There is a fresh twist in the murdered case of Oba Patrick Oyeniran Fashinu, the Olowo of Owoland in Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State, yesterday, as the police were accused of shielding one of the prime suspects, Col. Dawodu Alao, now retired.
The late monarch was murdered along Owo-Ishaga road on July 26, 2017 while on his way from a meeting of Yewa traditional council in Ilaro. His remains were set ablaze alongside with his vehicle.
The family also accused a first class chief in the state, who is also a retired military office (name withheld) of allegedly aiding the police to subvert justice.
Head of the family, Prince Matthew Fashinu, while briefing journalists in Abeokuta, the state capital, said other suspects were arraigned before an Ilaro High Court, sitting in Ilaro on Tuesday but that Col Alao and four others were missing.
Fashinu named another chief, the Oloke-Odan of Oke-Odan, Oba Fagbenro Rotimi, one Chief Akinyemi Najeem, Samson Awebiabere Orotan and Olaniyan Kayode as some of the suspects the police were yet to invite for questioning.
According to him, the alleged prime suspect was released by the police the following day after he was reportedly arrested.
He said that Col. Alao had been having a running battle with the late monarch since the first day the late Oba was elevated from Baale to Oba in 2004.
Fashinu alleged that Col. Alao, since the installation of the late Oba, seized the ancestral crown and the certificate of installation given to the monarch.
The colonel, however, also alluded to the frosty relationship between him and the late monarch in his condolence letter dated 15th of August, 2017, written to the family.
The letter read in part: “I staked my reputation, finance, connection and effort on line to have him as a king based on the fact that he was like a son to me. I know the opposition that I faced from people in Owo in general, who never wanted him to be the Baale. Some of these same people were the ones he now became friends with and thus turned his back on me. I cannot build a house and the same time use my hand to destroy it. That was why his death was particularly painful to me even though he neglected my wise counsel and advice.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said investigation into the murder was still on and that all suspects would be arraigned in court.
Oyeyemi explained that the retired colonel has been recommended to be charged, wondering where the family got their information from.
He, however, advised the family members to approach the state commissioner of police, to clear any misgivings in the case.