On the re-arrest of Oyo serial murderer
The public was recently overcome with amazement over the news that one Sunday Shodipe, a nineteen years old man, who allegedly killed a number of persons in Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State, had reportedly escaped from the custody of the police in Ibadan after his initial arrest. The escapee suspect was allegedly incriminated in the killings of citizens Azeezat Shomuyiwa and Barakat Bello among others who were serially sent to their untimely graves gruesomely by the said Sunday Shodipe and his two accomplices.
As at the time the shocking news of the suspect’s escape hit the knowledge of the public, the real motive that inspired the serial killer’s killings of his victims was yet to be determined – even though it was the belief or suspicion of several persons that the ghastly killings were nothing short or shorn of the pattern of ritual exterminations by ritual exterminators. In fact, the ripples the respective murders of the victims generated in many circles especially in Akinyele Local Government Area were on account of their ritualized forms which this columnist needs not graphically depict here.
But it is fitting to state here, simply, that indigenes of the area had been rightly disturbed over such diabolical activities that were recently rife in the area; diabolical actions and conducts that the people were (and are) determined to end, hopefully, with the full and unflinching support of the police.
However, when it was reported that Sunday Shodipe had escaped from police custody in unfathomable circumstances one got the feeling that the people’s hopes were misplaced ones. The well-known corrupt culture of our country’s police must have been highly responsible for the detainee’s escape, one rightly or wrongly thought. Of course, the police were expected to offer whatever excuse they deemed it necessary to offer. They might weave whatever narrative it might please them to weave, but, as we rightly felt, they must let out the names of the officers or rank and file who were on duty on the day and time Sunday Shodipe escaped from their custody.
Clearly, the escape of the escapee had the character of the typical policeman who a little, not to mention a handsome, bribe would compel and compromise to do anything, no matter how heinous. Indeed, evil bribe or evil money is the god, the deity, of the typical Nigerian policeman as evidenced now and then, for example, at police check-points that dot our roads everywhere in our country’s cities and highways especially. The majority of our compatriots are convinced that our police will not change their notorious behaviour no matter the training and retraining they get, and no matter how well the government funds the force and no matter, also, how well the government equips every branch of the police force.
Meanwhile, one proposes and insists that all complicit officers and non-officers in the shocking escape of Sunday Shodipe from their custody in Ibadan be brought to book. Regardless of what we have read so far in newspapers pertaining to how the escapee prisoner was recaptured and how he escaped from custody, in the first place, the top hierarchy of the police must set up a solid investigation panel to solve the riddle – I reiterate and restate, of the disappearance of the suspected serial criminal from their safe custody. The public must know the identities of the crack-brained fellows in the force that aided the escaped suspect. The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, must go further and compel and command the Oyo State Police Command to commence the trial of the suspect forthwith and without delay. Akinyele Local Government Area’s residents and residents elsewhere must know true peace henceforth through appropriate security measures that they are entitled to from our police always.
Now I must commend the police for the prompt re-arrest of the alleged criminal. Equally heartily lauded here are all those, including the governor of Oyo State, the local traditional ruler in the local government area where the victims were murdered, all persons, pastors and imams, traditional religions’ faithful and others who said prayers and offered sacrifices, orthodox and un-orthodox, that led to the re-arrest of the alleged serial murderer.
Yet there is the need to note here the unpleasant news that another victim, a pregnant female or so, was dastardly murdered in the same Akinyele Local Government Area even after Sunday Oshodipe was re-captured. The said murder followed Sunday Shodipe’s pattern. The police must thus help the public to buoy up their confidence in the force through proper and diligent policing of the area and other neighbouring places where such dastardly crimes are rife. If the suspect’s comrade(s) are still out there roaming the streets, or hiding in the bushes, or taking refuge anywhere, they equally must be apprehended and be subjected to trial and appropriate punishment thereafter. The members of the public definitely deserve to live in peace, and the IGP and his top team should rekindle their spirits by doing just this. When they mean it the police can and will do it without qualms.
On a final note, I call upon the government to make this vital arm of our law enforcement institution far better than it presently is. The powers that be should encourage and compel the police to alter their image and the public’s attitude to it through the right means and enhanced variations of the welfare of all members of the force.
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.