By Gbade Ogunwale
Confusion arising from crisis of confidence between the police and the State Security Service took a new twist on Thursday as the two agencies once again went public with contradictory claims in respect of suspects arrested in connection with the murder of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, Principal Secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State.
Oyerinde was murdered in his GRA, Benin home by armed men on May 4.
While investigation by the SSS returned a robbery verdict, the police said it was a case of sponsored killing.
At separate briefings on Thursday, the SSS re-paraded the six suspects it earlier presented to journalists on August 1 in connection with the crime, maintaining its position that three of the suspects participated directly in the crime, while the remaining three were receivers of stolen items from Oyerinde’s residence.
On the other hand, the police, through the Deputy Force spokesman, Mr. Frank Mba, listed seven principal suspects and several other persons as mastermind, sponsor, or for aiding and abetting the crime.
No suspect was paraded at the police briefing.
Mba insisted that police investigation had fingered Rights Activist, Rev. David Ugolor as sponsor of the killing.
Asked if the police had been able to establish any clue as to Ugolor’s motive behind his alleged involvement, Mba said police investigators were still working on the possibility of establishing such motives.
“We are still working on the possibility of establishing the motives behind the killing. But for security reasons and for the purposes of protecting the integrity of our investigation, we are not going to divulge certain information at this point,” Mba stated.
According to the Mba, one Garuba Usman Maisamari assembled the suspects, allegedly on request by Rev. Ugolor for the purpose of assassinating Oyerinde.
He added that Ugolor was identified by some of the suspects during identification parade in Benin on May 27.
The police said one of the suspects, Moses Asamah Okoro confessed that Maisamari promised to pay them N20 million to kill Oyerinde but that they were given N200, 000 advance payment, allegedly by Maisamari.
Okoro was said to have also confessed that he alongside Danjuma Musa and Abubakar Usman carried out the killing of the governor’s aide.
Other suspects named by the police in the case were: Danjuma Musa; Murtala Usman, Auta Umaru Ali; Moses Asama Okoro (a.k.a. Moses Auchi); Usman Adamu (a.k.a. Duna) who allegedly provided two motorcycles for the operation; Idris Abdulhamid; and Hassan Aliyu.
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