The only suspect arrested in the gruesome murder of a couple, Kehinde and Bukola Fatinoye, in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun state, escaped from the police. custody.
Mr. and Mrs. Fatinoye were murdered on January 1 after returning home from a midnight service normally held by churches to welcome in the new year.
Their killers also kidnapped the couple’s son and their maid. The body of the son, Oreoluwa, was later recovered from a river in the Ogun state capital.
The kidnapped maid is currently receiving treatment at a hospital.
The suspect identified simply as Lekan, a driver for the late Ms. Fatinoye, had been identified by the surviving victim as one of the attackers.
Couple killed by arsonists in Abeokuta, Ogun state.
Police later detained him on Tuesday.
But he escaped from custody at the Ibara Police Division Headquarters in Abeokuta.
A police source who is not allowed to speak on the matter spoke to PREMIUM TIMES on condition of anonymity. The source said that Mr. Lekan’s escape embarrassed the police and that the police hierarchy was secretly dealing with it.
The suspect was said to have been Mrs. Fatinoye’s driver for almost two years and was well known within the community of the Federal University of Agriculture, FUNAAB, where the deceased woman worked.
The source further said: “The suspect pretended to be sick while the police tried to take a statement from him. He fell down and pretended to have passed out.
“He was rushed to a police clinic in Zone II, not far from the Iwe-Iroyin Nigerian Journalists Union secretariat, to ‘rescue’ him and assist the police in their investigation,” the source said.
After nurses revived him, the source said, Mr. Lekan asked for relief but ran away.
The source said the victim escaped to the Ogun Lieutenant Governor’s Lodge, from where he scaled the fence to the home of the late Acting Head of Government Ernest Shonekan.
The source further said that efforts by officers at the scene to re-arrest the suspect were futile.
The source added that the officers frantically tried, including firing into the air, but to no avail.
The police spokesman in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, had not yet responded to text messages sent to him at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, police launched a manhunt for the fugitive suspect.
A “wanted” message with the photo of Mr. Lekan is already in circulation.
The message read: “Wanted! My love!! My love!!! This is the guy suspected of being part of the culprits who murdered a couple in Abeokuta on New Year’s Eve. His name is Lekan. He is currently on the run and has been declared wanted by the Police. Anyone who knows or sees him is asked to contact the nearest police station. Kindly share.”
Another police source confirmed to our reporter that the officers under whose charge the suspect absconded were being questioned by police authorities.