The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered the transfer of the case of the disappearance of an undergraduate of the National Open University of Nigeria, Anthony Olatunfe, and the pastor arrested in connection with it, Ejiro Ologonla, to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba, for further investigation and diligent prosecution.
PUNCH Metro had reported that Anthony’s father, Augustine, who had been in distress over the incident, tackled a Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Michael Ojomo, who the undergraduate was working for and living with until his disappearance.
Ojomo, in his reaction, explained that he reported the case at the Bar Beach Police Station twice and “went to the extent of calling a Deputy Commissioner of Police and the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, who instructed SARS to take over the matter since it would involve tracking.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Bala Elkana, said in a statement on Sunday that when efforts by Anthony’s family to locate him proved abortive, his Itel phone was tracked by police personnel to the person, whom Ologonla had sold it to, adding that the missing man’s clothes and shoes were also found in the pastor’s possession.
He stated, “On December 20, 2019, around 10.30pm, the police received a complaint that on December 12, 2019, around 2pm, one Olatunfe Anthony Oluwafemi, 29, of No. 27 Owode Street, Alapere, Ketu, who was sent on an errand to Ilupeju, had not returned and his whereabouts remained unknown.
“All efforts made by his family members to trace him were unsuccessful. The Itel phone of the missing person was electronically analysed by police forensic experts and that led to the arrest of the user of the phone, one Monsurat Gbadegeshin, 23.
“In her statement, she said her fiancé, Abiodun Abiola, gave her the phone. That led the operatives to apprehend Abiodun Abiola, 30. During questioning, Abiodun said one Tolu Olurotimi, 20, sold the phone to him and led the operatives to him. Tolu Olurotimi said he bought the phone from one Pastor Ejiro Ologonla, 45, a Celestial Church of Christ pastor from Delta State, who is based in Lagos. During questioning, Ejiro Ologonla said he was at the Oniru Beach for spiritual cleansing on the fateful day, when he met the missing Anthony Olatunfe.
“He stated that while he was at the beach, Anthony, who appeared drunk, came in and started chasing people around. At a point, he said he saw him climbing into a fisherman’s boat. Later, he saw the missing person pulling off his clothes and shoes, dropped his phone and jumped into the sea.
“He claimed that he informed the security men on duty at the beach and also called a police officer as well as one Princess Arike Oniru on the phone to intimate them of the incident. He added that he finally picked up the victim’s clothes, shoes and phone and sold the phone to one Tolu Olurotimi for N1,500 only.”
Elkana said the security guards at the beach, the fisherman, the princess and other witnesses mentioned had been invited for questioning, adding that circumstantial evidence gathered about Anthony’s disappearance strongly indicted Ologonla.
He noted that Odumosu had ordered the transfer of the case to the SCIID for further investigation and diligent prosecution.
The PPRO stated, “During interrogation, the fisherman stated that the missing person came to the beach behaving as if he was drunk and that as he paddled the canoe to the sea, he was alerted that the man was hanging on the canoe. He claimed that he brought him back to the shore and promised to give him fish.
“But when he came back the following day, he did not see the man again. The princess confirmed that the pastor called her to inform her that somebody jumped into the sea and she advised him to report the incident to the nearest police station. The security guards on duty at the beach denied receiving a report of somebody jumping into the sea.
“The clothes and shoes of the missing person were found in the possession of the pastor. It is established that the missing person was actually at the Oniru Beach before his disappearance. The pastor was the last person who had contact with the missing person.
“It is not yet established if the missing person is dead or is alive, but the circumstantial evidence gathered so far strongly indict the pastor. The pastor did not just sell the phone belonging to the missing person, he also converted the money he found in the pocket of pair of trousers of the missing person to his own use. There is no record showing that the pastor reported the incident at any police station.”
In another development, one Kazeem Mustapha has been arrested by men of the command for allegedly stabbing one Afeez Oluwole in the chest over N500.
The incident happened around the Satellite Town area of the state.
Elkana said Oluwole died as a result of the injuries he sustained during the attack, adding that Mustapha would be charged for the crime.
He stated, “On February 25, 2020, around 12.30pm, one Rafiu Dauda of No. 36 Alebiosu Street, Ijegun, Satellite Town, reported at the Elemoro Police Station that his apprentice, Afeez Oluwole, 33, was stabbed in his right chest with a broken bottle by one Kazeem Mustapha, on the Madoti Estate, Fin-Niger, Satellite Town, following a misunderstanding over N500.
“Afeez Oluwole was rushed to the Holy Family Hospital, where he later died. The corpse was deposited in the mortuary for post-mortem examination. The suspect has been arrested. He will be charged.”
Meanwhile, the command has announced the arrest of 20-year-old Opeyemi Abidemi in connection with the death of one Abosede Bello, whom she had a fight with at the Aiyeteju-Ofiran town in the Ibeju-Lekki area of the state.
Elkana said during the fight, the 47-year-old Bello slumped and was rushed to hospital, where she died.
He added that Abidemi would be charged.
The PPRO stated, “On Friday, February 28, 2020, around 10am, one Afeez Olonade of No. 2 Ado Road, Ajah, and one Femi Olasunde reported at the Elemero Police Station that on Thursday, February 27, 2020, around 6pm at Aiyeteju-Ofiran town, Ibeju-Lekki, one Opeyemi Abidemi, 20, had a fight with one Abosede Bello, 47.
“During the scuffle, the said Abosede Bello slumped and was rushed to the Akodo General Hospital, where she died on February 28, 2020, around 9am. The corpse was deposited in the Epe General Hospital’s mortuary for post-mortem examination. The suspect has been arrested. She will be charged.”