Police: Armed Robbers, Not Assassins Killed Oyo Lawmaker

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By Ademola Babalola in Ibadan

The Oyo State police command yesterday paraded four suspects arrested in connection with the killing of a serving member of the state house of assembly, Gideon Aremu.

Aremu, a Labour Party lawmaker in the house, represented Oorelope constituency and was the Chairman,  House Committee on Information, Public Relations and Security.

The four suspects were Ayobami Adedeji, 23, principal suspect; as well as three alleged criminal receivers, Adeniran Oladapo, 31, who bought; Kareem Isiaka, 43; and Sodiq Adedeji, 20; confessed that the gang actually guned down Aremu, who represented Oorelope state constituency, to death without knowing his identity.

While Oladapo and Sodiq allegedly bought the Samsung Duo phone the suspects stole from Aremu, Isiaka was the one that purportedly removed the security on the phone.

The police have, however, declared wanted three other fleeing suspects – Abbey, Kola Mission, and Yusuf Ikire, who took part in the operation the fateful day Aremu was murdered.

According to the suspects, they just wanted to rob him and go away, but somebody flashed light at them, which revealed their faces, adding that they killed Aremu on the suspicion that he could recognise them.

The suspects were paraded by the former commissioner of police in the state, Mr. Leye Oyebade, few hours before the new CP, Mr. Samuel Adegbuyi, took over the control of the command from him. Oyebade has been transferred to Abia State.

Oyebade explained that one of the suspects, Adeniran Oladapo, was arrested in July with Aremu’s phone, adding that his confessional statement led to the arrest of three other suspects.

“Adedeji confessed to belong to the four-man gang that actually robbed and killed the deceased in front of his house on the fateful day. According to him, they had no knowledge of the status of the victim.

“As robbers, their intention  was to rob him of valuable property in his possession. He disclosed that the vitim was killed because they thought he could identify them due to a torch flashed on them during the operation. The suspect also confessed that he was given N40,000 as his own share of the money stolen from the deceased. The arrest of the suspects and the subsequent confession laid insinuations that the killing was politically motivated to rest.”

The principal suspect, Ayobami Adedeji, told newsmen that he was one of the four-member gang that attacked, murdered and stole the phone and money of Aremu on Friday July 1, 2016. He gave the names of other three members as Abbey, Kola and Yusuf.

He explained that members of the gang usually met at Awo Joint at Beere in Ibadan, where they indulge in smoking of Indiam hemp, adding that the initial plan of the gang was to rob from house to house. The gang, he said, usually strategised at the joint.

“But we saw the car and we wanted to rob the occupants.  But the role I played was to hold the phone and the money stolen from the victim. But I don’t know why Abbey shot him. We sold the phone we stole from the victim.

“I was an ex-convict and I served my jail term at Agodi Prisons in Ibadan. I spent one year in the prison before I was granted amnesty by the Chief Judge of Oyo State last year.

“I met Yusuf Ikire at the Awo Joint, Beere. The joint is close to Ogunmola House. We would buy Indian hemp from one Dele Awo at the joint and we would smoke it.

“On the fateful day, we took off from Awo Joint at Beere for Adegbayi, after smoking Indian hemp. Abbey, who lives at Adegbayi, was the one who gave us the information to rob in his area.”

The police have, however, declared Beere as a flashpoint.