The outgoing Commissioner of Police in Edo State, AIG Abutu Yaro, Saturday withdrew the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Auchi Division, CSP Ayodele Suleiman over the controversial death of one of the attackers of the founder amd senior pastor of the Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide, Apostle Johnson Suleman.
The suspect was reportedly arrested alive and handed over to the police after gunmen opened fire on the convoy of the cleric on Friday evening along the Benin–Auchi Road in Edo State.
Seven persons lost their lives in the attack including police orderlies as well as Suleman’s aides but he pastor and his family members escaped as they were shielded by a bullet proof vehicle.
In a viral video, a voice said to be that of a policeman said, “One of the kidnappers that was caught today (Friday) while the DPO, CSP Ayodele Sulaiman, led the operation along Iyewe-Auchi Road, and after a gun battle, this one (suspect) was gunned down while others escaped with bullet wounds. Bush combing is ongoing.”
But calling the attack an assassination attempt, Suleman alleged that the gunmen weren’t kidnappers.
“Lies…there weren’t kidnappers… He was caught and handed over and the police killed him immediately…Why killing him on the spot? Who is trying to cover up traces?” the preacher asked.
In a statement on Saturday, the outgoing police commissioner in the state ordered the immediate withdrawal of the DPO for debriefing.
“As part of the measures of the Command concerning the circumstances that led to the death of one of the surviving members of the monstrous gang that attacked the convoy of Apostle Johnson Suleiman, General overseer of Omega Fire Ministry, the outgoing CP now AIG Abutu Yaro fdc has ordered the withdrawal of CSP Ayodele Suleiman, DPO Auchi for debriefing at the State Headquarters with immediate effect,” said the statement signed by Edo police spokesman, Iwegbu Jennifer.
“Meanwhile, members of the Public are urged to remain calm and patient as no stone would be left unturned to unearth the circumstances surrounding it.”
Of late, gunmen in southern Nigeria have waylaid prominent persons, killing their aides in most cases while their main targets escape in bulletproof vehicles.
Some of the victims of dastard attacks include the lawmaker representing Anambra South Senatorial district, Ifeanyi Ubah; now Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo; former presidential aide, Ahmed Gulak; Chike Akunyili, widower of the late Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Dora Akunyili.
While Ubah and Soludo escaped by a whisker, Gulak and Akunyili couldn’t as they were gruesomely murdered by bloodthirsty gunmen.