Two years after, operatives of Ogun State Police Command have arrested a couple – Larry Adebayo Adewumi and his wife; Okereke Olufunmilayo, in connection with abduction and killing of a popular hotelier; Otunba Abayomi Ajayi Smith.
Slain Ajayi Smith was the Director of Rolak Hotel Ijebu Ode. He was kidnapped on September 28, 2020 about 7:30 am at Anifowose Estate Igbeba, Ijebu Ode by some gunmen and gruesomely murdered afterwards.
Also arrested alongside the couple over the killing of Ajayi Smith is Adebowale Sanni.
Detectives had in 2020 swung into action to unravel perpetrators of the crime and rescue the abductee but all efforts to get the victim out of captivity failed even after the victim’s family had paid a ransom of N15million naira to the abductors.
Despite this, police operatives still kept looking for clues to those behind the devilish act until September this year when Superintendent of Police (SP) Taiwo Opadiran – led team got wind of plans by the hoodlums to strike again, this time, the wife and son of Otunba Ajayi Smith were their targets.
The team, having got the intelligence report, embarked on technical surveillance for the suspects, consequence upon which one of them was traced to Ikeji Arakeji in Osun state, where 55 – year – old Adebowale Sanni was apprehended.
On interrogation, he confessed to have been on the trail of Yeye Olusola Roseline Ajayi, the wife of their earlier victim, Otunba Ajayi Smith in order to kidnap her, on the order of Larry Adebayo Adewumi the ring leader, whose wife Olufunmilayo happened to be an employee of Otunba Ajayi Smith.
He confessed further that it was Larry who described the location of the victim’s hotel and his other business outfits to him with instruction that if they succeeded in kidnapping the woman and her son, the two of them must be killed after collecting ransom in order to obliterate any trace to the crime, just as they did to her husband two years ago.
The Police Spokesman in the State, Abimbola Oyeyemi, in a statement announcing the arrest of the couple and one other, stated that Adebowale Sanni’s
confession led to the arrest of Larry’s wife Olufunmilayo who was a manager at the victim’s building materials shops.
SP Oyeyemi, added that Larry himself who was arrested three days earlier, initially denied having anything to do with the kidnap of Otunba Abayomi Ajayi Smith, but couldn’t sustain his denial after an encounter with Adebowale Sanni, his accomplice.
According to the Police, investigation revealed that Larry who is an indigene of Ilesha, Osun State, used to be a fraudster before he transformed into a full-time kidnapping business operator.
“His modus operandi was to scout for a rich victim, after which he will mobilized the gang working for him to go after such person.
“He got full information about Otunba Ajayi Smith through his wife Olufunmilayo who was an employee of the man.
“Further investigation revealed that Larry has two bank accounts where he used to keep money realized from his criminal activities.
“In one of the accounts with number 0010913206 domicile in JAIZ Bank, the sum of Thirty four million, nine hundred and fifty three thousand four hundred and fifty five naira (N34,953,455) was discovered there in, while he has the sum of four million five hundred and seventy six thousand eight hundred and forty six naira (N4,576,846) in another account with Access Bank. A 2014 model Toyota Highlander was also recovered from him,” Oyeyemi stated.
The Commissioner of Police, CP Lanre Bankole, who commended his men for painstakingly following the suspects until they were arrested, directed that other members of the gang should be hunted for and brought to book.
He also directed that the arrested suspects be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.