Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Mr Nwachukwu Enwonwu, has said that Sunday Shodipe, the rearrested prime suspect of serial ritual killings in Akinyele Local Government Area, would no longer be kept in police custody, based on the embarrassment his escape from custody on Tuesday, August 11 caused authorities.
The prime suspect, the Commissioner said, would be handed over to the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), where he was supposed to be remanded in the first instance, adding that following the arraignment of the suspect, the court ordered that he should be remanded in police custody to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 following complaints from the NCS that its facility was congested.
Commissioner Enwonwu, disclosing the information at Eleyele, Ibadan, when he paraded Sunday Shodipe, before journalists, stated: ‘From here, we will do the needful and we will ensure we hand him over properly to the Correctional Service, where he was supposed to have been kept in the first instance. What happened was that because of the COVID-19, and the complaints from the Correctional Service that their facility was congested, he was remanded with us.’
According to the Commissioner, ‘on 11th August 2020 at about 19:30 hours (7:30 pm), one Sunday Shodipe, a suspected dreaded serial killer, who was arrested in connection with the incessant serial killings of innocent members of the public in different communities in Akinyele Local Government Area of Ibadan, but escaped from police custody at Mokola Divisional Police Headquarters, Ibadan, where he was remanded on the order of the court in police custody.
‘Sequel to this development, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other tactical squads within Oyo State Police Command embarked on an immediate manhunt for the escaped serial killer; using human intelligence strategy, the escapee and serial killer was re-arrested on 23rd August 2020 at about 10:30 hours (10:30 am) at Bodija area, Ibadan.
‘Upon interrogation, he explained that he managed to escape from custody when an Inspector attached to the Mokola Divisional Police Headquarters, Mokola gave him permission to take his bath within the premises of the station. He also confessed that on 13thh August 2020 at about 14:30hours (2:30 pm), he attacked one Mrs Oladeji Funmilayo in her residence at Onikeke community, Akinyele area, Ibadan. He stated further that he inflicted machete injury on the woman on the head and left her in the pool of her own blood. The victim was brutally attacked by the notorious killer.’
In a chat with newsmen, the suspect said after he escaped from the police station at Mokola, he went to Akinyele, where he attacked the woman, allegedly on the instruction of his herbalist, Adedokun Ajani. But the herbalist, who was still in the police custody at the time of the parade, was not at Eleyele to defend himself against the fresh allegation levelled against him by Sunday.
‘The way I escaped from Mokola police station was not unconnected with the Baba that we have a case together. He’s the one that worked on how I escaped from the station so that he too could be set free. Immediately I left the station, I went to Akinyele that Baba sent me. He sent me to Akinyele because of his own life. He could not get regal gin to drink again.
‘When we were in the custody at Mokola police station, Baba [his herbalist] told Inspector Funsho that he should give us the opportunity to take our bath. But the Inspector did not answer him. After two or three days, Baba told me that I should rest assured that the police would take us outside to bath. So, he explained to me everything I would do for him.
‘When the police inspector came, baba told him that he needed regal gin in a plastic bottle, saying he is a herbalist and if he did not drink the gin, unseen spirits would suck his blood very dry. Inspector Funsho said he heard him. But he did not get any regal gin for him. But a woman that usually brought food for sale at the station, used to get the regal gin for Baba. But at the time Baba asked Inspector Funsho for the gin, the woman was not allowed to smuggle the gin to Baba again.
‘Based on the fact that Inspector Funsho did not get the regal gin for him, he called me and said I was the one that made people know that he had been sending me to kill for ritual purposes. He said if I did not say anything and I am in the station for like one week, he would know the appropriate step to take.
‘After our arraignment in court, the case was adjourned to August 7th, but the day it fell on Friday and it was a public holiday. Baba told me that I knew he must not spend too long in custody. His lawyer came to meet him at Mokola police station.
‘On the day I escaped, Inspector Funsho took us out for bathing. There were eight of us in the cell and they brought us out two by two. When it remained four of us in the cell, I wanted to go out for bathing, and baba said I should wait, and I should allow him to have his bath first because of time. By the time he came back from bathing, it was about 7:06 pm.
‘So, it was my turn and others to step outside for bathing. Some people said in the cell that they should not allow me to go out because I would run away. Inspector Funsho also said I should not run away. Baba said if I did not say anything, whatever story or picture being circulated about me would not matter. Baba said he would have been released if I did not say he’s the one sending me out to kill people for ritual purposes. Baba told me to go to Akinyele to kill and after saying the incantation that he taught me, I should mention his name, Idris Adedokun Yinusa Ajani. So, I went to Akinyele, met the woman, and hit her with an object.’