Husband of Yvonne Omoarebokhae, the Benin-based gospel singer who was found dead in an hotel room in Benin City, Edo state, penultimate week, Odion Omoarebokhae, has alleged that the police in Benin and some prominent church leaders are mounting pressure on him to close the case of his wife’s death.
Recall that the popular gospel artiste who allegedly checked into the hotel room with Apostle Psalm Okpe of Fresh Oil Ministry, Lagos, on the night of Thursday, April 7 after performing at his crusade in Sapele, Delta state, died the following day in the hotel room.
Odion, a 41-year-old transporter who confirmed that sample specimens for autopsy were collected from his 30-year-old wife last Saturday, also insisted that his wife appeared to have been drugged by the suspected Pastor Psalm Okpe before taking her to the hotel.
Speaking to journalists at the Edo State Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in Benin on Monday, Odion specifically mentioned the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) in charge of the case and prominent members of a frontline prophetic church based in Auchi, who came to the State CID to persuade him to go and bury his wife, with a promise to assist him with furneral expenses.
“The Police IPO called me and told me that they cannot continue to keep the Pastor in the cell till the result of the autopsy comes out. She then advised that I should go and bury my wife, that she will help me talk to them to assist me with burial expenses. I then said that I did not sell my wife to the Pastor.
“Also, the day they were about to go to collect the specimens for the autopsy, we noticed that some members of (the church) were in a vehicle of the church inside the premises of the state CID. At that time, we didn’t know that they have anything to do with this case. But I later realised that the lawyer who came to stand in for Pastor Okpe was having discussion with the church people.
“One or two persons from some churches have kept calling me that I should go and bury my wife and that they will assist me with settlement but I told them I didn’t sell her to Apostle Okpe,” he alleged.
According to the bereaved man, contrary to what Pastor Okpe told the Police, CCTV footage in the hotel revealed how his wife was found dead at the hotel room.
“After the programme in Sapele, they came together to Benin. She had already sent pictures of her performance at the programme in Sapele to her friends, relatives and our neighbours But how the pastor managed to manipulate her to the hotel, I don’t know, but I’ve gone to the hotel to watch the CCTV footage.
“Initially, the pastor said they came from the programme and she went her way and he went his own way. But when we went to the hotel to watch the CCTV footage, we now discovered that contrary to what he wrote, she actually slept there.
“From the CCTV footage, we saw that immediately they entered, he was at the front and she was just following him behind like a dumb, and they went upstairs.
“The next morning, at about 10 o’clock, he came out of the room and stood for 18 seconds after backing the door before going out and he spent five hours plus outside.
“By the time he came back, he went straight to the reception to demand for his key, but they kept telling him that his key was not with them, that his guest is in his room. But he said she should have gone home by now.
” Supervisor now had to call the porter to bring the master key to open his door. But immediately the porter opened his door, he left. He (Apostle Okpe), spent one hour 18 minutes in the room with a lifeless body before coming out.
“Immediately he climbed down, the porter and some of the security men were already waiting for him. So they asked him that they assumed that somebody was with you before you left the room, bow come that he was not able to open the door for you? They then asked him what the problem was.
”He then told them that his co-minister whom they went for ministration together is unconscious. At that point, they told the security to lock the gate, told him (pastor) to sit down and then invited the Airport road Police people.
“The police told me that they met my wife dressed like somebody about to go out but laid on the bed like somebody taking a nap. I have seen the body of my wife and from what I observed, I think she was given an overdose of a substance I don’t know. I believe he cleaned and dressed her up to cover his deeds before the Police came. That was why he took so long before he came out,” he narrated.
Odion whose only child from his marriage to the late gospel singer will be 3 years old on June 26, called for thorough investigation into the matter with a view to bringing the culprit to justice.
“I want the police to follow this case closely and get to the bottom of this matter because I know that Pastor Psalm Okpe killed my wife. They should make sure he does not go unpunished,” Odion said.