• Police paraded four suspects
• Three declared wanted
One of the arrested suspects, Ayobami Adedeji yesterday said they were “robbers and not assassins”. Adedeji (23) and three others – Adediran Oladapo (31), Kareem Isiaka and Sodiq Adedeji (20) – were paraded by Police Commissioner Leye Oyebade at the Police Command headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan.
Aremu was killed in front of his home in Alakia area as he alighted from his car to open his gate.
Three gunmen on a motorcycle were said to have trailed him to the house and shot him severally after a brief argument.
In an attempt to speed up the killers’ arrest, Governor Abiola Ajimobi placed a N5 million bounty on their heads.
Narrating how the lawmaker was killed, Adedeji said they did not know his status before one of them called ‘Abbey’ shot him after collecting his mobile phone and money.
He said: “We met at our usual Awo joint in Beere area, Ibadan, to carry out a robbery operation at Adegbayi, Ibadan on that fateful day.
“We did not track the lawmaker to his residence, but it was one of us called Abbey that his mother reside in Adegbayi that brought the job to rob the lawmaker to us. I did not know why Abbey shot him, but the only thing they gave me was N40,000, which was my share of the operation.”
Adedeji, who described himself as an ex-convict, said he was jailed last year for selling Indian hemp, but was later pardoned after spending a year at the Agodi prison in Ibadan by the Attorney General.
The suspect claimed that he became friends with Abbey, Kola Mission and Yusuff Ikire at Awo joint, around Ogunmola compound in Beere after he was released from prison.
He noted that on the day they killed the lawmaker, they took off from the Awo joint after taking Indian hemp, which was served to them by one Dele Awo.
But one of the suspects, Sodiq Kareem, who is a suspected receiver of stolen goods, claimed that he was not aware that the late lawmaker’s phone he bought was stolen.
“It was Kola and Yusuf that sold the lawmaker’s phone to me for N12,500, but I could not make use of it because it was locked and has a security code. So, I gave it to Kareem Isiaka (aka Alfa) to unlock for me or sell. Alfa sold it to Adeniran Oladapo for N16,000,” he said.
Isiaka confirmed collecting the phone from Sodiq to sell but did not know that it was a stolen phone.
Oyebade said the arrest was made possible by a combined team of Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and detectives from the state police command.
“The suspects did not have the knowledge of the status of the lawmaker. As robbers, their intention was to rob him of valuable property in his possession. The victim was killed because they thought he could identify them due to a torch flashed on them during the operation,” he said.
The police boss declared wanted three of the fleeing members of the gang, who include Abbey, Kola Mission, and Yusuf Ikire.
He added that anyone with useful information that could lead to their arrest should contact the police command.
The police commissioner saluted the patience of the family of the victim, the understanding of the government and the people.
Oyebade assured that no criminal would commit crime of any magnitude in the state and get away with it.
The lawmaker representing Ibadan North State Constituency II, Mr. Segun Olaleye, hailed the effort of the police in arresting his colleague’s killers.
“It is very clear to the world now that Aremu was not killed politically, but by armed robbers. It’s not up to two months now and they have exposed the face of these evil perpetrators and I am sure those that flee too will soon be caught,” he said.