By OKEY NDIRIBE & EMMAN OVUAKPORIE
Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday, insisted that the Nigeria Police was shielding murder suspects involved in last year’s killing of his late Principal Private Secretary, Mr. Olaitan Oyerinde. Oshiomhole, who appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, which held an investigative hearing on Oshiomhole’s allegations against the role of the Police in the murder case, said it was embarrassing that two security agencies working under the same government arrived at two conflicting conclusions on the case.
In his presentation, Edo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, alleged that the gun that was used to kill Oyerinde, was later traced to Esigie Police Station in Benin City.
He said that since last year, the Edo State Police Command had refused to produce the officer that the gun was issued to on the ground that he was involved in an international assignment.
Said he: “Since they had accepted that the chief suspect in this case was in their custody, no other explanation presented to cover this fact is acceptable.”
He stated that the Police violated laid down procedure in criminal investigation by submitting the case file to the federal Director of Public Prosecution instead of Edo State DPP.
Mr. O. Olatigbe, a Deputy Director at the Federal Ministry of Justice, who represented the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, admitted that the Ministry was in a dilemma as to whether it should rely on the report of the Police or Department of State Security, DSS.
Olatigbe said that the ministry found itself in the dilemma due to the fact that the Nigeria Police Force and DSS that investigated the murder case submitted two conflicting reports and paraded two different sets of suspects.
Another highpoint of the public hearing was the claim by DSS and Police, that they had arrested self-confessed culprits, who took part in the murder.
In his submission, Director -General of DSS, Mr. Ita Ekpenyong, gave a very detailed account of the organisation’s findings, adding that his officers arrested one Lawal Abubakar, who was in possession of the late Oyerinde’s phone. He also said another suspect named Abdullahi, also in the custody of DSS, admitted shooting Olaitan to death although unintentionally.