Late Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde
Onwuka Nzeshi in Abuja
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions Thursday summoned the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, and the Director-General, State Security Service (SSS), Mr. Ita Ekpeyong, over the murder of the Principal Private Secretary of Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde last year.
Also to appear before the lawmakers are the Edo State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, the widow of the deceased and her brother.
The summon followed a petition presented to the House by the Conference of Civil Society Groups, alleging that the police investigation on the murder was fraught with inconsistencies.
Oyerinde was murdered in cold blood at his residence in Benin City, Edo State.
The incident led to the arrest of some suspects by the police but a controversy soon arose when operatives of the State Security Service arrested and paraded another set of suspects on the same matter.
The confusion forced the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to accuse the police of doing a shoddy job in the investigations of the murder.
In the petition, the Conference of Civil Society Groups, berated the police for unlawfully detaining their fellow activist, Rev. David Ugolor, during their investigation even after a court of competent jurisdiction had issued an order demanding his release.
The petitioners who appeared before the committee to defend their petition, described the police prosecution of Ugolor as a ploy to divert attention from the real killers.
However, counsel to the police, Mr Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN), who was also at the hearing, picked holes in the submission of the petitioners, dismissing their petition as tissues of lies.
He said the police had nothing personal against anyone and merely responded to the legal opinion of the Edo State Director of Public Prosecution on the matter.
Gadzama insisted that the police did a thorough investigation, and that as the person who was last seen with Oyerinde on the night of his death, there was nothing wrong with investigating Ugolor to ascertain whether or not he had any thing to do with the murder.
Chairman, House Committee on Public Petitions, Hon. Uzo Azubuike, decried what he described as the politicisation of a purely criminal matter.
Azubuike said that the invitation of the AGF and the DG SSS to the next sitting on the matter might help unravel the mystery behind the murder of Oyerinde.