Eight arrested over killing of Ekiti monarchs, abduction of pupils


Policemen on patrol

Eight suspects have so been arrested over the recent murder of two traditional rulers and kidnapping of pupils in Ekiti State, police have said.

The suspects were arrested in a joint operation involving police operatives, hunters, members of Agbekoya group, vigilantes and Amotekun Corps and spanning Emure-Ekiti Forest, Ise/Ogbese Forest to Emure-Ile Forest in Ondo State, spokesperson for the state police command, Sunday Abutu said on Sunday,

The Police Public Relations Officer identified the suspects as Yaya Sumaila, Idrisu Abubakar, Hassan Abudullahi, Abudullahi Abudullahi, Haruna Abubakar, Usman Abudullahi, Haruna Sule including one Babusa Alhaji Lede who was arrested inside Ayedun/ Ayebode Ekiti forest in Ikole Area of the state.

“The suspects are currently undergoing investigation and are giving credible information that could lead to the arrest of other fleeing suspects that perpetrated the dastard acts,” he said.

“While the Command will not rest until the fleeing hoodlums are made to face the full wrath of the law, members of the public are hereby implored to be calm and support the Police with credible and timely information that could lead to the arrest of those behind these heinous acts and other criminal elements in the state.”

He listed items recovered from the suspects to include one cow, three cutlasses, one axe, one dagger, and food items.

Gunmen believed to be criminal herdsmen had on 29 January killed two Ekiti traditional rulers- the Onimojo of Imojo, Oba Olatunde Olusola, and the Elesun of Esun Ekiti, Oba Babatunde Ogunsakin.

Yet to be identified gunmen had also attacked a school bus, abducted five pupils, three teachers and the driver of the Apostolic Faith Group of Schools less than 24 hours after the murder of the monarchs.

The abductors had demanded 100 million for the pupils and their teachers, but they later reduced the ransom demand to 15 million.

However, the pupils and their teachers regained freedom on Sunday morning, though the driver of the school bus was killed.

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The Ekiti State Government confirmed the release of the victims but did not say if any ransom was paid to secure their freedom.

The spokesperson for Ekiti State Governor, Olayinka Oyebode, said the pupils and their teachers were released on February 4 and brought to the Elemure Palace around 4 am.

“However, the driver of the school bus was reported killed in the custody of the kidnappers,” the governor’s spokesman added.
Timely Release

Also speaking Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, thanked President Bola Tinubu for his support that led to the rescue of the victims.

“The Governor while congratulating the children and their families, expresses his profound appreciation to President Tinubu for giving specific directives that put the search and rescue mission on top gear.

“He also thanks the security agencies for their collaborative efforts during the search for the students, just as he extends appreciation to Ekitikete home and abroad for their support during the security situation experienced last week,” the statement read.

“Noting the traumatic experience of the children in the kidnappers’ den, Governor Oyebanji has directed the Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Oyebanji Filani to take the children to the state Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti for proper medical treatment and post-trauma therapy.

“The Governor, who kept vigil with Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele till 3.00 am to ensure the release of the children, acknowledges the solidarity shown by his colleague governors, former governors of the state as well as religious leaders, and traditional rulers.”

The governor also affirmed that the killers of the two Ekiti traditional rulers would be fished out and made to face the maximum weight of the law, urging the people of the state to remain vigilant and report any suspicious movement in their communities to the authorities.

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