Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, the Principal Private Secretary to Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, was Thursday night trailed by gunmen and shot dead at his residence in Benin.
A statement from the Special Adviser on media affairs to the governor, Tony Iyare, explained that Oyerinde, 44, was shot dead by four gunmen who invaded his house located in Ugbor area, Benin City around 1 a.m.
He said: "Shortly after they stormed the compound, they bounded the security guard while two of them forced their way through the front door and made straight for his bedroom.
"On recognising that it was Mr. Oyerinde’s brother-in-law who was actually sleeping on the bed, they immediately left him and went for the wife, Funke, asking her to lead them to the husband who, unknown to them, was sleeping in the living room.
"On sighting him, they instantly fired four shots, one to the head, chest, abdomen and hip, killing Oyerinde instantly. The gunmen later fled without taking anything from the house.
The killing of Mr. Oyerinde is coming exactly six days after Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s convoy was attacked along Warrake-Auchi road, by a truck that curiously veered off its track and headed straight for the staff car, missing it by the whiskers. Three journalists were killed while others including security details, sustained various degree of injuries.
"Curiously, at about 2.45am the following day, the home of the Information Commissioner, Mr Louis Odion, was invaded by four gunmen who also missed him because he opted to pass the night in a friend’s house located in another part of the city. A member of the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon Johnson Oghuma was also similarly attacked by gunmen recently. Oghuma who represents Etsako Central had his car riddled with bullets as he was on his way to Fugar, his hometown," Iyare added.
Odion had at a press briefing last Sunday, raised fears that top government functionaries were being targeted for elimination.
Oyerinde who read Mass Communication at the University of Lagos, was seconded from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to work for the comrade governor in November 2007. He is survived by his wife, Funke, four children and an aged mother.
According to the media adviser, "This sequence of sordid events coming each time on the eve of the flag off of Governor Oshiomhole’s campaign, raises grave concern and therefore demands thorough investigation by the security forces."
Edo state governorship elections is scheduled for July 14, 2012.
The ruling Action Congress of Nigeria’s (ACN) fields incumbent Governor Adams Oshiomhole who will lock horns with a resurgent Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Major General (Rtd) Charles Airhiavbere.