Shock, disbelief, disappointment greet Sodipo’s escape, as stakeholders react

Shock, disbelief, surprise, disappointment ran across the reactions of several stakeholders to the announcement by the police that the prime suspect, Sunday Shodipe, in the Akinyele killings has escaped from its custody.

The Alakinyele of Akinyele, Oba James Odeniran, in a chat with Tribune Online, wondered how the suspect escaped from the hands of the police despite being seen taken around with his legs chained.

He noted that there was a need for a thorough investigation by the police to detect those police officers who were complicit to allowing Sodipo to escape from custody.

According to Odeniran, the escape of a suspected serial killer from police custody pointed to the fact that no one was safe in the country.

“He was arrested and confessed to killing about eight persons in Akinyele. When another killing was recorded, he was seen around just before the killing.

“How did someone in the custody of the police escape? That points to something fishy. Immediately, the suspect escaped, the first thing we expected was for the police to declare the suspect wanted.

“He was being taken around with his legs chained. We are therefore surprised to hear that he escaped. No one is safe in Nigeria if a suspect can escape from police custody.

“The killer is not an indigene of Akinyele; he comes in here to do the dastardly acts. He said he and his parents used to live in Moniya. We enjoin our police to be more serious with their duties. They have some betrayers among them and they should fish them out,” Odeniran said.

Reacting, Dr Tade Oludayo of the University of Ibadan requested the police to detail circumstances behind Sodipo’s escape and efforts done to re-arrest the suspect.

He bemoaned that the escape of Sodipo has further fuelled people’s distrust in the police, dampened the image of the police and serves as basis upon which people sometimes resort to jungle justice.

“It is a bad development for the public to hear of the escape of the 19-year-old suspect of serial murder in Akinyele.

“While the release of the police is silent on the circumstances of escape and what they have done to re-arrest him, the police needs to tell the world where the suspect was kept, whose lawful custody did he escape from? At what time of the day?

“Was the murder suspect left freely without any restraining method such as handcuff? Apart from officers guiding this dangerous suspect, what role did the supervising officer play in the seeming negligence? Is it a case of a rotten apple within the force?

“The police must redeem its image by arresting the fugitive and punish those in whose custody the dangerous suspect escaped. The commissioner of police needs to be more assertive and alive to his work.

“Peoples’ confidence is not built on a press release that says their lives and properties are guaranteed while a dangerous suspect escaped and was not re-arrested within 24-hours! Did the suspect escape with a bike or speed boat that he was off radar of police authorities?

“This is not good enough for the police that is asking people for partnership because it is easier to suspect foul play. My fear now is the implication of this on the psyche of people of Akinyele that have been serially victimised and the likelihood of jungle justice gaining traction. The police must act fast, redeem its image and punish all negligent officers connected to this embarrassing escape,” Oludayo said.

Chairman, Akinyele Local Government Area, Taoreed Adedigba also said he was disturbed at the development, urging the police to always live up to its duties to protect the citizens.

Asked for the state government’s reaction, Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Security, Mr Fatai Owoseni said Governor Seyi Makinde had given a marching order to the Commissioner of Police, Joe Enwonwu to re-arrest the escaped suspect.

He, however, urged residents of Akinyele local government area and the state at large not to take to jungle justice or violence in expressing their displeasure at the development.

“His Excellency has given the Commissioner of Police a marching order that they must look for the guy and re-apprehend him.

“The only thing is that the governor is not in support of barbaric action otherwise the governor is in solidarity with the people of Akinyele local government and the people of Oyo state at large airing their views and pouring out their minds to that act of carelessness.

“But the governor is not in support of any barbaric act that will lead to vandalisation of government properties,” Owoseni said.

 

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