Nearly a year after the gruesome murder of Funke Olakunrin, Daughter of the leader of Afenifere, a Pan-Yoruba Socio-Cultural Group, the Police has disclosed how it arrested some of the suspected killers.
A statement by the Force PRO, DCP Frank Mba on Thursday confirmed the arrest of four suspects at various locations in the country.
The deceased was murdered on the 12th of July, 2019 along Ondo-Ore road in Ondo State.
Her death sparked a wild outrage, most especially amongst prominent politicians in the South West region. It has also been attributed as one of the reasons for the establishment of the South West Security Network code-named, Amotekun.
It would be recalled that the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu had also deployed the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), CP Fimihan Adeoye, 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 to carry out the massive manhunt for the killers with the aim of arresting and bringing them to justice.
Police 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 arrest of Auwal Abubakar led to the arrest of two (2) other members of the gang, Mohammed Shehu Usman and Lawal Mazaje in Benin, Edo State from whom cache of ammunition was recovered and one other Adamu Adamu in Akure, Ondo State.
“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. 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.
“Investigations so far reveal that the operation that led to the killing was carried out by eight (8) fully armed kidnap/robbery suspects led by one Tambaya (other name unknown) who is currently at large. While four (4) of the suspects (mentioned above) are in custody, effort is 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.
“Consequently, the Inspector General of Police hereby declares the principal suspect, Tambaya (other names unknown) wanted for his involvement in the death of Mrs Funke Olakunrin. Tambaya, a Nigerian, speaks Hausa, Fulfulde and Pidgin English languages. He is fair in complexion and in his late 20s – between the age of 27 and 30. His last known address is Isanlu, Kogi State. He has visible scar from stitches on his forehead down to his nose and mouth.” The statement said.