By Monsuru Olowoopejo
Nine months after the murder of Funke Olakunrin, daughter of PAN-Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere chieftain, Chief Reuben Fasorantin, the Nigerian Police has arrested and detained four suspected killers and declared four others wanted over the gruesome act.
According to the police, the four suspects were identified by a survivor of the attack on Olakunrin’s vehicle in Lagos who revealed the number of the armed men that engaged in the act and narrated role played by each member before the daughter of Afenifere chieftain breath her last.
The four suspects arrested by the law enforcement agency over the murder last year along Ondo-Ore road in Ondo State were Lawal Mazaje, a 40yrs old male from Felele in Kogi State, Adamu Adamu; 50yrs old from Jada in Adamawa State, Mohammed Shehu Usman; 26 years from Illela in Sokoto State and Auwal Abubakar; 25yrs old from Shinkafi in Zamfara State.
Inspector-General of Police, IGP Muhammed Adamu, in a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Frank Mba, on Thursday, said that investigations conducted by the team led by Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), CP Fimihan Adeoye, revealed that the operation was perpetrated by eight armed kidnap and robbery suspects led by one Tambaya (other names unknown) who was currently at large.
Adamu added that the 8-man gang had its operational base and membership spread in the South-Western region of the country and Edo State where they have continuously perpetrated several high-profile armed robberies and kidnap operations.
While revealing other acts perpetrated by the gang, the Police boss stressed that they also attack, vandalize and steal components of critical national infrastructures such as electrical and telecommunications installations within the region.
Assuring Nigerian that efforts would be intensified to arrest four other suspects involved in the acts, Adamu disclosed that the investigating team discovered the suspects on 4th March, 2020 during a follow-up action on a case of a high-profile armed robbery and kidnap for ransom that occurred in Ogun State.
He noted that the prompt action of the team led to arrest of Auwal Abubakar, an accessory after the fact of the crime, along Sagamu-Ore expressway in Ondo State who later assisted in apprehending two other members of the gang, Mohammed Shehu Usman and Lawal Mazaje in Benin, Edo State from whom cache of ammunition was recovered.
The Inspector-General of Police added that the two gang members assisted the investigating team with vital information that led to the arrest of Adamu Adamu in Akure, Ondo State,
“After established sufficient physical and forensic evidence linking the suspects to the killing of Funke Olakunrin, the investigators, determined to clear all doubts relating to their findings, on 8th April, 2020, conducted an Identification Parade at the Federal SARS Headquarters, Lagos which led to the positive and physical identification of three suspects, Adamu Adamu, Lawal Mazaje and Mohammed Shehu Usman by a survivor of the earlier crime”.
Declaring the gang leader, Tambaya, and three others wanted for their involvement in the murder of Afenifere chieftain’s daughter, Adamu revealed that the gang leader is a Nigerian who speaks Hausa, Fulfulde and Pidgin English languages fluently.
Urging Nigerians to support the law enforcement agency in its effort to apprehend the perpetrators, the IGP disclosed that Tamaya is fair in complexion and was in his late 20s.
According to Adamu, his last known address is Isanlu, Kogi State and has visible scar from stitches on his forehead down to his nose and mouth.
Meanwhile, the IGP assured Nigerians the suspects will be diligently prosecuted on completion of investigations and that the Force would not relent until every member of the gang, still at large, is arrested and prosecuted.