Police arrest killers of Funke Olakunrin, declare gang leader wanted - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Police arrest killers of Funke Olakunrin, declare gang leader wanted

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…IGP assures diligent prosecution of culprits 

The police have arrested four men suspected to have murdered Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Pa Reuben Fasoranti. 


Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who announced the arrests of the four suspects in a statement made available to journalists on Thursday, said that four other suspects, including the ringleader named Tambaya are on the run. 

The police subsequently, declared Tambaya a wanted man. 

Those arrested are Lawal Mazaje (40), from Felele, Kogi state and Adamu adamu (50) from Jada in Adamawa state. 

The other two are Mohammed Usman (26), from Illela in Sokoto state and Auwal Abubakar (25) from Shinkafi, Zamfara state. 

Funke Olakunrin was killed at Kajola on the Ondo-Ore Road on July 12, 2019. 

The murder, suspected to be carried out by Fulani marauders, triggered national uproar. 

Rxplaining how the suspects were nabbed by its crack team led by Fimihan Adeoye, the police said that “after months of relentless efforts to apprehend the killers, the police on March 4, during a follow-up action on a case of a high-profile armed robbery and kidnap for ransom that occurred in Ogun state, arrested one Auwal Abubakar, an accessory after the fact of the crime, along Sagamu-Ore Expressway in Ondo state. 

“The arrest of Auwal Abubakar led to the arrest of two other members of the gang, Mohammed Shehu Usman and Lawal Mazaje in Benin, Edo state from whom cache of ammunition was recovered and one other, Adamu Adamu in Akure, Ondo state. 

“Having established sufficient physical and forensic evidence linking the suspects to the killing of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, the investigators, determined to clear all doubts relating to their findings. 

“On April 8, they conducted an Identification parade at the Federal SARS headquarters, Lagos which led to the positive and physical identification of three suspects, Adamu Adamu, Lawal Mazaje and Mohammed Shehu Usman by a survivor of the earlier crime. 

“The survivor gave a clear description of the roles each of the identified suspects played in the killing. 

“At this point, the suspects capitulated and voluntarily offered a no-holds-barred confession on how Mrs. Funke Olakunrin was killed. 

“Investigations so far reveal that the operation that led to the killing was carried out by eight fully armed kidnap/robbery suspects led by one Tambaya (other name unknown) who is currently at large. 

“While four of the suspects are in custody, efforts are being intensified to arrest the four others still on the run. 

“The 8-man gang has its operational base and membership spread in the south-western part of the country and Edo state. 

Investigations have also revealed that they are responsible for series of high-profile armed robbery and kidnap operations in the region. 

“They also attack, vandalize and steal components of critical national infrastructures such as electrical and telecommunications installations. 

“Consequently, the inspector general of police hereby declares the principal suspect, Tambaya (other names unknown) wanted for his involvement in the death of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin. 

“Tambaya, a Nigerian, speaks Hausa, Fulfulde and pidgin English.

He is fair in complexion and in his late 20s – between the age of 27 and 30. 

“His last known address is Isanlu, Kogi state. 

He has visible scars from stitches on his forehead down to his nose and mouth.”