- IGP assures Nigerians of diligent prosecution of culprits
- Declares gang leader, Tambaya, wanted
Police Operatives have arrested the killers of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, daughter of the leader of the PAN-Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasorantin.
According to a statement by Force Public Relations Officer Force Headquarters Abuja, DCP Frank Mba, the suspects were Lawal Mazaje ‘m’ 40yrs from Felele area of Kogi State, Adamu Adamu ‘m’ 50yrs from Jada area of Adamawa State, Mohammed Shehu Usman ‘m’ 26 years from Illela area of Sokoto State and Auwal Abubakar ‘m’ 25yrs from Shinkafi area of Zamfara State.
Mrs Funke Olakunrin was attacked and murdered by unknown persons between Kajola and Ore along Ondo-Ore road in Ondo State on 12th July, 2019.
The Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, deployed the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), CP Fimihan Adeoye, in the area to coordinate the team of Police Special Forces and seasoned investigators from the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), Federal SARS, Intelligence Response Team (IRT) and the Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU) from the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
The team carried out massive manhunt for the killers with the aim of arresting and bringing them to justice.
Mba said after months of relentless efforts to apprehend the killers, the Police team, on 4th March, 2020 during a follow-up action on a case of a high-profile armed robbery and kidnap for ransom that occurred in Ogun State, arrested one Auwal Abubakar ‘m’ 25yrs, an accessory after the fact of the crime, along Sagamu-Ore expressway in Ondo State.
The Police spokesman added that the arrest of Auwal Abubakar led to the arrest of 2 other members of the gang, Mohammed Shehu Usman and Lawal Mazaje in Benin, Edo State from whom a cache of ammunition was recovered and one other Adamu Adamu in Akure, Ondo State.
Mba further stated that having established sufficient physical and forensic evidence linking the suspects to the killing of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the investigators, determined to clear all doubts relating to their findings, on 8th April, 2020, conducted an identification parade at the Federal SARS Headquarters, Lagos, which led to the positive and physical identification of three (3) suspects, Adamu Adamu, Lawal Mazaje and Mohammed Shehu Usman by a survivor of the earlier crime.
He said the survivor gave a clear description of the roles each of the identified suspects played in the killing. “At this point, the suspects capitulated and voluntarily offered a no-holds-barred confession on how Mrs Funke Olakunrin was killed,” Mba said.
The Police spokesman said investigations so far revealed that the operation that led to the killing was carried out by 8 fully armed kidnap/robbery suspects led by one Tambaya (other name unknown) who is currently at large.
He said 4 of the suspects (mentioned above) were in custody and effort was being intensified to arrest the four (4) others still on the run.
“The 8-man gang has their operational base and membership spread in the south-western part of the country and Edo State. Investigations have also revealed that they are responsible for series of high-profile armed robbery and kidnap operations in the region.
“They also attack, vandalize and steal components of critical national infrastructures such as electrical and telecommunications installations,” Mba said.
The Police spokesman added that the Inspector General of Police had declared the principal suspect, Tambaya (other names unknown) wanted for his involvement in the death of Mrs Funke Olakunrin.
He said Tambaya, a Nigerian, “speaks Hausa, Fulfulde and Pidgin English languages and he is fair in complexion and in his late 20s – between the age of 27 and 30, while his last known address is Isanlu, Kogi State and he has visible scar from stitches on his forehead down to his nose and mouth.”
Accordingvto Mba, “The IGP appreciates Nigerians for the patience and support to the Police throughout the period of the investigations into the unfortunate incident.
“He assures that the suspects will be diligently prosecuted on completion of investigations and that the Force will not relent until every member of the gang, still at large, is arrested and brought to book.”