Saturday, April 19, 2014

Edo Governor, Oshiomhole, seeks dismissal of police DIG over aide, Oyerinde’s murder

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The police have failed to find Mr. Oyerinde’s killers, and its officers seem complicit in the case, Mr. Oshiomhole said.

The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has asked police authorities to dismiss the Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG, and other detectives who investigated his Private Secretary, Olaitan Oyerinde’s murder; accusing them of trivializing the case and shielding the culprits.

Mr. Oshiomhole had previously carpeted the police for an “inconsistent” and shoddy hunt for the killers of Mr. Oyerinde, who was brutally shot dead at his home at night in May 2012.

An embarrassing investigation that followed the murder saw the police and the State Security Service, SSS, parading different sets of six suspects.

Even more controversial, the police arrested a civil rights activist, David Ugolor, accusing him of the murder, and detaining him for weeks.

Mr. Oshiomhole said in August he was less satisfied with the police investigation done than that of the SSS, which he said kept him constantly updated on the progress of the probe.

He said he made personal findings, and interrogated the suspects paraded by the SSS and would believe them to be the killers compared to those paraded by the police.

At the launch of a new Code of Conduct for police officers, Thursday, attended by Vice President Namadi Sambo, Mr. Oshiomhole, who delivered a keynote speech, called for the deputy police chief’s sack.

“The DIG Force CID has a case to answer,” the governor said. “It is either he is guilty of conspiracy to murder or is guilty of conspiracy to shield murderers or both, in which case, he cannot wear his police uniform, he must be dismissed.”

The governor said he remained aggrieved over the “trivial” manner in which the police handled the investigation.

Mr. Oshiomhole urged President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in the matter.

“I-G, I am aggrieved; I am aggrieved over the murder of my private secretary and the way in which it was trivialized,” he said.

“I am saying it, knowing that the Vice President is here. My secretary was murdered in cold blood and you dispatched a DIG to supervise that investigation.

“A DIG is a sufficiently senior officer. They came to Benin and they did what Fela Anikulapo-Kuti would have called police magic.

“In the end, they went for a civil rights activist and charged him with the offence of murder,’’ he said.

Mr. Oshiomhole said the DIG conspired with other officers involved in the investigation, one of them a deputy police commissioner, to shield Mr. Oyerinde’s real killers, while they framed others who had nothing to do with the attack.

“The Deputy Commissioner of Police that he used, who claimed that they have done a thorough job, has no business wearing police uniform because by my judgment, in his own narrative, he is a criminal,’’ he said.

Mr. Oshiomhole said the police’s own narrative implied the force was culpable in the killing, and said the events highlight how it had become nearly impossible for an average Nigerian to obtain justice from a corrupt police force.

“They wrote a report that the man, who was involved in the murder, including the entry made by a DPO in a police station, was already under police detention,” he said.

“The weapon that was used for the murder was used for armed robbery earlier, recovered by the police and under police custody at the time my secretary was murdered.

“So, the man who murdered my secretary was in police custody, the gun used was in police custody and this is the findings of the police, then the only conclusion that could be reached was that the police ordered the murder of my private secretary,” he said.

He urged the vice president to report to the president that the killers of Mr. Oyerinde had not been found.

“I feel terrible that as a governor I can’t get justice. If I can’t get justice, then an average Nigerian cannot expect justice and we can’t have justice if we can’t tell the truth,’’ he said.

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