Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to set up a high-power panel of inquiry into the killing of his principal private secretary, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde.
Oshiomhole’s call is coming on the heels of the controversy generated by the conflicting reports of the Nigeria Police and the State Security Service (SSS).
While the SSS had earlier paraded some robbery suspects who were alleged to have killed Oyerinde, the police also paraded another set of suspects, who alleged that they were hired by a Benin-based human rights activist to kill him.
In a full-page advertorial by the Edo State government, tagged: “Re: Investigation into the murder of Comrade Olaitan Oyesrinde, my stand,” Oshiomhole described the conflicting reports by the security agencies as a “show of shame”, that “has grave implications for national security and the integrity of the law enforcements agencies.”
Narrating the events leading to the arrest and parade of the suspects by the two security agencies, the governor stated: “Following the murder of Comrade Oyerinde, I gave the security agencies a 14-day ultimatum to find the killers, which I suspected was politically-motivated. Within a few days of the murder, I was informed by the SSS in confidence that they had made some progress, having located Comrade Oyerinde’s telephone and those who bought it, and eventually using their own skills, they were able to arrest, one after the other, those who have since confessed that they killed Comrade Oyerinde.”
The governor further stated that his interface with the suspects paraded by the SSS convinced him that they (suspects paraded) were the actual killers of his late private secretary. Citing the confessions of the suspects, which he said corroborated the account of his Commissioner for Information, Mr. Louis Odion, Governor Oshiomhole commended the leadership of the SSS for doing their job professionally.
The governor, however, regretted that two weeks after the SSS paraded the alleged killers of Oyerinde, the Police also came up with a different set of suspects, who they said also confessed to killing the late comrade.
His worries, according to him, heightened following the arrest of the alleged sponsor of the killing, Rev David Ugolor, by the police.
“Two weeks after the SSS briefing, my attention was drawn to reports in the newspapers that the police also claimed to have arrested some people who also confessed to the killing of Comrade Oyerinde. I asked the Commissioner of Police on the progress made on the matter, he insisted that the case was being handled by the Force Headquarters and was not in a position or permitted to brief me.
“Following the arrest of Rev. David Ugolor and the interest it has generated, I cut short my vacation, and upon my return to the state, I visited the Commissioner of Police to be briefed on the latest development. I told the Commissioner of Police of my worries about not being briefed, not only as the complainant whose associate was murdered, but also as the Governor who has the responsibility for the protection of lives and property in the state. Again, the Commissioner of Police maintained that only the Force Headquarters could brief me, even when the officer in charge of the case is on ground in Benin City.”
The governor stated further that he observed several inconsistencies in the statement of the police.
“Having expressed my disappointment on the seeming secrecy and lethargy of the Police and on the contradictory role of the two security agencies, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) heading the investigation finally briefed me on their investigation on Friday, August 10, 2012, only after I had threatened to report their non-cooperation to Mr. President.
“After listening to his briefing, I came to the conclusion that there were several inconsistencies in the narrative, in particular, the alleged involvement of Rev. David Ugolor, who is unarguably the most prominent civil society activist in Edo State and a well-known friend of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde.”
Governor Oshiomhole also expressed surprise that two weeks after the arrest of Ugolor by the police, they are yet to establish a concrete link between the Reverend and his alleged accusers, and wondered why the police failed to establish a link between the two parties before making the arrest.
He said he was worried by the claims of the two federal security agencies, adding that one of the two agencies may be playing out a script to shield the actual killers of Oyerinde.
“Like every other Nigerian, I am extremely worried about the claims of the two federal security agencies. At the end of the day, one of the arms must clearly be playing out a script designed to shield the actual killers and/or their sponsors…
“In my view, the Police investigation team under the Deputy Commissioner of Police is purely engaged in acts of mischief in a futile attempt to shield the real murderers of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde. It is now up to the Police to prove otherwise, and they are duty-bound to do so.”
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Category: Benin City