The Ondo State Police Command has denied that it has arrested the suspected killers of Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of Afenifere leader, Reuben Fasoranti.
The police’s statement counters claims by Afenifere spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin, that four suspects had been arrested in connection with the murder.
Mrs Olakurin, in July last 2019, was gruesomely murdered by suspected herdsmen at Kajola along Ore-Ijebu Ode expressway while on her way to Lagos. She was shot in her Toyota Landcruiser SUV and later died despite measures to save her life.
Olakurin’s murder came at the height of kidnappings and gun attacks by herders in the Southwest region; a development that prompted the leaders of the region to create a regional security network- Amotekun.
Afenifere, prior to this development, had repeatedly accused the police of tardiness in the handling of the case.
Odumakin first stated on Monday that four suspects, had been arrested by the Special Anti-robbery Squad, SARS, in Ondo State, and that police had taken in the driver of the deceased, who had earlier been released from custody.
But according to the Police Public Relations Officer in Ondo State, Tee Leo-Ikoro, no arrest had been made.
Leo-Ikoro, in a statement, said:
We will be happy to arrest the suspect, but as of today, the suspects are yet to be arrested by the Ondo State Command.”
The police spokesperson said the news of the arrest of the suspects must be the work of purveyors of fake news.
The police image-maker later issued a statement denouncing the report and insisting that the police were still investigating.
However, a statement by Mr Odumakin on Tuesday, further heightened the controversy as he urged journalists to ignore the denial of arrest statement by the police command.
Kindly disregard the statement credited to the Ondo Police PRO on the above subject,” he said.
The regular Police in Ondo state has behaved so irresponsibly on the murder of Mrs Funke Olakunrin in the last 9 months.
But for SARS that has now apprehended the suspected killers, we would have lost confidence in the organization.
We were shocked that the regular police in Ondo released the car in which Mrs Olakunrin was killed to the family the day after the incident without any forensic.
It was after Afenifere’s complaint to the police at the highest level that they came to take the car for forensic after seven days of people touching the car with no report to the family till date. They just asked them to come and take the car that they were done with it.
They were not going to do any autopsy on her until we insisted one must be carried out.
They never deemed it necessary to brief the family once in the last 9 months.
But the SARS who arrested the suspected killers formally briefed Papa Fasoranti last Saturday showing the responsible face of the police.
The 94-year-old Pa Fasoranti who has been having sleepless nights in the last nine months has resumed normal sleep since SARS briefed him on the arrest.
The driver who was on the wheel when Mrs Olakunrin was killed and went with the killers was treated with kid gloves by the regular police in Ondo but the SARS has taken him in yesterday after he failed to report for days despite repeated invitations.
Once again we commend the SARS for the wonderful job they have done and we wait for thorough investigation that will lead to diligent prosecution.”