By Rotimi Ojomoyela, with agency report
OPRATIVES of Ekiti State Police Command have arrested the leader of a vigilance group in the state, Mr. Femi Ogunleye, and six of his members for illegally arresting and torturing a man to death.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, Caleb Ikechukwu, who confirmed their arrest yesterday, said members of the group had been terrorising residents of Ado-Ekiti.
Ikeckukwu said one of the arrested members was its leader, Ogunleye, 43, fondly called Akilapa.
He said the command operatives arrested Ogunleye and his gang members in the early hours of Monday, while being in possession of the lifeless body of a middle-aged man, identified as Oke.
It was gathered that the suspects were arrested while attempting to bury the remains of the deceased within the premises of Ogunleye’s residence in the state capital, Ado-Ekiti.
The police spokesperson named the other suspects as Simon Oluwaghohunmi, 35; Muhammadu Saradeen,36; Ojo Muri, 30; Peace Okon, 44; Sola Sunday, 20, and Ogunleye Onaopemipo, 20.
He said the suspected gang members, on July 29, allegedly accosted the victim at Post Office area in Ado-Ekiti and forcefully took him to his house, where he was tortured to death.
His words: “The gang had been charged for cultism and unlawful arrest of innocent Nigerians. Their latest victim was unlawfully accosted and taken away on July 29.
“The Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, received the information of illegal arrest and torture going on at Ogunleye’s house located on Omisanjana Road in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
“When men of SARS arrived at his house, the dead body was found and a tomb that had been dug for its interment within the premises of the building was discovered.
“Upon further investigation, particularly when the operatives of SARS stormed Ogunleye’s hideout, the suspects were found involved in unlawful arrest and torture of one Oke, whose surname and address are yet to be known.
“The torture, we discovered, resulted in his death at the suspects’ hideout located at Omisanjana area of Ado-Ekiti.
“The corpse was recovered on June 30 at about 5a.m. and deposited at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital’s morgue for autopsy, while investigation into the case is ongoing.”
He said the Police recovered from the suspects one pump action gun with Breech number 000574 loaded with seven live cartridges, police belt, three cutlasses, one long stick, a sword, three battle axes, one iron rod carved like a local gun, Ifa divination tools and a mini-laptop computer.