Kidnappings, killings: Afenifere challenges police on whereabouts of arrested Fulani suspects
Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has challenged the Nigeria Police to disclose the whereabouts of suspects of Fulani extraction arrested in connection with several cases of kidnapping and killings in South West states.
The group also demanded to know from the police why they have not made their findings known on the killing, last month, of Mrs Funke Olakunri, a daughter of Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
Afenifere, in a statement, signed by its spokesman, Yinka Odumakin and sent to Saturday Tribune on Friday, said it would want the police to tell Nigerians what they have done with the investigation into the killing of Olakunri and with the various kidnap suspects arrested and paraded in Ogun, Osun and Oyo states.
It asked the police to tell Nigerians if the suspects had been released and on whose orders they were set free.
The statement reads: “It is over one month now that Mrs Funke Olakunri was killed around Ore area of Ondo State and Afenifere is compelled to bring to the public the shoddiness of police investigation into the matter.
“It is on record that Mr Kehinde Fasoranti, brother of the deceased, revealed that the police in Ore told him his sister was killed by herdsmen and challenged them to bring out the statement he made hours after the murder. This has not been denied till date and the statement has not been denied.
“We saw signs there was no interest in investigating the murder as the vehicle in which she was killed was returned to the family the day after the murder without any forensic examination. It took engagements with the force PPRO, Mr Frank Mba, for the police to go back for the car 7 days after the incident and even for autopsy to be done about two days to the burial.
“Minus a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) who called Papa Fasoranti’s eldest daughter once to say he was in the house to tell the family they were working on the case, the police have yet to give any report to the family on what they have found so far or any examination on the car and the autopsy reports. We are worried!
“The Iku Baba Yeye, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, has also briefed us about how the local security committee in Oyo axis had arrested 14 kidnap kingpins who were handed over to the police with none of them paraded by the police or put on trial. There is the horrendous story of one of the suspects who removed a victim’s penis and scrotum. He is a free man today.
“The Ogun State police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, on the 28th of July announced that the command arrested 41 kidnap suspects. We don’t know who they are till date and we are not aware of their being charged to court .
“In July this year, the same Ogun police paraded in Abeokuta suspects implicated in the killing of a 40-year-old farmer, Rafiu Sowemimo in Odeda Local Government. The paraded suspects are: Muhammed Adamu, Saliu Ismail and Saliu Adam, all Fulani. They are not known to have been prosecuted.
“Also in July, the Osun State police command paraded suspects who, on May 5, 2019, kidnapped Professor Olayinka Adegbehingbe, an orthopaedic surgeon at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and collected N5.045m ransom from him.
“The suspects paraded are: Usman Ladan, Samaila Gede from Katsina State; Kemu Rejuli from Niger Republic; and Jubril Mohammed from Katsina State.
“The state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Ige while parading the suspects in Osogbo said the lecturer actually identified Usman Ladan as one of those who abducted him.
“We demand the status of these cases. When are they going to be charged to court? And if they have been freed, we want to know why they were freed and on whose authority?,” Afenifere asked.