By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti — Following the confessional statement by the prosecution’s star witness, Gbolahan Okeowo, in the murder of drivers union leader in Ekiti State, Omolafe Aderiye, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has called for the arrest of the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Ajayi Owoseni; and Governor Ayodele Fayose’s media aide, Lere Olayinka, over their alleged roles in the manipulation of investigation in the case.
The prosecution’s star witness, Gbolahan Okeowo, had on Monday in court recanted his earlier statement implicating APC members, including Adeniyi Adedipe (aka Apase), Sola Adenijo (aka Solar), Rotimi Olanbiwonnu and Deji Adesokan aka Jaru, who is still on the wanted list of the police as suspects in the murder.
Okeowo had during the last hearing of the case listed the men as Aderiye’s murderers. But on Monday, he recanted his earlier statement, saying he was not at peace with his conscience in the implication of innocent men facing death for the crime they knew nothing about.
In an affidavit in support of his claim, Okeowo said Owoseni and Olayinka allegedly tore his original statement and both men took him to Owoseni’s office where they wrote another statement with a list of those to be implicated.
Also in the affidavit, Okeowo said he was forced to implicate Adedeji as the one who pulled the trigger and later came back to the scene to confirm that Aderiye was dead before fleeing.
But Adedeji recanted on Monday in court when he told Justice Lekan Ogunmoye that he could not stand the guilt of being the cause of the death of four men for the crime they did not commit.
Reacting, the APC Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, in a statement said the latest revelation by the principal prosecution witness pointed to the culpability of the governor’s aides in their attempt to obstruct the course of justice in the murder trial.
“In his sworn affidavit, Okeowo, who was the late Aderiye’s personal assistant, declared that he was the only witness to the murder and that he was forced by Ajayi Owoseni and Lere Olayinka to abandon his original statement to the police and court to lie against APC members as the murderers of his boss.
“We want the police to immediately arrest Owoseni and Olayinka to explain their motives for tearing the witness’ statement and substituting it with the one they wrote and then suborned the witness to lie against innocent men.
“Olayinka’s denial at a press conference that he did not have any hand in the manipulation and his allegation that Okeowo was threatened by the APC leaders to change his earlier statement is an afterthought,” he said.