Police have arrested former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Jokotola Pelumi, and others believed to be political thugs, for the alleged murder of a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Akingboju Akindele, and the abduction of an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).
Akindele, attached to the Anti-Cultism Unit of the Lagos State Command, was reportedly murdered when he led a team to Ijede area of Ikorodu to arrest four wanted cultists who had been on the police wanted list.
After the arrest, the DSP and his team were leading the cultists to their office when some members of the cult group ambushed the policemen.
The cultists shot Akindele dead, collected his rifle and abducted the ASP. But on their way to the bush where they were to bury the DSP, the ASP reportedly escaped and hid in the bush.
The state Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, who paraded the suspects at the command headquarters, Ikeja, yesterday, said on October 27, a team of Anti-Cultism policemen attached to Area M, Ijede, were attacked while trying to effect arrest of some suspected cultists, in the process, the police officer, DSP Akindele, was killed, while a police ASP was abducted.
Edgal said investigation into the case led to the arrest of 49 suspects including the former Speaker, Pelumi.
He said: “The suspects were being investigated by the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti Street, Yaba.
“The suspects were arrested inside Hon. Pelumi’s house at Ijede area of Ikorodu, where they hid after killing the police officer. When the news of the dastard killing of the policeman got to me, I quickly mobilised men who traced the hoodlums to the former speaker’s house and they were surprised to meet 49 cultists celebrating.
“The question is what would cultists, who murdered a DSP be doing in the speaker’s house? Why would he harbour cultists and thugs in his house? Why would he shield such persons that killed a senior police officer in his house? This is serious and we will not take it likely. We may charge the speaker for accessory to the fact of murder while other suspects will be charged for murder.”
The commissioner warned that the era of killing policemen was gone and that no one would kill a policeman and go scot free as the police would hunt the culprit to anywhere.
One of the suspects, who claimed to be an aide to the speaker, said he was arrested while doing his house chores.
He claimed that some people ran into the house, saying that the police were after them.
A police officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said after escaping, the abducted ASP hid inside the bush to monitor the activities of the hoodlums and saw where they buried the rifle taken from the DSP.
“It was the ASP that took us to the riverside where they buried the rifle.
“Preliminary investigation showed that the gang was formidable and has held Ikorodu and its environs by the jugular. They have been operating with absolute confidence as they have big time politicians who are backing them.”
While parading other suspects, the police refused to bring Pelumi before journalists.
Meanwhile, some residents of Ijede yesterday marched on the SCIID at Panti to protest the arrest of the former speaker and others.
Speaking with our correspondent on the phone, Mrs Pelumi said they were in the house when the policemen scaled the fence into the house and arrested everyone.
She said: “Immediately the policemen entered the house, they destroyed everything on sight and collected my ATM, my husband’s phone, laptop, necklace and some other valuables.
“When my husband came out to ask what was happening, the policemen hit him with the butt of a gun and took him away. Now we have been at Panti waiting to see him and those arrested.