By IHEANACHO NWOSU, Abuja
The controversy trailing last year’s assassination of the Principal Secretary of Edo State governor, Olaitan Oyerinde took a new turn yesterday as the House of Representatives began a probe into police’s handling of the murder case.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole last week, at the launch of Police Code of Conduct and Professional Standard organised by the force in Abuja, accused the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Mr. Peter Gana, of displaying gross professional incompetence in the handling of the case. He alleged that the DIG was either covering up the murder or had a hand in it.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has dismissed the allegation. The House, however, yesterday raised the issue and resolved to probe police’s handling of the murder. Raising the motion under Matter of Urgent National Importance, Pally Iriase and Samson Osagie, drew the attention of the Chamber to the inconsistencies from the police trailing investigation into the killing. They noted that the shoddiness in the investigation showed in the report DIG Gana and his team sent to the office of the state’s Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
They recalled that the State Security Service (SSS), after Olaitan’s murder, arrested six suspects and handed them to the police . They said the suspects gave a “graphic description of how the crime was committed and the SSS found on them an I-Pad, cell phone and laptop belonging to Olaitan and the wedding ring of the victims’s brother-in-law.” The lawmakers regretted that despite taking the suspects from the SSS and their case file, the police have “curiously refused to arraign the suspects.” They prayed the House to “compel the police to immediately arraign the six suspects arrested, investigated and handed over to them by the SSS.”
The House “mandated its Committees on Justice and Police Affairs to thoroughly investigate the allegation and make appropriate recommendation to the House within 14 days.” When the prayers were put to vote by the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, the lawmakers agreed that the matter be investigated immediately by the two committees.
They, however, declined the request that the House compels the police to arrest and hand over the six suspects to the SSS. The Speaker ruled that it would be judgmental to pronounce the police guilty when the House was yet to investigate the allegation levelled against the force by the governor.