A suspect in custody in connection with the murder of Olaitan Oyerinde, the Private Secretary to Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, has reportedly told police interrogators that he was offered N20m for the job.
He said he was paid N200,000 as part payment with which he recruited four others.
Five suspects, including the Executive Director of the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Rev. David Ugolor, have been arrested in connection with the murder.
Rev. Ugolor was picked up on Friday by the investigating team from the Force CID in Abuja. His office and residence were ransacked. He was arrested after the suspect named one “David” as the sponsor of the murder.
Police sources said the suspect identified Rev. Ugolor during an identification parade as the “David” that sponsored the killing.
It was gathered that the suspect told police investigators that the deal to kill Olaitan was sealed at a restaurant in Benin City and that Rev. Ugolor pointed Olaitan to him at a bureau de change where the late Olaitan had gone for a transaction.
He said they trailed the late Olaitan to a place where he (Olaitan) and Ugolor had a drink before following him home to carry out the killing.
Ugolor took the late Olaitan home the night he was shot and he was the person called by Olaitan’s wife to take him to the hospital after he had been shot.
Police sources said Ugolor and the suspect met on Sunday. Ugolor reportedly questioned him.
Ugolor, however, said he was being framed up for the murder of Olaitan.
A statement signed by the Programme/Policy Officer of ANEEJ, Innocent Edemhanria, in Benin City said the relationship that existed between the late Olaitan and Rev. Ugolor was convivial and neither of them could plot the killing of the other.
The statement said: “The suspect who is accusing David Ugolor is of a northern Nigeria origin and is completely unknown to Rev. David Ugolor, colleagues and friends. At the moment, the police are still holding onto David as they carry out their investigations on the allegation we consider spurious.”
“We suspect strongly that somebody high up somewhere is framing up our Executive Director Rev. David Ugolor, over the murder of the personal aide to Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
“Rev. David Ugolor is a life saver, not taker as his natural penchant for poverty eradication, enlarging the voice of the voiceless, assisting the poor and needy is unparalleled in his almost 25 years of effective and result-oriented activism.
“While, we wouldn’t want to obstruct police investigations on the murder of our friend, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, as a law abiding corporate citizen, we insist that Rev. David Ugolor is innocent of any accusation being leveled against him. We call for his immediate release so he can rejoin his family.”
The late Olaitan was murdered on May 4 at his Benin City home by unknown gunmen.
– The Nation