Police arrest 19 for murder of Ekiti NURTW ex-boss

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The Ekiti State Police Command has arrested 19 persons for the murder of a former chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in Ekiti State, Omolafe Aderiye.

The 19 persons, including one female, were arrested in an operation over the weekend, the police said.

The Ekiti Police Public Relations Officer, Victor Babayemi, who confirmed the arrest to journalists in Ado-Ekiti on Monday, however, did not reveal the identity of the arrested suspects.

He said the suspects remained innocent until investigation proved otherwise.

“The 19 are being questioned in respect of the killing. This is to determine their level of culpability; it is not that they have been indicted. They are helping us in the investigation,” Babayemi said.

Aderiye, a staunch supporter of the Governor-elect, Ayo Fayose, was killed on Thursday in Ijigbo area of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.

His death sparked violence across the state on Friday leading to the burning of the house and cars of a former state chairman of the Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria, Rotimi Olabiwoninu.

On Sunday, there was a threat of reprisal by RTEAN members in the state.

Meanwhile, the police on Monday held a peace-deal meeting with leading traditional rulers in Ekiti State.

They also held a separate meeting with leaders of the RTEAN, NURTW, market men and women, religious leaders, okada riders and other interest groups.

Babayemi, who confirmed the meetings, said the essence was to find a lasting solution to the recurring violence in the state.

Ekiti State Commissioner of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, appealed to the traditional rulers, led by their chairman, the Onitaji of Itaji, Obama Adamo Babalola, to appeal to their subjects to give peace a chance.

He reminded the traditional rulers’ council that Ekiti was greater than anybody.

The Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 8, Christopher Dega, assured that the police would be unbiased to all parties.

He expressed concerns over the recurring violence, which, according to him, is destroying the image of the state.

Other traditional rulers at the meeting were the Ajero of Ijero, Adebayo Adewole; Oose of Efan-Ekiti, James Popoola; Owaoye of Okemesi, M.G. Adedeji; Alara of Aramoko, Olu Adegoke Adeyemi; Olooye of Oye Kingdom, Oluwole Ademolaju; and Onisan of Isan, Sunday Ajiboye.

A source at the meeting said the traditional rulers agreed to work with the police to achieve peace in the state.

The council also asked that the mandate of the people should be respected and not be subverted by manipulation, the source added.

The source also said the traditional rulers appealed to aggrieved parties in court to follow the natural cause of justice without any rancour.

They asked that parties at the tribunal should conduct themselves in a manner that will not create an impression that they want to subvert the will of the people by manipulating the judiciary and cause crisis in the state.

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