The Federal Government said yesterday that it was confused on how to go about the investigation of the murder of the private Principal Secretary to Edo State governor Mr Olaitan Oyerinde, even as the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) said it has not been able to prosecute anybody. Oyerinde was killed on May 4, 2012 by unknown gunmen in his bedroom in Benin, Edo State capital.
Presently, two sets of suspects have been detained over the murder. One set of suspected robbers were arrested by the Department of State Security (DSS) as being responsible for the killing, while the police also have another set whom they are claiming, are the brains behind the murder. Both sets of suspects are currently in police detention waiting on the office of the AGF to take a decision on which set to face the law.
Testifying yesterday at a public hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petition on the killing, AGF representatives at the public hearing, Mr O. T Olatigbe, a Deputy Director in the Ministry of Justice said the AGF office was in a dilenma on how to go about the prosecution of the suspects. Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiohole was present at the hearing.
Also at the public investigation which lasted till 7pm was Chief Femi Falana, SAN Director General of the DSS, Mr Ita Ekpeyong and the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Peter Gana. Olatigbe said the AGF office would have commence the prosecution of suspects but for the dilenma it found itself on the matter.
The admission of confusion by AGF stunned members of the House and caused murmuring among the audience at the hall. In his presentation, Oshiomhole insisted that police knew everything about the killing of his aide. He said that the force is deliberately protecting the killers.
After making his presentation which was a relive of all he has said at various fora on the death of his aide, Oshiomhole was asked by the committee to yield the floor to the Office of the Edo State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Ministry of Justice, to explain the crisis leading to the confusion on the real identity of the killers of Oyerinde as contained in the conflicting reports submitted by the police and the DSS.
The DPP accused the police of underhand dealings in the matter. He alleged that the police refused to follow the normal procedure of forwarding its final report of investigation to it for advice, by but rather forwarded it to the the AGF office in Abuja, where the issue had been pending.
He said the gun that was used to kill Oyerinde was traced to a police station in Benin . Despite being confronted with this evidence, he said the police refused to unveil the killers. Asked to comment on the claims of the DPP Olatigbe reiterated that the handling of the investigation by the police placed the AGF office in a dilemma . According to him, though the reports of both the Police and DSS investigations had reached the AGF’S office, but the office does not know which to act on, because both are convincing in their analyses.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon Uzor Azubuike, could not hide his surprise at the confession, while other members of the committee and onlookers laughed. He, however, tried to save the situation by saying that the dilemma of AGF was a result of non-involvement in the investigation process, by both Police and the DSS. Olatigbe , in what appears a face saving measure, claimed that the AGF had already started studying the police report on the incident before the DSS report came in, and threw them into confusion because the details of the DSS report was also very convincing going by the details of how the investigations, leading to the arrest of the suspects were conducted.
Though not satisfied with the submission , the committee chairman asked Mr Ita to make his presentation. He did. Ita disclosed how the service was able to use details of Oyeride’s phones that were stolen by the robbers to trace and arrest them. He explained that the IMEI was sourced from mobile phone service providers to which Oyerinde subscribed while alive, and that it was discovered that the phones had been sold out to unsuspecting members of the public.
With the origin of the phones properly traced, Ita said that the real robbers who killed Oyerinde were successfully tracked down and arrested, and have made confessional statements. The suspects, he said, were handed over to the police for prosecution. Responding to the allegation , DIG Gana said that allegation against him by Gov. Oshiomhole was baseless, he said the police had done its investigation the way it should be.