By Kingsley Omonobi
ABUJAâ€”Â INSPECTOR General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo, yesterday, announced that the Police have arrested three suspects in the murder case of former Guardian newspaperâ€™s Assistant News Editor, Mr. Bayo Ohu, including the suspect that pulled the trigger that killed the journalist.
The IGP who was holding the first conference with state CPs, AIGs and DIGs for the year, said the three suspects have made confessional statements while the laptop and handsets recovered from them were being subjected to forensic tests to ascertain if they were tampered with. The ringleader of the gang, he said, was still on the run and Police say they have spread their dragnet in the search.
Shedding more light on the breakthrough, Lagos State Police Commissioner, Marvel Akpoyibo noted that rather than pursuing a case of assassination, the Police now believe that the death of Bayo Ohu was the result of armed robbery attack.
He said that Ohuâ€™s laptop and phones were recovered from the persons that bought them from the robbers adding that it was from them that the robbery suspects were traced and arrested adding that from confessions of the suspects, the one that shot him was identified.
Asked what reason was given for the killing of the journalist, Akpoyibo said the suspect who was believed to have shot him said Ohu was shot because he was dragging the gun with the armed robbers when it went off.
Akpoyibo said: â€œWhen the unfortunate killing of Ohu happened late last year, every body wanted the Police to perform magic, to arrested the killers, investigate them and prosecute them the same day but we pleaded for time and patience because we had to painstakingly investigate the matter.
We kept plans to our chest, says police CP
So we kept our plans to our chest. Today, I want to announce that we have arrested three suspects in connection with the killing including the one who actually shot him.
We used his handset to trace the suspects. We understand that the leader of the gang has left Lagos for another state to form another gang of armed robbers.
â€œHis laptop and phones were sold and were recovered from the buyers and the suspect who shot him claimed that he was dragging with them, that they were robbers.â€
On the Jos crisis, the IGP said the removal of the former Commissioner of Police, Greg Ayanteng, was not because he failed in his duties but because he sustained a serious injury during the deployment of his men and broke his left leg after a nasty fall, hence he has been given time to go for treatment.
He said: â€œWhat happened was that the Tuesday after the crisis broke out, I was in Jos with the Director of Operations and Director of Plans from Defence Headquarters, Director of Operations of SSS and the CP and while we were going round to ensure the officers and men were properly deployed at night, the CP fell into a ditch and broke his left leg. It was serious. I immediately told him to write for permission to go for treatment.â€
He, however, explained that an officer can be redeployed if that officer is performing below standard, or if the removal of the officer would help douse tension or when his life is no longer safe, noting: â€œSo when an officer is redeployed, it doesnâ€™t mean he has committed any offence.â€
While disclosing that those arrested in previous Jos crisis were taken to court and charged appropriately, Onovo said: â€œIt is on record but I think what happened to them is that in democracy, the court can set them free after hearing the case. So ours as policemen is to arrest and prosecute. If they go to court and they are set free, you canâ€™t blame the police for that. But this time around, government has said we should arrest, investigate and prosecute any one caught.
â€œIn respect of the 138 persons brought to Abuja, investigation has commenced. We will seek the advise of the Attorney General on whether they should be prosecuted in Abuja or Jos if found culpable. But those involved will be prosecutedâ€.