The Lagos State Police Command has arrested three suspects linked to the killing of Adeniyi Sanni, a senior aide to Senator Solomon Adeola, who is the lawmaker representing Ogun West at the National Assembly.
The arrested suspects include 43-year-old Lagosian, Fred Okuno; 33-year-old Lucky Michael from Delta State, and 26-year-old Adedigba Segun from Ibadan, Oyo State.
Confirming the arrests of the suspects while parading them before journalists on Monday at the Command’s headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos, the state Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, said their arrest was made possible through a diligent investigation that was carried out by the police.
Owohunwa said, “Through painstaking intelligence and investigative activities which brought out the best in the capacity of Lagos Police Command, we have succeeded in arresting the syndicate of the robbery and murder. The three suspects directly involved in the robbery and murder were arrested with three firearms, including the killer weapon, recovered.”
The command recovered one brand new pistol with three rounds of live ammunition, one Beretta pistol with three rounds of live ammunition, one locally made cut-to-size pistol with six live cartridges, six expended cartridges, military gear comprising a military camouflage vest, jungle hat, a jungle boot and a red Honda CRV from the suspects.
PUNCH Metro reports that the syndicate is suspected to be working for a foreign criminal gang, headed by one “Alhaji,” who targets imported fairly used cars.
Speaking during the parade, the suspects, who confessed to the killing of the aide, said the act was mistakenly done.
One of the suspects, Lucky, who is an ex-inmate, said the slain aide was not their target, but he was stopped because he was driving a “Tokunbo” (imported fairly used car).
“I stopped the car because it had no number plate. I shot at him twice because he was shouting. I didn’t plan to shoot the man, the gun fired by itself,” Lucky said.
Another suspect, Okuno, who narrated what transpired, also said their gang tried to make the bleeding senator’s aide get help but it was too late.
Okuno said, “On August 5, 2023, when the incident happened, it was around midnight, in the Ojodu Berger area. One of us, who was ahead of us, gave a signal that a car was coming with no number plate. It was a black Toyota Camry, a 2017 model. Lucky was putting on a (military) camouflage uniform, and holding a torch.
“I told him that a car was coming with no number plate. He (Lucky) stopped the car on the other side. I ran down to join him. I asked the man (slain aide) for the document of the car. The man was on call talking but I don’t know who exactly he was talking to, maybe his wife or his family.
“He (senator’s aide) said the document was right inside the car. Then the man said, ‘What else do you guys want again? I’ve given you guys everything you wanted.’ He started shouting for help, he pulled out and was screaming ‘Thief’. He wanted to raise the alarm.
“So, I shot at him, and before I knew it, Lucky also fired shots, it hit the man and he fell. My partner; Segun, and I decided to put him in the back of the seat and we drove off. He was still breathing, but he was still shouting.
“My partner then stabbed him and I asked him why. We then dropped him by the side of the road and drove down to Abeokuta, Ogun State. It was from there we moved to Iseyin, en route to Benin Republic.”
The wife of the deceased was said to have been contacted later by passersby through the next-of-kin phone number on her husband’s driver’s licence that his body was dumped around the Toyota Bus-stop in Oshodi, Lagos with gunshot wounds.
Recall that Senator Adeola had in August claimed that suspected soldiers killed his aide.
He said he was of the belief that based on available facts at the disposal of the police, his aide “was killed by a syndicate of soldiers operating under the newly deployed Commander of 9 Brigade, Ikeja Cantonment of the Nigeria Army, Brigadier General A.M Adetuyi, through the mounting of checkpoints and robbing of lone occupants of cars.”
“Top police sources familiar with the investigation informed me that a similar brutal killing and armed robbery occurred around the same Ojodu-Berger late Thursday night of August 17, 2023, resulting in the killing of another Nigerian whose body was discovered around Iyana-Ipaja after he was taken away by soldiers from the checkpoint,” he said through his media aide, Kayode Odunaro.
Odunaro said shortly after, the wife called his associates to say she could no longer reach her husband on the phone, necessitating the mobilisation of a search party.
During the press briefing, the state command also set up a 13-man special investigation team to probe the death of Nigerian singer, Ilerioluwa Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad.
Addressing the media while constituting the committee, Owohunwa, flanked by Mohbad’s family members, acknowledged that the death of the music maker sparked controversies, and called on the general public to volunteer information to assist the police in unravelling the circumstances leading to the death of the 27-year-old singer.