Fasoranti’s daughter’s death: Yoruba Summit Group condemns indiscriminate arrest of natives

Says arrests aimed at masking ethnic identity of Olakunrin's killers

A group, Yoruba Summit Group (YSG), on Wednesday condemned what it termed the indiscriminate arrests of natives around the area bordering the site of the gruesome killing of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, daughter of leader of pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Pa Reuben Fashoranti, describing such approach as “utter desperation” by the security forces to mask the ethnic identity of her killers.

YSG, led by Chief Ayo Adebanjo as the umbrella for Afenifere, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) and several other groups, said this in a signed statement by its publicity secretary, Mr. Gboyega Adejumo, disclosing that “credible and verifiable reports available to the group had it that native people, mainly the Ikales, going to or coming from their farms, local markets and nearby communities in and around Akinfosile, Omotosho, Ilepa and Kajola are being arrested en-masse, detained and subjected to torture in order to implicate and parade them as the killers of Mrs Olakunrin.”

The group, in a statement titled: “Indiscriminate arrests of local people in the aftermath of hideous murder of Mrs Funke Olakunrin (nee Fashoranti),” said between 30 and 40 native men had so far been arrested and detained, while Fulani herdsmen herding their cows around and nearby the nearby roads and bushes were curiously left out of the mass arrests.

“As at the last count, between thirty and forty native men have been arrested and detained, with the ubiquitous Fulani herdsmen herding their cows on/in the nearby roads and bushes curiously left out of the mass arrests,” YSG said.

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The group, while describing the death of Mrs. Olakunrin as unfortunate and just one-too-many in the long chain of hideous attacks, kidnaps and killings of innocent people as widely reported along that road for sometime now with the security forces doing nothing concrete to arrest the situation, said the criminals constituting a serious menace and danger to innocent travellers had been operating along that road for several months and many people who have been lucky to survive their attacks and kidnaps had given credible accounts of who their attackers and kidnappers were and their modus operandi which fitted last Friday’s attack on Mrs. Olakunrin very perfectly.

“As we’ve observed, the security forces did practically nothing to address this menace until this celebrated killing and the attendant political gerrymandering and hollow ritual to misrepresent the identity of the killers.

“We are at loss as to what type of investigation the police is doing that has seen the car in which Funke Olakunrin was killed returned to the family under 24 hours without any ballistic and forensic examinations.

“It is equally disturbing that no autopsy has been carried out on the deceased making reasonable (people) to wonder what evidence would be available to prosecute any suspect,” the group said.

YSG warned that it would resist every “illicit attempt” to cover up the true killers of Mrs Olakunrin, saying it was watching very closely and shall expose every loophole and contradiction it sees in the investigation, even as it called on the police authorities to put an end to what it called the indiscriminate arrests and illegal torture of innocent natives and immediate release of the already arrested victims.

YSG further warned that should its call goes unheeded within a reasonable timeframe of 72 hours from now, it would have no other option than “to go to court and would also call on the international community to join in this struggle for justice and for an open, transparent and politically neutral investigation and unravelling of the gruesome killing of Mrs. Olakunrin.”

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