A suspect who was arrested by the police last February in connection with the murder of a member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos, John Oladokun, has been reportedly killed.
Mr Oladokun, popularly known as John Ibafo, was allegedly shot by the police while trying to escape from detention at the State Anti-Robbery Squad in Ikeja.
“They’ve not announced John Ibafo’s killing, they said he was trying to escape at Panti,” a police source told PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Oladokun, 43, was arrested alongside three others – Bashiru Bashorun, 49, also known as Abija; Sunday Balogun, 43, also known as Folori; and Gbolahon Olowokere, 34, also known as Motherless Junior – for the murder of one Ganiyu Ayinla.
Mr Ayinla, also known as Pinero, was shot and killed after some gunmen opened fire on him and his boss, NURTW chairman in the area, Kunle Azeez, at about 3 a.m. in Lagos Island on January 23.
During a press conference to announce the arrest of the suspects, Edgal Imohimi, the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, said one pump-action gun and ‘operational’ vehicle with plate number KTU 713 EZ were recovered from them.
“So far, they have all confessed to the crime and mentioned one Ade Lawyer who is currently at large as a co-participant in the crime,” Mr Imohimi told journalists.
“This type of killing has become the trend whenever NURTW election is approaching but the Command will certainly make it the last.”
The police did not allow the suspects to speak wuth journalists before taking them away.
Ten days later, the police paraded ‘Ade Lawyer’ (real name Adeola Williams) and Rafiu Akanni Olohunwa, the immediate past chairman of the NURTW Lagos chapter, after they were arrested by the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team.
Ade Lawyer told journalists he had been contracted by Mr Olohunwa to assassinate Mr Azeez and they agreed a N1.5 million fee, a claim Mr Olohunwa denied.
Days later, Sahara Reporters reported that the police had released Mr Olohunwa, 51, on the condition that he will always make himself available for questioning in the course of the investigation.
Chike Oti, the spokesperson of the Lagos State Police Command, denied knowledge of the release.
On Wednesday, a police source corroborated Sahara Reporters’ story, adding that Mr Olohunwa likely flew to London after his release.
“They’ve released Olohunwa, they granted him bail. They held a party for him. The police had no statement to that effect,” the source told PREMIUM TIMES.
Photos of Mr Olohunwa’s supporters surfaced on social media in March showing the former NURTW boss jubilating with his friends after his release.
Repeated phone calls to Mr Olohunwa’s mobile line on Thursday and Friday failed to connect.
“What I learnt about that Ade Lawyer is that they are holding on to him and they are using him to make money, from some of these big shots and other people who he has in one way or the other implicated,” the police source continued.
“He has mentioned lots of them and when names are mentioned, they will detain the person and collect money from him.
“And even when there is another crime somewhere and maybe they bring another suspect, that suspect may have one or two relationships with that Ade Lawyer, maybe they’d done one or two jobs together. So they are equally using him to get some other criminals too or get more details into their activities.”
Contacted on Friday, Mr Oti said he did not have any record of Mr Ibafo’s death in police custody.
“I don’t have that information with me, I’m hearing it from you,” he told PREMIUM TIMES.
“And that your information is wrong because we don’t kill people in custody. If the case was that he was trying to escape, I will check on the story.”
On Mr Olohunwa’s alleged release from custody, the police spokesperson said, “Who granted him bail? Nobody granted him bail, he’s still being investigated.
“I don’t know where you got all these information that are not true. He’s still in custody, he’s undergoing interrogation as far as I know.”
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