News Analysis

Implications of the Escape and Re-arrest of Suspected Akinyele Serial Killer

August 22 this year was another remarkable day for residents of Akinyele as the suspected emissary of death among them, Sunday Shodipe, was rearrested by the police days after he made his escape from their custody under questionable circumstances.

But before the culprit’s first arrest and the current apprehension, residents of Akinyele Local Government Area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital lived in palpable fear between the months of June and July this year.

The reason, death stalked leaving behind gory images of victims in the public’s glare; sorrow and tears for bereaved families.

Among the dead was 18-year-old Barakat Bello, a student of Oke Ogun Polytechnic, Saki, raped and machete to death while sleeping in her room at Idi Ori, Sasa, Ibadan.

The gruesome murder of 21-year-old Grace Osiagu, and 29-year-old pregnant Azeezat Shomuyiwa were soon to follow.

While the community was still reeling under these unfathomable tragedies, the assailants struck again as a 5 year old Mojeeb Tirimisiyu was killed behind his father’s uncompleted building.

Two other victims, a 45 year old woman in Alaja community area of Moniya, Mrs. Adeola Bamidele and her daughter aged 23, survived after the horror of being hacked with machete.

The trappings indicated that ritualists were indeed on the prowl, and more foreboding to residents of the Akinyele was that the murderers were intractable.

Consequently, fear as a dark omnibus hung in the air, as no one knew who could be the next, knowing the confine of the house was no safeguard from the vampires hunting for blood.

Then came the cheery news – the alleged mysterious culprits had been apprehended in early July. The suspected evil leeches lived right in Akinyele.

One of the suspects was 19 years old, Sunday Shodipe, who said his major work was to kill females for his master a 50-year-old alleged herbalist, Ajani Adedokun, who was his master, who denied the allegation.

While residents of Akinyele and environs were heaving a sigh of relief that their travails in the hands of the ritualists were over, then came the heart sinking news that the alleged serial killer had escaped from the custody of the police!

According to the police, Sunday Shodipe escaped from lawful custody on August 11, 2020, almost a month after his incarceration. 

Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Joe Nwachukwu Enwonwu, informed the public that a police inspector, who was not on duty, collected the keys to the cell and opened the cell to take the suspect to have his bath and from there, the said killer ran away.

To the residents of Akinyele, the tale was incomprehensible as the youths took to the streets, especially when residents of Ori-Oke Olorunkole in Akinyele some days after woke up to yet another horrendous murder of a midde-aged woman, Mrs Olufunmilayo, who was again reportedly machete to death.

The police inspector, who was on duty, while the the suspect escaped was subsequently arrested, detained and facing orderly room trial.

However, Shodipe’s escape obviously raised some posers in the mind of the public.

People would certainly wonder how come that the alleged killer had such freedom to easily make a bolt without resistance and under what circumstances did the alleged messenger of death make his escape bid without any alarm raised by the inspector involved?

Already the public had become suspicious of the possibility that vested interest and insider antics might be involved in the escape of the dreaded culprit.

And this had further rekindled distrust the people had for the men in the rank and file of the Nigeria Police, which the Force had been striving to correct.

The re-arrest of Sunday Shodipo is no doubt a happy conclusion to a dramatic saga, as it represents a serious attempt by the Nigeria Police Force to reinvigorate public confidence.

Incontrovertibly, winning the heart of residents in any community is very essential in fostering collaboration for neighbourhood security and promptness in nipping crime in the bud.

Kudos to the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, for giving a bite to the investigation through the deployment of additional investigative aids to Oyo State to complement the efforts of the state police command.

Not the least was the steps taken by Oyo State Government and stakeholders in Akinyele Local Government and the Oyo State House of Assembly, which all urged the Commissioner of Police, Joe Nwachukwu Enwonwu to ascertain and unravel the circumstances surrounding the escape of Sunday Sodipe.

 For now, the residents of Akinyele can heave a sigh of relief knowing that suspected death emissary has been put out of circulation again.

As for the police it is not yet Uhuru as it still needs to weed out of its rank and file personnel who continue to dent the image of the Force through unscrupulous actions.  

Simeon Ugbodovon

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