By Kingsley Omonobi
Following a painstaking and diligent investigation, detectives from the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) of the Nigeria Police have solved the riddle surrounding the disappearance of Mr. Sylvester Emefiele, a staffer of the Transformation Office of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Emefiele was reported to have left Lagos. September 23, 2012, sequel to a call from his office asking him to report in Abuja the following day in order to process his visa for a trip to Hungary for a training programme.
On receiving information on the disappearance through the police email platform, – email@example.com, the Inspector-General of Police ordered investigation into the case.
Subsequently, detectives from the FSARS, led by DCP Chris Ezike, swung into action, and, through systematic and high-level investigative technique, tracked down one Olaniyi Banjo, a 20-year old resident of Ilesa, Osun State, who bought the Blackberry phone of the deceased from one of the principal suspects, Akindele Taiwo.
The efforts of the police led to the arrest of the alleged masterminds of the crime on June 8, 2013, namely: 30-year old Timothy Abidemi Lekan ‘m’ alias Leksit, who hails from Osun State, and 41-year old Akinlade Taiwo ‘m’, a native of Modakeke in Ife East Local Government Area of Osun State.
The duo made very useful statements to the police in connection with the disappearance, robbery and killing of Emefiele. The suspects equally led detectives to the scene of crime – a bush close to the Iddo Campus of the University of Abuja – where the abandoned and totally decomposed remains of the deceased, now mere skeletal parts, were recovered.
A forensic examination including
DNA analysis confirmed that the recovered remains were actually those of Emefiele. Personal effects of the deceased, including cash, ATM cards, Laptop, Blackberry phones, cheque books, personal apparels, etc were also recovered.
Also arrested in connection with the case was a witch-doctor, Saidi Babatunde, from Osun State who was implicated by the suspects for preparing criminal charms for them.
Police investigation shows that the late Emefiele, while en route from Lagos to Abuja, dropped at Giri in Gwagwalada Area Council of the FCT at about 8pm on September 23, 2012, where he unsuspectingly boarded a Nissan Sunny saloon car with Reg. No: AG-956-KEF driven by Akinlade Taiwo who further picked his accomplice, Timothy Abidemi Lekan, on the way during which they subdued their victim and led him to the bush where he was robbed.
The suspects confirmed that they forced the deceased to disclose the personal identification numbers of his ATM cards which enabled them to make an initial withdrawal of N186,000 from his Zenith Bank, First Bank and GT-Bank accounts at Gwagwalada.
On seeing that their victim still had an outstanding balance of over N800,000, the robbers chose to kill Emefiele by binding his wrists with twine and hitting his chest with their Talisman and other dangerous weapons until they were sure their victim’ was dead. Thereafter, they continued making illicit withdrawals from the victim’s accounts until they were apprehended by the police.
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police- IGP, Mr. M.D. Abubakar, has commended the officers that investigated the case for their diligence, dedication and professionalism, assuring Nigerians that justice will take its course as the suspects have already been arraigned before a competent court of law.
Abubakar called on the public to be wary of the kind of vehicles they enter to avoid falling victim to hoodlums. He promised increased visibility of the police on our highways through intensive vehicular patrols especially at nights for the safety and security of road users.