Why exclusive interviews with suspects can not be published…
We are unable to publish the interviews with the suspects in the murder of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, aide to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, as earlier publicised because of some legal implications which have since been brought to our attention. And because of the need for balanced, fair and objective reporting, we present extracts from the presentation of the Police to the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions held on 13 February. The presentation was made by Chris Ezike, a deputy commissioner of police, Federal Anti-Robbery Squad, Force CID, Abuja.
ALLEGATION:- The allegation borders on a petition received from Civil Society Organization, Edo State against the Nigeria Police on alleged complicity and improper investigation into the murder of Comrade Oyerinde Olaitan, an aide to Edo State Governor and referred to the Committee on Public Petitions for further hearing.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ALLEGATION:-
(i) That the Nigeria Police arrested Rev. David Ugolor- a bossom friend of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde – on the 27th of July, 2012 on a “singular and unconfirmed statement of a suspect who confessed that it was one David that masterminded the assassination”.
(ii) That three days later, precisely on the 1st of August, 2012, the State Security Services paraded another set of suspects who gave a graphic description of how they killed Comrade Oyerinde saying it was armed robbery that went awry.
(iii) That on the 1st of September, 2012, the Police charged all the nine suspects with them before a Magistrate Court in Oredo Benin City and they were remanded in Oko Prison awaiting the advice of the DPP Edo State on the way forward.
(iv) That the advice dated 29th October, 2012 cleared two of the accused persons and recommended others for prosecution based on the report of the Police and SSS.
(v) That the DPP’s report revealed that some of the suspects whom the Police claimed killed Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde on the 4th of May, 2012 have actually been in their custody since 24th of April, 2012 with the gun purported to have been used to murder him.
(vi) That the Nigeria Police Force also arraigned the suspects handed to them by the SSS before the same Oredo Magistrate Court but with a new twist to their confession. That the Police announced to the world in less than 48 hours after the suspects were handed over to them that two suspects have recanted their statements.
(vii) That Civil Society Organizations in the state are dissatisfied with the show of shame by the Nigeria Police and the contradictions it has fed the public on the findings of the two security agencies in the country. That they believe that there are elements pulling weight to cover the real killers of Comrade Oyerinde and finally asked who are the real killers of Oyerinde?
OPENING STATEMENTS:- The Nigeria Police wishes to emphatically state that these allegations are unfounded, false, misleading, diversionary and do not represent the true facts of Police Investigation into the Conspiracy, armed robbery and murder of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde which occurred on the 4th of May 2012, investigated by the Police and charged to court.
DOCUMENTS PRESENTED:- The following documents have been presented to this Committee and shall form substantially the basis of the account of our roles in this matter.
(i) POLICE INVESTIGATION REPORT:- Re-case of Conspiracy, Armed robbery and Murder dated 1st August, 2012.
(ii) POLICE INVESTIGATION REPORT:- Re-Case of Seven Suspects Transferred by the Department of State Services Abuja Accused of Involvement in the murder of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, Principal Private Secretary (PPS) to the Edo State Governor, Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomohle dated 17th September, 2012.
(iii) Appendix three (3) – Being a collection of Documents /correspondences Marked Numbers 1-16 and will be referred to from time to time in the course of presentation.
(iv) We shall also place reliance on our Casefiles which contain statements of both complainants; witnesses and suspects in this matter but which on the advice of our legal team may not be made available at this time.
CASE OF CONSPIRACY, ARMED ROBBERY AND MURDER OF COMRADE OLAITAN OYERINDE:-
Detectives arrived Benin City on 4th May 2012 at about 11pm, same day Deceased was murdered.
The team was led by Deputy Inspector-General of Police ‘D’, included special Anti Robbery Operatives led by DC FSARS and Forensic Experts led by CP Forensics from Lagos.
The team visited the scene on 5th May, 2012 with the CP Edo Command, and his team together with the DPO Ugbor Division who has jurisdiction.
Thereafter an analysis session was held with all investigative stakeholders and the following preliminary actions were undertaken.
Collection of forensic information, prints, photographs, exhibits from the scene and classification of same.
Establishment of three dedicated telephone lines to stimulate public cooperation through volunteering of information.
Taking statements from eye witnesses to the incident which included Mrs. Funke Oyerinde ‘f’, Oletubo Adeyinka ‘m’, Alhadi Ali Metu ‘m’, Mrs Aishat Ali Alhadi Metu ‘f’.
Announcement of a reward of #10million as promised by His Excellency the Edo State Governor for any credible information towards having a break through.
Identification and profiling of items stolen from the scene- namely four Black Berry telephone handsets, one Nokia telephone handset, two Galaxy taps, one I-PAD, one laptop, one wedding ring, some cash in local and foreign currency.
Deliberate raid of black spots and identified criminal hideouts.
AREAS OF FOCUS:-
(i) POLITICAL ASSASSINATION ANGLE:- This angle became necessary because apart from the Governorship election being near, media reports fuelled speculation in this direction. Furthermore, the Comrade Governor’s convoy was involved in a fatal accident on 28th April, 2012 and accusations and counter-accusations were already visible in the media as to the motive being political. This necessitated a close look at the two incidents to attempt to identify if they have a nexus.
(ii) LANDLORD/TENANT DISPUTE:- The Deceased Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde had a problem with his landlord Architect Hope M. Akpo Eju. The relationship degenerated to a point that both parties were in court. In fact the landlord wrote letters to the Deceased, the Secretary to the State Government and the Chief of Staff to the Governor which depicted bitterness and at one point cut-off electricity supply to the Deceased’s residence. Both families shared no love and even after Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde was murdered, the landlord never went to the family to enquire about what happened until Federal Operatives arrived.
(iii) ARMED ROBBERY AS MOTIVE:- The Deceased went out on a social outing on the 3rd of May, 2012 at night with one Rev. David Ugolor, Miss Blessing Ada Ogbonna said to be the girl friend of the Deceased and Ada’s sister. The two girls were lodged at a Hotel in Benin that night. The CCTV footage of the entry and exit of the Deceased was obtained and reviewed. The Deceased left the hotel and dropped Rev. David Ugolor at his house before returning to his residence. Was he trailed by hoodlums who apparently saw them at the hotel? Or did armed robbers strike at his residence by happenstance?
(v)NIGERIAN LABOUR CONGRESS ANGLE:- In the course of investigative interviews, it was revealed that late Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde was to resume at the NLC Headquarters as Ag Secretary General following the removal of Comrade Odah shortly before his death. This was confirmed by Rev. David Ugolor in writing. Investigation also needed to know whether this expected take over was midwifed in cordiality or acrimony.
· Through Forensic information the stolen telephone hardware of Mrs. Funke Oyerinde was traced to be in use with Nos 08036555537 and 08098982939.
·Further Forensic information revealed that one Abubakar Lawal aged 26 years resident at Regia Lemo Line Daremi Fagge Kano was the one usg the telephone.
· Federal Operatives arrived Kano on 9th of June, 2012, raided the house of Abubakar Lawal only to be told that he was arrested by Rejiyer/Remo Police Station on the 31st of May, 2012 and handed over to Director, State Security Services Kano.
· Police Investigators requested for lawal Abubakar from the Department of State Services, Benin City but no response (See Document No 5 in Appendix
§ Through Forensic information the stolen telephone hardware of late Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde that used telephone No. 07037448616 was found to be in use.
§ Further information revealed that telephone numbers 07053914404 and 08039712838 were using the hardware. While telephone No. 07053914404 belonged to one Mohammed Baba Yelwa of Wuro Hausa Girei II in Adamawa State, telephone No. 08039712838 belonged to Abubakar Raji of Girei.
§ Detectives arrived Yola on 22nd June 2012 and through diligent and committed surveillance arrested Mohammed Baba Yelwa and through him also arrested Abubakar Raji in whose possession the Deceased’s telephone handset- a Black Barry Bold 5 was recovered.
§ Mohammed Baba Yelwa and Abubakar Raji named one Idris Abdulhamid of Girei as a vendor of fairly used telephone handsets who sold the deceased phone to him.
§ Idris Abdulhamid, 24years of age who lived with his parents at No. 28 lwehen street Benin City until 2006 when they relocated to Girei was immediately arrested. His arrest led to the recovery of several other stolen telephone handsets and the arrest of other suspects in Girei.
§ Idris Abdulhamid named one Hassan Babete Aliyu, the Secretary of Eyean Cattle Market, Benin City as his Uncle who supplied him fairly used telephone handsets regularly.
Hassan Babete Aliyu ‘m’ aged 41 years was arrested on the 26th of June, 2012. He admitted being a receiver of stolen property especially telephone handsets. He named Garba Usman Maisamari, Umaru Adamu alias Umaru Highest and Bashiru Yusuf as his major suppliers. He particularly named Garba Usman Maisamari as the person who sold the Deceased’s recovered telephone handset to him
The interrogation of Hassan Babete Aliyu disclosed the presence of two suspects in Police custody who have extensive knowledge of Garba Usman Maisamari
Consequently the duo of Danjuma Musa and Muritala Usman who have been in Edo Police Command custody for unlawful possession of catridges since 24th May 2012 were taken over by FSARS operatives on 27th June 2012 (See Document No. 6 in Appendix 3)
The duo confessed to armed robbery escapades. Danjuma Musa mentioned Lagos-Benin Express Way, mission road and 2nd Ugbor road GRA Benin City as some of their armed robbery locations. In furtherance of this confession, the duo took Detectives to No. 65, 2nd Ugbor road, GRA Benin City as a location they robbed which turned out to be Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde’s house.
They also confessed that “the job” was brought by Garba Usman Maisamari and executed by four of them namely Danjuma Musa, Muritala Usman, Auta Umaru Ali and Moses Asamah Okoro. That Garba Usman Maisamari bought all the items stolen from late Oyerinde’s house.
The duo also mentioned one Umaru Adamu alias Duna as the supplier of one of the locally made pistols used for the operation which is usually custodied by Danjuma Musa while the remaining two locally made pistols were brought by Muritala Usman. Muritala Usman also named one Wilfred Iserhieirhiu as his source of catridges.
Arising from the above confessions, Garba Usman Maisamari was arrested from his house on 28th June, 2012 while Auta Umaru Ali and Umaru Adamu alias Duna were arrested in the early hours of 4th July, 2012. They all admitted the offence. Wilfred Iserhieirhiu was arrested on the 5th of July, 2012.
During search at Garba Usman Maisamari’s house at No. 11 Ezeoba street, off Sakpoba road, Benin City the following items were recovered.
23 used SIM cards of different networks. He confessed that these are SIM cards he had over a period of time continuously removed from stolen/robbed telephone handsets.
A gold weighing scale
A Black Berry telephone handset belonging to one High Chief (Dr) Vincent Ifada of No. 11 Oremeji street, Itire Lagos. The High Chief in his statement revealed that the telephone handset was stolen at Benin Airport along with about #200,000 (Two hundred thousand naira cash) while waiting to receive Mr. President who was on official assignment on 30th June, 2012. Six assorted wrist watches.
ARREST OF MOSES ASAMAH OKORO ALIAS MOSES AUCHI
Moses Asamah Okoro alias Moses Auchi was arrested on the 11th of July, 2012 at No. 20 Wisdom street, off Lucky way Benin City while hiding in the house of his girl friend Rukayat Hassan. The interrogation of this suspect yielded amazing results:-
Suspect confessed to the armed robbery and murder of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde which he admittedly carried out with Danjuma Musa, Muritala Usman and Auta Umaru Ali,
Suspect named Garba Usman Maisamari as the mastermind of the operation as according to him Maisamari had told them that an unnamed man brought the job and promised to pay #20million on completion of the assignment.
He also confessed that himself, Danjuma Musa, Abubakar Mohammed and one Muritala surname unknown had on the 21st of May, 2012 at about 8pm killed one Alhaji Ismaila Aliyu at No. 21 Second Ihiogbe street, off Wire road Benin City and stole two of his telephone handsets as they could not find money with him
He further confessed to Detectives that he was part of the armed robbery gang that raided Agenebode Police Station sometime in 2010, killed a woman Police Constable and removed over 15 AK 47 rifles. According to him some of his gang members have been arrested and charged while others are still at large.
He also startled interrogators when he confessed that Umaru Adamu alias Duna enlisted his services and that of Danjuma Musa to kill one Alhaji Badamasi Saleh, Leader of the Hausa Community in Edo State and his Deputy Saidu Dahiru for a fee of #20,000 (Twenty thousand naira only). According to him he had already paid them #2500 (two thousand, five hundred naira only) to purchase bullets for the operation before their arrest.
He confirmed that Auta Umaru Ali wore a face cap on the night of the operation on 4th May 2012 and wears face cap always.
MATTERS ARISING FROM MOSES ASAMAH OKORO’S CONFESSION
All the suspects were re-interrogated on the basis of new disclosures. Garba Usman Maisamari admitted that he was hired to execute the job for a fee of #20million. He named one David whom he described as “not too tall, dark in complexion, get body small and wears native dress called old School always” as the man who gave him the job. That he had already paid him #200,000 (Two hundred thousand naira) as advance at Bob Izua Park area.
Moses Asamah Okoro, Danjuma Musa, Muritala Usman and Auta Umaru were re-interrogated and they confirmed that at a meeting with Garba Usman Maisamari in a beer parlour around Owina junction, Benin City he Maisamari told them that if the job was successful and the man is killed, they will be given #20million.
The trio of Danjuma Musa, Muritala Usman and Auta Umaru Ali stated that Moses Asamah Okoro insisted that he wants to meet the person to ensure that the money must be paid and Garba Usman Maisamari called the man on phone and he spoke with Moses Asamah Okoro.
The Beer Parlour at Owina Junction was visited called “Somebody Parliament”. The owner one James Amadin identified Auta Umaru Ali as a customer who usually comes to patronize him with some Hausa boys.
Consequently, Rev. David Ugolor of No 123 First East Circular Road, Benin City whose features fitted Garba Usman Maisamari description and who has been previously questioned in the course of investigation was arrested on 27th July, 2012.
He was put up for identification parade on the same date and he was positively identified by Garba Usman Maisamari. (See Document 8 in Appendix 3)
Again Abubakar Mohammed aged 33 years implicated in the murder of Alhaji Ismaila Aliyu and who fled to Bagudo in Kebbi State was traced to Kebbi State by Detectives and arrested. He confessed to the crime.
It is instructive to note that all the confessions made by Moses Asamah Okoro were verified and found to be true.
It is also important to state that Rev. David Ugolor denied the allegations against him and posited that he was being framed by Garba Usman Maisamari but Maisamari insisted that his identification was not ambiguous.
Danjuma Musa, Moses Asamah Okoro and Muritala Usman confirmed that Auta Umaru Ali wore a face cap on the night of the operation and identified the cap recovered from the crime scene as the cap worn by Auta Umaru Ali. Auta Umaru Ali also identified the cap as his.
OTHER DISCLOSURES BY THE SUSPECTS
Danjuma Musa, Muritala Usman, Auta Umaru Ali and Moses Asamah Okoro confessed that all the items stolen from late Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde’s house were sold to Garba Usman Maisamari who paid them an advance payment of #152,000 (One hundred and fifty two thousand naira only). Usman Maisamari admitted.
Garba Usman Maisamari admitted that he bought two laptop computers, two galaxy telephone handsets, four Black Barry telephone handsets from Danjuma Musa, Muritala Usman, Auta Umaru Ali and Moses Asamah Okoro on the 4th of May, 2012.
Garba Usman Maisamari also admitted that he sold the Black Berry telephone handsets to Hassan Babete Aliyu and the Galaxy phone and laptops to Bashiru Yusuf.
He disclosed that the said Bashiru Yusuf has been arrested by the SSS Benin City and was in custody. The Police requested for access to the suspect from Department of State Services but no response (See Document No 7 in Appendix 3)
FURTHER INVESTIGATIVE ACTIONS
· In the course of investigation, a pictorial identification of the suspects was conducted and Mrs. Funke Oyerinde identified Muritala Usman, Auta Umaru Ali and Moses Asamah Okoro as the armed robbers who killed her husband.
·That the identification parade conducted on 27th July, 2012 in which Rev. David Ugolor was identified by Garba Usman Maisamari was conducted by an independent Department not involved in the investigation. (See Document 8 in Appendix 3).
·That the four suspects who took part in the armed robbery namely Danjuma Musa, Muritala Usman, Auta UMaru and Moses Asamah Okoro were taken to the scene and each person reconstructed the part he played. This was captured in a video tape.
· That in the course of investigation, one locally made cut to size single barrel gun with one catridge identified by the suspects to have been used in the armed robbery operation at No. 65 2nd Ugbor road GRA, Benin City was traced to Esigie Police Station and retrieved.
CONCLUDING PART NEXT WEEK