Edo State was yesterday thrown into another round of mourning following the gruesome murder of the private secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomhole , Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, by unknown gunmen in the wee hours of yesterday at his GRA residence in Benin city.
Oyerinde, 44, was shot dead by four gunmen who invaded his home at about 1:30 am.
Shortly after they stormed the compound, they bound the security guard, while two of them forced their way through the front door and made straight for his bedroom.
On recognizing 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 each one to the head, chest, abdomen and hip-killing Oyerinde instantly. The gunmen later made away with the GSM phones of the late Oyerinde, his wife and brother before fleeing.
The killing of Mr. Oyerinde came exactly six days after Governor Oshiomhole’s convoy was attacked along Warrake-Auchi road by a truck that curiously veered off its track and headed straight for the car of the governor, missing it by a whisker. Three journalists were killed while others, including security details, received various degrees of injury.
Also, 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.
Odion had, at a press briefing last Sunday, raised fears that top government functionaries were being targeted for elimination.
The security guard at the late Oyerinde’s residence, who gave his name as Ali Alhadi, said his hands and eyes were blindfolded by the assailants who he said, also made away with keys to a Honda Accord LX and a Sienna LE Toyota parked at the compound.
He said the killers had an easy access to the compound by scaling through the fence, and got entrance to the sitting room through the front door that was left unlocked when late Oyerinde returned home late .
The director-general, Adams Oshiomhole’s Campaign organization, Pastor Ize. Iyamu, while addressing a large crowd of ACN supporters and sympatizers who had besieged the campaign secretariat when the news broke, said in spite of the ugly incident the planned flag- off campaign scheduled for today would hold, adding that the party was aware of a plan orchestrated by political adversaries to carry out bombing, assassination and kidnapping of ACN leaders in the state.
He said, “We are not in doubt at all that this is all about the politics of ‘do-or die’ and an atavistic attempt to capture power by crude and foul means. We call on the commissioner of police to take prompt and decisive action with a view to smashing this dastardly political killer squad.
Politically motivated assassination as a vehicle for attaining political power has never been part of Edo State’s political culture and this is the time for law enforcement agents and all well-meaning people of Edo State to rise with one voice and tell the political desperadoes in Edo State to put their murderous and assassination genie back in the bottle.”
When contacted, the State police image maker, ASP Etim Bassey said the command had commenced investigation into the incident.
When LEADERSHIP WEEKEND visited the residence of the late Oyerinde, men of the state police command were seen carrying out preliminary investigations.