The prime suspect in the gruesome murder of a couple, Kehinde and Bukola Fatinoye, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, has escaped from the police custody, HorizonTimes learnt.
The prime suspect simply identified as Lekan, it was gathered, escaped from the police custody at Ibara Police Divisional Headquarter, after his arrest on Tuesday.
A source which spoke on condition of anonymity with HorizonTimes revealed that the escape of Lekan, who was the driver to the deceased Mrs Fatinoye, until Friday, remained a top secret within the police hierarchy.
The suspect was said to have been driving Mrs Fatinoye for almost two years and was well known within the community of the Federal University of Agriculture, FUNAAB, where the deceased worked.
The source revealed that Lekan was arrested following an earlier arrest of another suspect who was a house-help to the deceased Fatinoyes.
Lekan, the source said, was taken into custody at Ibara Police Station when the house-help, who also escaped assassination by the assailants, identified him as one of the killers at the scene.
The Source further revealed that at the point of taking statement from Lekan, he slumped and was almost lifeless, unknown to the police that it was only a pretense and a ploy to escape the lawful custody.
Lekan was said to have been quickly rushed to a police clinic at Zone II not far from the Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Iwe-Iroyin, in order to ‘rescue’ him so as to help the police in its investigation.
Another source who was also privy to the information informed HorizonTimes that Lekan was ‘revived’ by the health workers but requested to ease himself, before he escaped from the scene.
The Source who resides close to the police station revealed that the suspect who was dressed in a Jalabia, escaped trough the front of the Ogun Deputy Governor’s Lodge and scaled fences through the house of the late Head of Interim Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan’s.
The source further said that efforts by the police to re-arrest the suspect proved abortive, adding that there were sporadic gunshots while the police chased the suspect.
All efforts to get the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, to confirm the claims proved unsuccessful and he was yet to respond to the messages sent to him as at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, the Police has launched a manhunt for the escaped suspect by declaring Lekan wanted.
A ‘wanted’ message carrying Lekan’s picture has been in circulation since Thursday, but curiously not with any police insignia.
But another source who was also privy to the information revealed further that the message was first shared on a police WhatsApp loop.
The message read, “Wanted! Wanted!! Wanted!!! This is the guy suspected to have been part of the culprits that murdered a couple in Abeokuta on the New Year’s Eve. His name is Lekan. He is currently at large and has been declared wanted by the Police. Anyone who knows or sees him should contact the nearest police station.
The house help who was also a suspect in the case, had mentioned Lekan as one of the killers of the couple and their son, Oreoluwa.
The coupled were butchered by the assailants in the early hours of January 1st, at their Ibara GRA home shortly after attending a crossover service at Christ Anglican Church, Iporo-Ake, Abeokuta.
The pool of their blood was said to have been mopped by the assailants before setting their remains on fire.
They were burnt beyond recognition.
They were suspected to have been trailed to their residence from the crossover service.
Mrs Fatinoye, in distress, was said to have beeped her son severally, who went to a separate church for the crossover night in Kuto with the housemaid.
Both the son and the housemaid were said to have suspected a distress and immediately returned home.
The two of them were also captured by the assailants who tied them and kept them inside the boot of their car and dumped inside a river along Obada-Oko area of the State capital.
The housemaid escaped from the river as the rope with which he was tied was said to be loose. He swam out of the river, but was immediately arrested by the police.
The remains of the deceased son, Oreoluwa, was recovered by the police from the river two days later.
The housemaid who was at the scene of recovery with the police but in handcuffs caused a stir when he started shouting that he knows one of the killers.
The suspect while being returned to the custody, suddenly stopped walking and shouted that he saw one Lekan on the day the couple were being buried.
While screaming, he said, “I am not a kid, I know those who wanted to kill us. I told them to hold him yesterday. They have allowed him to escape.
“I am not a kid. I know what I saw. Would I not know the person that wanted to kill us. I saw him yesterday and I said ‘hold him’. They have allowed him to escape.”
When someone among the family asked him who could the person be, he said “brother Lekan,”
There was said to have been a pin-drop silence immediately he mentioned Lekan’s name.