As the police battle to ensure justice for Miss Khadijat Adenike Oluboyo, the daughter of the immediate past deputy governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo, who was murdered in cold blood, TEMITOPE OLUWATOSIN (Akure) traces the gruesome death of the final year student of the Ondo Varsity and the long road to justice.
For every parent, their prayer is to live long in order to eat the fruits of their labour but for the former deputy governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Lasisi Olugbenga Oluboyo, such prayer has been aborted as his first daughter, Khadijat Adenike Oluboyo was murdered in cold blood a month ago.
Miss Khadijat, born 25 years ago, was a hope and promising child for her family but her life was cut short by a daredevil who took advantage of her simplicity to sprinkle blood tears on the faces of her parents.
The 400 level final year student of the Ondo State government-owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba (AAUA) was gruesomely killed as her head was chopped off while the body was dismembered for alleged money rituals.
It was a heavy reality for her richly blessed parents as her dead body was found on July 8, 2018 at the residence of her boyfriend, Saidu Shekiru Adeyemi, located at Aratunsi Street, in Oke Aro, Akure by men of the intelligence unit of the Ondo State Police command.
Khadijat’s corpse, was already decomposing when it was discovered in a
shallow grave buried under the bed of Adeyemi, popularly known as “QS” six days after she was declared missing by her bereaved parents.
Trouble started when Miss Khadijat was missing on July 2, 2018 after her friends, who were skeptical of her whereabouts, could not see her in school.
Unknowingly, she had left her off campus accomodation without knowing that danger was lurking, to keep date with her boyfriend, Adeyemi,
without telling any of her friends in school about the journey, which turned out to be one of no return.
The beauty with brains- Khadijat had been dating Adeyemi since their secondary school days but they both reunited few months before her untimely gruesome death, which shocked everyone.
A younger brother to Adeyemi had discovered Khadijat’s body, which was already stinking under the bed when he came visiting on the evil day while everyone was away from home.
The younger brother had said the ghost of the deceased appeared to him severally while in the house and instructed him to expose his elder brother (Adeyemi) to the security authorities in the state.
Speaking on the death of her daughter, an enraged Alhaji Oluboyo said late Khadijat was hypnotised and murdered for money rituals by her estranged boyfriend.
The former deputy governor, who stated that he has handed the death of his daughter to God to judge, explained that her murderers had firstly faked her kidnap when she was firstly declared wanted.
“To me, I don’twant anything. God’s judgment is more than human verdict. But the danger is that if you allow him to go scot free, he would do it again.
“The boy killed my daughter for ritual purposes. The lady did not go there on her own volition. The boy just called her on phone and she picked her things and left school without telling anybody.
“She came to Akure and went straight to the boy’s house, even without visiting us her parents in the same town. It is not ordinary.
“Her closest friend told us that they finished lectures on Thursday and took the same motorcycle to their houses.
“On Friday, they had no lecture, but when the friend got to the lecture room on Monday and did not see her, she started calling her numbers.
“My daughter has four numbers. She had two handsets, one with two SIM cards, and the other with one.
“What happened was that when we tracked the first number, it went off immediately after roadblock at Owo. The second number went off after Oba-Akoko.
“That gave us the impression that she was travelling and that she was going back to school. We got it on good authority that she came to Akure and that made us believe that she was going back.
“When they sent a message that we should wait for a negotiation team, we discovered it was one of the numbers in her bag that they used. It was a perfect arrangement to buy time.
“We got to know that Khadijat was missing when somebody called us to say she was missing. We got in touch with her friend in the school.
“I sent money for her feeding on Friday; the usual thing is that when she got the bank alert, she would call to thank me.
“But this time, I did not get any call from her. I told her mother and she started calling her, but the phones were all switched off.
“But on Monday, we started calling her numbers again and later the phone rang. They picked it and we were hearing background sounds.
“The phone went off again. Later, we got a text that the mouthpiece was bad and that she would call when she changed the SIM card to another phone.
“With that, we thought everything was settled and waiting anxiously for the call but her friends called to say she had been calling her numbers.
“The same person sent a message to her friend that she (Khadijat) was on her way coming.
“It was then I got to know that she came to Akure to meet that boy. From what the father told us, there is no doubt that they were once lovers”, he said.
But on July 11, 2018, Adeyemi was paraded before journalists at the State Police headquarters in Akure where he narrated how the late Khadijat paid him a visit to his residence in company of two strange boys.
During the explosive interview, he repeatedly denied killing Khadijat and noted that the two boys she brought into his house while visiting, murdered her.
“She sent me the soft copy of her project on the Whatsapp and told me that she would be leaving Lagos for Akungba on Sunday of that week.
“And by that Monday, I received text message from her that I should send her N2, 000 but I was only able to raise N1, 000 for her because I didn’t have much money.
“But few hours later, I heard a knock on my door and when I opened, she (Khadijat) was the person I saw and I quickly asked her why she didn’t tell me she was coming to visit me.
“Shortly after, she went out of the room and called in two other boys.
She said a boy would be visiting her, but when she came in with the boys I was not comfortable and had to excuse them.
“Later, one of the boys came out to call me and by the time I would enter back into the room, they were with guns and they threatened me.
“One of the boys was even on top of Khadijat on the bed and ordered me to kneel down on the rug and threatened me not to make any move but later they told me to go out and bring a digger.
“By the time I would come back, they had already killed Khadijat and asked me not to tell anyone and they instructed me to dig a big hole so they could bury her”, the suspect said.
With his denial in the murder case, police investigators had confirmed that the prime suspect, who is a son to a local bricklayer, Alhaji Alani Adeyemi, had once confessed killing Khadijat, during an interrogation at the Criminal InvestigationDepartment (CID) and slept on the decomposing corpse for six days for ritual.
Then one of the investigators said that Adeyemi told the police how he scraped the hair of the deceased and removed it from her private part before taken it to his native doctor in Ondo town for money ritual who instructed him to bury the corpse in a shallow grave in his room.
“In fact, the night before her death, Khadijat and Adeyemi went to a restaurant for dinner and branched at a drinking joint before they retired to his Oke-Aro extension residence where she was killed.
“Although, he confessed he was joined by two others, who are currently at large to commit the heinous crime, he sprayed insecticide and perfume to subdue the odour from the decomposing body.
“Our investigation shows that Adeyemi’s quest to get rich quickly made him kill Khadijat after his native doctor in Ondo town reportedly informed him that the money ritual he was requesting for would require some human parts of a very close acquaintance.
“If nemesis had not caught up with him and Khadijat body kept decomposing in his house, he would have become stinking rich by now,” he said.
While the suspect still boldly denied being involved in the killing of Khadijat even with his confessional statement during interrogation, the police had described his claims as an“infantile defence” and an attempt to wash his soiled hands off the murder case.
Femi Joseph, police public relations officer (PPRO) in the state explained that the command got wind of Adeyemi’s escapade when the odour oozing from his room was quickly reported at the station.
Mr Joseph said that immediately the police swung into action, they caught the 27-year-old suspect red-handed while trying to exhume the corpse of late Khadijat right inside his room in Akure.
“We were alerted by an informant about what happened and we went to his house (Saidu Adeyemi), who happens to be the boyfriend of Khadijat.
“Unfortunately, when we got in there, we met him trying to pack the remains of Khadijat, that is to tell you that he had killed her.
“He killed Khadijat and single-handedly looked for digger, dug a grave in his apartment and buried the lady.
“After few days, he noticed that the stench of the decomposing body of Khadijat was making him uncomfortable.
“Apparently sensing danger, he had to tell somebody to help him get a sack so that he could pack the remains of Khadijat and dispose them off but that was how we swooped on him and got him arrested.
“So, his story is too good to be true; the reason is that if you are saying that two men came into attack Khadijat, we are talking about six days when those two men came in and you didn’t raise any alarm.
“He (Adeyemi) admitted that he was still the same person that went outside when the two men told him to go and look for digger; he had the opportunity and yet he did not shout for help.
“You know when criminals are put to a very tight corner like this, they are always being funny. I think he is being too clever by half.
“We know how to deal with people like him but by the time we get to court he would surely have his days.
“Let him go and inform the court and let us see how he would get out of that way.
“His (Adeyemi) defence is too infantile and doesn’t hold any water because he should begin to talk to court in the next 24”, he had said.
The road to Justice.
For the police to ensure proper justice, on July 16, 2018, Adeyemi was, however, dragged before the Chief Magistrate, Bob-Manuel Victoria of the Magistrate Court in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
He was arraigned by the police to the court on a two-count charge of conspiracy and murder.
At the court, Sergeant Mary Adebayo, the police prosecutor read out the charge sheet, which stated the offence of Adeyemi on the murder case.
“That you Seidu Adeyemi (27) and others at large, on July 2, 2018, at about 7:30 p.m. at Aratusin Street, Oke-Aro, Akure, did conspire with one another to commit felony to wit and murder, contrary to section 324, laws of Ondo State 2006.
“You, Seidu Adeyemi, did kill one Khadijat Oluboyo, 25, by strangulating her to death and buried her inside your room, contrary to section 316 laws of Ondo State 2006,”the police prosecutor had said in the charge sheet.
Adebayo thereafter said that the court lacks jurisdiction and could not hear a murder case, and urged the court to remand the suspect in the prison custody.
Mr Taiwo Gbadebo,counsel to the suspect, however, did not object to the application.
Ruling Magistrate, Manuel ordered the suspect to be remanded in the Olokuta Medium Prison till the review of the case and pending advice from the director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
She also asked the police to hand over the original copies of his case file to the Ministry of Justice in the state.
While the suspect had spent 36 days in the custody of Olokuta Medium Prison in Akure after he was docked at the Magistrate court, his case was later moved to the Ondo State High Court.
On August 20, 2018, Adeyemi was again dragged to Court 4 of the Ondo State High Court to begin trial into the murder case.
Unfortunately, the case could not continue when Adeyemi appeared before Justice Samuel Bola of the state high court, as he had no legal representation to defend his case.
Lawyers deserted suspect (Adeyemi)
It was learnt from sources in the court that no lawyer was interested in taking or showing up for the murder case as some of them who were approached, bluntly rejected theoffer to defend the culprit.
“They (lawyers) refused to take up the case due to the public outcry that the murder of the ex-deputy governor’s daughter, Khadijat, had generated.
“Some of them also claimed that the families of the suspect are not willing to drop funds to help them prosecute the case in the court,” a source said, although, Kola Olawoye, head of the State Counsel, had told the High Court that the necessary papers to herald the case were served on the suspect.
Mr Olawoye, who is also the state’s attorney general, said the case was a capital offence and by law-the defendant must be represented in court by a defence counsel.
He explained that the state had expected that the trial of Adeyemi with the murder case on his neck would commence but since he has no lawyer, it had to be stalled.
“He has constitutional right to fair hearing but after we served all the processes on him personally, we discovered that he had not gotten a legal representation.
“So, it is a must for him before next adjournment date to look for a lawyer of his choice as provided in law.
“If we come back next time and he does not have one after two adjournments, then the court is enjoined to pick a lawyer for him.
“We want to know what led to the death of this deceased (Khadijat) and how did it come about. We want the defendant to explain to the whole world the part, if any, he took in the death of the lady.”
Ruling, Justice Bola asked the officials from the Olokuta Medium Prison to meet with the family of Adeyemi towards having a legal representative in subsequent trials.
He had adjourned the hearing of the murder case till October 2, 2018
for Mr Adeyemi to have a legal representation in next sitting.
Speaking on the case, Inibehe Effiong, a human rights lawyer, said that the section 36 of the Nigerian Constitution granted any accused person a
legal representation in court, no matter the level of offence committed.
Effiong, who spoke to LEADERSHIP Friday on the implication of the case, said the statemust as a matter of law, granted the accused a lawyer, either from the legal aid council or a private lawyer.
He explained that no matter the extra judicial statement any accused person made to the media, it does not have much over bearing on the case in the court of law.
“Section 36 of the constitution gave a right to legal representation for any accused person, this rights are available to him and whatever statement he made in the media does not dignify such right to the presumption of innocent.
“People may saywhatever they like in the press but what the court would look at, are the factsand evidences not the public opinion. He’s still presumed innocent, it is leftfor the state to prove him guilty.
“Also, ordinarilyas lawyers we are not really allowed to decline representation in court cases,a lawyer is enjoined and require to represent an accuse person no matter howunpopular the case may be in the highest court of the society.
“So, he is stillgoing to be represented if he cannot afford the services of a lawyer, the courtwould assign a lawyer to represent him and whatever he said to the press mightnot even count at the end of the day.
“Extra judicialstatement of an accused person ordinarily is not admissible in law because whensomeone make a statement before he gets to court, the court does not look atthat statement except you contradict the person.
“The statement he made to the police are the materials for the court and it is left for the state to prove him guilty hence you should know where the case would end.
“Although, the trial has not commenced and the prosecution has not shown what they have(evidences) but it is important for him to be represented in court and the state would get him a lawyer, either from the legal aid council or a private lawyer that is close to the state,” Effoing said.
With the murder case coming up on October 2nd 2018 for proper trial and prosecution, the police seem to be battle ready and armed to the teeth with evidences to prove the accused guilty of all the charges.