The Ondo State Command of the Nigeria Police Force paraded eight suspected killers of an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Olumide Odimayo, in Akure on Wednesday.
The late chieftain was whisked away from his residence last Thursday. A team of local vigilantes in Igbotu discovered his corpse by a river bank on Monday.
With the assistance of the local vigilantes and intelligence gathered by detectives, police arrested eight men suspected of kidnapping and killing Mr. Odimayo.
Among the culprits paraded on Wednesday were Bekewei Francis, a 45-year-old palm wine tapper, and his son, David Seimengha Francis, 22.
Others were Fikesi Inuesokan, Evan Roman, Gbamila Success, Bodidi Idowu, Saturday Amos and Ijanboh Kehinde.
Ondo State Police Commissioner Hilda Ibifuro-Harrison addressed reporters while parading the suspects at the command headquarters in Akure.
“Armed men at about 6 a.m. [last Thursday] invaded the residence of Olumide Odimayo at Igbotu in Ese Odo Local Government Area and took him away inside the creek,” she said. “Immediately, the police, aided by the help of the community members, swung into action and in the course of enquiry these eight suspects were arrested.”
The police commissioner further disclosed that the lifeless body of the late APC chieftain was found inside the creek in Ajagba as the police closed in on the suspects.
Mrs. Ibifuro-Harrison noted that Mr. Odimayo’s corpse was brought to the Ondo State General Hospital in Okitipupa, where it will undergo an autopsy.
She explained that members of the kidnap gang who masterminded the abduction of the deceased were over fifteen in number.
“These kidnap gang members are more than fifteen, but after investigation those paraded will be diligently prosecuted,” Mrs. Ibifuro-Harrison said, adding that police would nab the remaining members of the gang.
It was gathered that the eight culprits were arrested with 10 mobile phones, one AK-49 rifle and 21 rounds of live ammunition.
During interrogation, the ring leader, David Francis, confessed to journalists that the kidnapping of Mr. Odimayo was perfectly planned by his group members.
“I was contacted by my father, Bekewei Francis, that we should kidnap the man [Odimayo], so immediately I called my friends on the phone and the arrangement was made.
“We stormed his residence at Igbotu and kidnapped him, but while heading inside the creek, the youths of the community chased us and killed one of our members.
“We learnt that the youths were joined by some local vigilantes and the police but we were already getting tired inside the creek.
“So, when the members of the vigilante group were close to us we decided to drop him [Odimayo] by the bank of the river and he later died,” he said.
Mrs. Ibifuro-Harrison urged Ondo State residents to stay vigilant and report any suspicious persons to the police.