends,” she said.

“Along the line, my cousin in Sierra Leone said ‘I saw somebody exactly like this,’” she said, explaining that her son and another cousin travelled to Sierra Leone where they informed the Police (right around the time he was declared wanted by the Nigeria Police.)”

“He killed my daughter on the 13th of July and got a Sierra Leonean passport on the 28th of July,” she said, explaining that Police in the country have been searching for him for about two weeks.

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Chigozie Victor

Chigozie Victor is a journalist and a creative writer. Her work focuses on SGBV, policy and security infrastructure. The graduate of English and Literature from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka is passionate about helping audiences understand salient issues through clear reporting and multimedia journalism. She tweets at @nwaanyi_manaria

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