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Lagos ex-speaker, Pelumi, others held over alleged murder of police chief


[File] Imohimi Edgal

Police gun down suspected armed robber, recover arms in Delta
A former Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Jokotola Pelumi and 42 others believed to be members of a cult gang have been arrested for the alleged murder of a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Akingboju Akindele and the abduction of an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).

Akindele, attached to the Anti-Cultism unit of the Lagos police command, was ambushed and murdered when he led a team of detectives to Ijede area of Ikorodu to effect the arrest of four suspected cultists who had been on police wanted list.

After the arrest, the DSP and his team were leading the suspects to their office when some members of the cult group ambushed the policemen. The cultists allegedly killed DSP Akindele, collected his rifle and abducted an ASP, but on their way to the bush where they were to bury the ASP alive, he manouvered and escaped, hid in the bush and monitored where the hoodlums buried the rifle.

These revelations were disclosed yesterday by the Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, who briefed newsmen on the arrest. He said on October 27, a team of Anti-Cultism policemen attached to Area M, Ijede, were attacked while trying to effect arrest of some suspected cultists, and in the process, Akindele was killed, while the ASP, name withheld, was abducted.

Edgal said investigation into the case led to the arrest of 49 suspects including a former Speaker of state House of Assembly, Pelumi. He said the suspects were being investigated by the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba.

He added that the suspects were arrested inside Pelumi’s house at Ijede, where they hid after killing the policeman. According to him, when the news of the dastard killing of the policeman got to him, he quickly mobilized and his men traced the hoodlums to the former speaker’s house where they met 49 cultists jubilating.

“The question is what would cultists who committed the murder of a DSP be doing in the speaker’s house? Why would he habour cultists and thugs in his house? Why would he shield such persons that killed a senior police officer in his house? This is serious and we will not take it likely. We may charge the speaker for assessory to the fact of murder while other suspects will be charged for murder,” he said.

One of the suspects, who claimed to be an aide to the speaker, said though he was arrested while doing his house chores, some people ran to the house saying that the police were after them.

A police officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the abducted ASP after escaping, hid inside the bush to monitor the activities of the hoodlums and saw where they buried the rifle seized from the deceased DSP.

“It was the ASP that took us to the waterside where they buried the rifle. Investigation showed that the gang was a formidable one that has held Ikorodu and its environs to the jugular. They have been operating with confidence as they have big time politicians who are backing them. One would have expected those who killed the policeman to be on the run, but they stayed in the ex-speaker’s house.”

Meanwhile, men of the Police “C” Division, yesterday gunned down a notorious armed robber simply identified as Johnson, a.k.a “Small Machine, Big Engine” at Cable Point area in Asaba, the Delta State capital. The police also recovered a locally-made double barrel-cut-to size gun and two live cartridges from the suspected armed robbers.

It was learnt that the deceased suspect was gunned down in his attempt to escape the superior firepower of the police. The police had earlier acted upon receipt of information that an armed robbery gang and some cultists allegedly killed a victim in the said area.

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