Police operatives have arrested the killers of Funke Olakunrin, daughter of the leader of Reuben Fasoranti, PAN-Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere.
The suspects are Lawal Mazaje, 40, from Felele area of Kogi State, Adamu Adamu, 50, from Jada area of Adamawa State; Mohammed Shehu Usman, 26, from Illela area of Sokoto State; Auwal Abubakar, 25, from Shinkafi area of Zamfara State
On July 14, 2019, following the attack and murder of Funke Olakunrin by unknown persons between Kajola and Ore along Ondo-Ore road in Ondo State on July 12, 2019, Mohammed Adamu, Inspector General of Police, deployed Fimihan Adeoye, commissioner of police in charge of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, FSARS, to coordinate the team of police special forces and seasoned investigators from the Force Criminal Investigations Department, FCID, Federal SARS, Intelligence Response Team, IRT, and the Technical Intelligence Unit, TIU, from the Force Headquarters, Abuja, to carry out the massive manhunt for the killers with the aim of arresting and bringing them to justice.
After months of relentless efforts to apprehend the killers, the police Team, on March 4, during a follow-up action on a case of a high-profile armed robbery and kidnap for ransom that occurred in Ogun State, arrested one Auwal Abubakar, 25, an accessory after the fact of the crime, along Sagamu-Ore expressway in Ondo State. The arrest of Abubakar led to the arrest of two other members of the gang, Mohammed Shehu Usman and Lawal Mazaje in Benin, Edo State, from whom cache of ammunition was recovered and one other Adamu Adamu in Akure, Ondo State.
Having established sufficient physical and forensic evidence linking the suspects to the killing of Olakunrin, the investigators, determined to clear all doubts relating to their findings, on April 8, conducted an identification parade at the Federal SARS Headquarters, Lagos, which led to the positive and physical identification of three suspects, Adamu Adamu, Lawal Mazaje and Mohammed Shehu Usman by a survivor of the earlier crime. The survivor gave a clear description of the roles each of the identified suspects played in the killing. At this point, the suspects capitulated and voluntarily offered a no-holds-barred confession on how Funke Olakunrin was killed.
Investigations so far reveal that the operation that led to the killing was carried out by eight fully armed kidnap/robbery suspects led by one Tambaya (other names unknown) who is currently at large. While four of the suspects (mentioned above) are in custody, the effort is being intensified to arrest the four others still on the run. The eight-man gang has their operational base and membership spread in the south-western part of the country and Edo State.
Frank Mba, Police Public Relations Officer said on Thursday, April 16 in a release made available to newsmen that “Investigations have also revealed that they are responsible for series of high-profile armed robbery and kidnap operations in the region. They also attack, vandalize and steal components of critical national infrastructures such as electrical and telecommunications installations.”
Consequently, the Inspector General of Police has declared the principal suspect, Tambaya (other names unknown) wanted for his involvement in the death of Funke Olakunrin.
- Tambaya, a Nigerian, speaks Hausa, Fulfulde and Pidgin English languages. He is fair in complexion and in his late 20s – between the age of 27 and 30. His last known address is Isanlu, Kogi State. He has visible scar from stitches on his forehead down to his nose and mouth.
Adamu assured that the suspects will be diligently prosecuted on completion of investigations and that the Force will not relent until every member of the gang, still at large, is arrested and brought to book.