Olakunrin: Security Forces Arresting Natives to Mask Ethnic Identity of Killers, Yoruba Group Alleges

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Martins Ifijeh

The Yoruba Summit Group has accused security forces of indiscriminately arresting natives in a bid to mask the ethnic identity of killers of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, the 58-year-old daughter of Pa Reuben Fasoranti.

In a statement made available to THISDAY Wednesday, the Publicity Secretary of the group, Gboyega Adejumo, said native (Yoruba) people, mainly the Ikales, who were either going or coming from their farms, local markets and nearby communities in and around Akinfosile, Omotosho, Ilepa and Kajola communities were being arrested en-masse, detained and subjected to torture in order to implicate and parade them as the killers of Olakunrin.

Adejumo said: “As at the last count, between 30 and 40 native men have been arrested and detained, with the ubiquitous Fulani herdsmen herding their cows on the nearby roads and bushes curiously left out of the mass arrests.

“The unfortunate death of Olakunrin was just one-too-many in the long chain of hideous attacks, kidnaps and killings of innocent people as widely reported on that road for some time now while the security forces are doing nothing concrete to investigate and stop them.

“The criminals constituting a serious menace and danger to innocent travelers have been operating along that road for several months and many people who have been lucky to survive their attacks and kidnaps have given credible account of who their attackers and kidnappers were and their modus operandi which fitted last Friday’s attack on Olakunrin perfectly.”

He stressed that as observed, security forces did practically nothing to address the menace until the celebrated killing of Olakunrin and the attendant political gerrymandering and hollow ritual to misrepresent the identity of the killers.

Adejumo said the group was at a loss as to what type of investigation the police were doing that has seen the car in which Olakunrin was killed returned to the family under 24 hours without any ballistic and forensic examinations.

According to him, “It is equally disturbing that no autopsy has been carried out on the deceased, which then makes one wonder what evidence would be available to prosecute any suspect.

“We wish to sound a note of warning and give notice to the police authorities that we shall resist every illicit attempt to cover up the true killers of Olakunrin. We are watching very closely and shall expose every loophole and contradiction we see in the investigation.

“In the meantime, we are using this medium to call on the police authorities to put an end to the indiscriminate arrests and illegal torture of innocent natives, and release the already arrested victims forthwith. If our noble call goes unheeded within a reasonable timeframe of 72 hours from now, we shall go to court and will also call on the international community to join in this struggle for justice and for a transparent and politically-neutral investigation to unravel the gruesome killing of Olakunrin.”