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3 May 2019

Family Cries Out Over Plans To Release Killers Of Oyo Lawmaker, Sugar

The family of a former member of House of Representatives, Temitope Olatoye, has alleged that the Oyo State Government plans to release some suspected killers of the lawmaker.

The state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has however denied the allegation.

Mr Olatoye represented Akinyele/ Lagelu Federal Constituency until he was assassinated at Lalupon area of Ibadan during the March 9 governorship and state House of Assembly elections.

He had lost the Oyo Central senatorial election under the platform of Action Democratic Party (ADP) on February 23.
Our correspondent recalls that at least three suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of the lawmaker.

One of the arrested suspects is the lawmaker representing Akinyele State Constituency in the Oyo State House of Assembly, Olafisoye Akinmoyede.

But, an elder brother of the assassinated lawmaker, Olajide Olatoye, on Thursday alleged that some powerful people in the state including some members of the state House of Assembly planned to facilitate the release of the suspects.

Mr Olatoye made this allegation during the lying-in-state ceremony held for the slain lawmaker at the House of Chief, Agodi, Ibadan.

He said he had information that Governor Ajimobi and some members of the Oyo State House of Assembly were making efforts for the release of some of the suspects.

“Governor Abiola Ajimobi should desist from facilitating the release of the killers of my brother,” Mr Olatoye said.

“Let justice prevail, Oyo State government should remove (its) hand in the investigation of the incident and allow the perpetrators of the evil to face the wrath of the law.

“Being a serving Oyo State House of Assembly member does not mean that you are untouchable,” he said in an apparent reference to the lawmaker among the suspects.

Late Olatoye’s younger brother, Dotun Olatoye, however, said the killers of his elder brother have not been arrested. He described the situation as unfortunate.

“Sugar was a great icon and the Generalissimo of the masses. He has been paid all his tributes while on earth. He was a man of peace, even when he lost an election, he remained calm.”

The Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Olagunju Ojo, said the death of the lawmaker has cost the state an illustrious son who would never be forgotten.

“In life, it is not how far, but how well. On behalf of the 8th assembly, we wish you eternal rest and journey mercies.”

PREMIUM TIMES made several efforts since Thursday to get the reaction of police spokesperson in the state, Olugbenga Fadeyi, but he did not answer calls to his telephone number.

He also did not respond to a short message seeking his comments on the alleged plans to release the suspects.

But Governor Ajimobi denied obstructing or manipulating investigation into the murder of the lawmaker.

Mr Ajimobi who spoke through his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Bolaji Tunji, said his government has never interfered with the course of justice.

“If a citizen of the state dies, I am not sure the governor will be the one to say people responsible for it should not be punished.

“So, I think they should go and get their information right. The governor will not support sweeping such a case under the carpet. So, if people are saying the governor is trying to facilitate the release of the principal suspect and others, it is not true.

“The governor said when the man died that those who perpetrated the act would be brought to justice and that still stands.

“Why do we have peace in the state today? It is because people know that the governor will never act contrary to the law. So, if people are saying the governor or the government is trying to subvert investigation, it is a no-no. The governor will never do that,” Mr Tunji said.

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