Connect with us


Police confirms arrest of 4 suspected killers of Afenifere leader’s daughter, after initial denial



Police confirms arrest of 4 suspected killers of Afenifere leader's daughter, after initial denial

The Nigeria Police Force on Thursday, in Abuja said it had arrested four suspects in connection with the murder of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, daughter of the leader of the Yoruba Sociocultural group, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti.

The force gave the names of the arrested suspects as Lawal Mazaje, 40, from the Felele area of Kogi State; Adamu Adamu, 50, from Jada, Adamawa State; Mohammed Usman, 26, from Illela, Sokoto State; and Auwal Abubakar, 25, an indigene of Shinkafi, Zamfara State.

According to the police, the killing was carried out by eight fully armed suspected robbers led by one Tambaya (other names unknown), who is currently at large, adding that efforts were being made to arrest the remaining four suspects who are currently on the run.

The arrest of the suspects is coming nine months after Mrs. Olakunrin was killed on the Shagamu-Ore Road on the 13th of July, 2019.

It would be recalled that the alleged arrest of the killers had generated controversy between the Ondo State Police Command and the spokesman for the Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, who announced on the April 7 that four suspects had been arrested.

This was denied by the state police command.

Emeka Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer, however confirmed the arrest of the suspect in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

Mba, in the statement, recalled that the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had in the aftermath of the incident directed the Commissioner of Police, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Fimihan Adeoye, to coordinate the team of police special forces and seasoned investigators from the Force Criminal Investigation Department, the Intelligence Response Team and the Technical Intelligence Unit to investigate the murder.

According to Mba, after months of relentless efforts, the police team, on March 4, 2020, during a follow-up action on a high-profile armed robbery and kidnap for ransom case that occurred in Ogun State, arrested Abubakar, an accessory after the fact of the crime, along the Sagamu-Ore Expressway in Ondo State.

Read also: COVID-19: Jimoh Ibrahim donates N40m to Ondo

“The arrest of Abubakar led to the arrest of two other members of the gang, Mohammed Usman and Lawal Mazaje, in Benin, Edo State, from whom a cache of ammunition was recovered, and one other, Adamu Adamu, in Akure, Ondo State.

“Having established sufficient physical and forensic evidence linking the suspects to the killing of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the investigators, determined to clear all doubts relating to their findings, on April 8, 2020, conducted an identification parade at the Federal SARS headquarters, Lagos, which led to the positive and physical identification of Adamu, Mazaje and Usman by a survivor of the earlier crime’, the statement said.

Yhe Force spokesman also said that the survivor gave a clear description of the roles each of the identified suspects played in the killing.

“At this point, the suspects capitulated and voluntarily offered a no holds barred confession on how Mrs Olakunrin was killed,” the force stated.

The police further disclosed that the eight-man gang had their operational base and membership spread in the south-western part of the country and Edo State, adding that it was responsible for a series of high-profile armed robbery and kidnap operations in the region.

The statement said the gang also attacked, vandalised and stole components of critical national infrastructure such as electrical and telecommunications installations.

The principal suspect, Tambaya, has been declared wanted by the Inspector General of Police for his role in the killing of Olakunrin.

“Tambaya, a Nigerian, speaks Hausa, Fulfulde and pidgin English languages. He is fair in complexion and in his late 20s, between the ages of 27 and 30. His last known address is Isanlu, Kogi State. He has a visible scar from stitches on his forehead down to his nose and mouth,” the police said.

Join the conversation


Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now