By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
Former Edo State Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Osaze Osemwingie-Ero, who was arrested by the police in France in Novemberr 2019, may have been set free.
Reports on social media claimed then that Osemwingie-Ero was arrested and detained by INTERPOL in France for allegedly being in possession of $2 million. The report trended in December 2019.
The political appointee was then serving under Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The former Commissioner could be seen in a video of 18 seconds now trending online, apparently shot at an airport, as he pushed his luggage and engaged in elbow greetings, in line with the COVID-19 protocol.
A voice in background could also be heard shouting, “return of the man, return of the man” to celebrate his release.
Confirming the release to journalists in Benin, a source close to the former Commissioner who does not want to be named, disclosed that he has regained his freedom, but would not want to speak to anyone yet.
“Learnt he’s in London. I chatted with him on WhatsApp some few minutes ago… It’s true. He’s out, though not ready to speak with press,” the source disclosed.
An Edo government official clarified back then that Osemwingie-Ero must have been arrested by INTEPOL for an offence committed before he was appointed by Governor Obaseki.
He denied the arrest was connected with money laundering.
“But we can confirm without equivocation that whatever the issues might be, they are totally personal and have nothing whatsoever to do with the Edo State Government or Governor Godwin Obaseki,” the official said then.