The suspected masterminds in the murder of Mr. Olaitan Oyerinde, Principal Private Secretary (PPS) to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State yesterday, gave a vivid account on how he was killed at his Benin GRA residence this year. The six suspects, who allegedly confessed to the crime, however, said they were not assassins, but armed robbers.
Oyerinde was killed by gunmen on May 4 in his residence at 65, 2nd Ugbor Road, GRA, Benin City, Edo State in circumstances depicting politically-motivated killing to frustrate Oshiomhole’s (his principal) bid for a second term. However, about three months after his death, the suspects, who were paraded yesterday by the Deputy Director, Press, State Security Service (SSS), Marylyn Ogar, before newsmen in Abuja, revealed that Oyerinde was attacked following information that he was a powerful figure in Oshiomhole’s government and kept large sums of money at his residence.
The suspects were identified by the SSS as Mohammed Ibrahim Abdullahi, Raymond Onajite Origbo, Chikezie Edeh, Saidu Yakubu (a. k. a Imam), Sani Abdullahi Abubakar and Hassan Bashiru. According to Ogar, “Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde was murdered in cold blood by the trio of Mohammed Ibrahim Abdullahi, Raymond Onajite Origbo and Chikezie Edeh. The three other suspects, Saidu Yakubu (aka Imam), Sani Abdullahi Abubakar and Hassan Bashiru are buyers of stolen items.”
In an account which was corroborated by the alleged masterminds, Abdullahi said careless statements made by Ali Ihiade, the security guard of the late Oyerinde at various times about his principal’s position in government, attracted his attention, making him to subsequently plan the robbery.
He said that on the day of the robbery, he specifically instructed other gang members to tie up Ihiade before they entered Oyerinde’s home so that the security guard would not recognize him. Abdullahi narrated that when they approached Oyerinde’s residence on that day, he merely touched the unsecured gate and it flew open and they walked straight to his sitting room and met the door wide open, giving them easy access to operate.
“We took his gateman. We saw him lying down on the furniture in the sitting room while his wife and baby were also lying down in the sitting room. Immediately he saw us, he ran into the bedroom and I fired a shot in the air, asking him where he was going to. Ibrahim was outside by the bedroom window. When he heard the shot and saw him through the window, he fired three shots at him through the window and killed him. “Ibrahim is our gang leader.
We went to rob, it was not in our mind to kill him,” Origbo allegedly confessed and his account was corroborated by all the suspects. For Abdullahi, he said when he saw the late Oyerinde run into his bedroom and attempted to go under the bed, he believed that the governor’s aide was going for a gun in the place, and he therefore, shot at him. According to the SSS, Abdullahi, a 46-year-old security guard, hails from Gombi Local Government Area in Adamawa State.
Origbo, 26, an Urhobo, is from Delta State, allegedly confessed to participating in the crime and receiving N6,000 as well as a BlackBerry smart phone as his share from the items stolen from Oyerinde’s house. Edeh, 30, a native of Akpugo village in Nkanu Local Government Area of Enugu State, also allegedly admitted to participating in the crime and receiving a mobile phone and an apple Ipad computer as his share, which he sold for N10,000. For Yakubu, 42, from Dakingari village in Zuru, Kebbi State, the SSS said that he confirmed knowing the suspects and had always bought stolen items from them. He also introduced Edeh to Abdullahi to participate in armed robbery. Abubakar, 35, an indigene of Gaya village in Niger Republic, but born in Zamfara State, was said to specialize in buying and selling of stolen phones and other items in Benin City, the Edo State capital. He also allegedly confessed to buying three Blackberry smart phones and one Nokia C5 phone from Origbo for N52,000 only, which he resold at N57,000 only.
Bashiru hails from Zaga, Bagudo Local Government Area in Kebbi State. He deals in foreign exchange and used phones, also confessed to buying some Blackberry smart phones and Nokia phone too from Abdullahi Ibrahim whom he had known for about five years now.
Ogar said that the weapons, comprising three guns used during the robbery had all been recovered from the suspects who are now in custody and would be handed over to the police for prosecution.