The Ogun State Police Command said it had begun a manhunt for two farm labourers, identified simply as Danjuma and Victor, for the alleged murder of a commercial motorcyclist, Shola Olarewaju.
PUNCH Online learnt on Friday that in the incident that occurred on January 28 in Alago Meji Street, Isara-Remo, Ogun State, the police believed that the suspects strangulated Olarewaju.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Omolola Odutola, exclusively told PUNCH Online that after allegedly killing the victim, the suspects stole his motorcycle and fled the scene.
The police further noted that the suspects were suspected to be fleeing the town with Olarewaju’s motorcycle when they were challenged by a member of a local vigilante.
A farmer, identified as Sekinah Awosanya, who reported the matter, was said to have told the police that she was the one who brought the suspects from Osun State to the community to work on her farm.
“I brought them from Osun to Isara to work on my farm. Danjuma and Victor are both of northern extraction. They have been staying in our second house at Itakete in Isara with Shola Olarewaju, who is a commercial motorcycle,” Awosanya was quoted as having told the police.
Odutola narrated, “At about 11:53 pm, a member of the local vigilante stopped them (Danjuma and Victor) while they were running out of town on Olarewaju’s motorcycle. He asked them where they were going in such a hurry in the middle of the night.
“When he was not satisfied with their response, they lied, saying that they were heading to the house of their employer, Awosanya. The local vigilante then ordered them to take him to the place, and they agreed.
“But when they got to the house, as the security man was about to disembark from his motorcycle, both Victor and Danjuma abandoned Olarewaju’s motorcycle and fled.”
Odutola added that after spirited efforts to find Danjuma and Victor had failed, Awosanya took the security men to the house the suspects had been staying in, where they found Olarewaju’s body on the floor.
She said the victim’s hands and legs were tied behind him and that Olarewaju was suspected to have been strangulated by the suspects.
Odutola noted that the farmer, Awosanya, who brought the suspects to the town had been detained for investigation.
She added, “The corpse has been deposited at the Isara General Hospital Morgue for autopsy. The woman who brought them to the community has also been detained so that she can help the police in the preliminary investigation. The case will be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department after the completion of this investigation.”
Although the state police had yet to unravel the motive behind the murder, attacks on commercial motorcyclists in Remo communities have been frequent in the past.
One notable incident occurred in 2023 when the operatives of Amotekun Corps in Ogun State rescued another commercial motorcyclist identified as Mohammed Bashiru and retrieved his Bajaj motorcycle from a suspected robber in Ode-Remo.
The corps said the victim was attacked by the suspect who pretended to be a passenger and used a knife to slit Bashiru on the right side of his neck before snatching the motorcycle.
The suspect was reported to have been arrested by the corps and handed over to the police for prosecution.