The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Auchi, Edo State, CSP Ayodele Suleiman, has been removed by the state Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, following the death of a suspect allegedly involved in the attack of the General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministry, Apostle Johnson Suleman’s convoy.
A statement by the command’s Deputy Public Relations Officer, Jennifer Iwegbu, said the DPO’s withdrawal was part of the measures to unravel the circumstances that led to the death of one of the surviving members of the gang that attacked the convoy.
The CP also directed the DPO to report to the state police command for debriefing.
The statement read, “The outgoing CP now AIG Abutu Yaro has ordered the withdrawal of CSP Ayodele Suleiman, DPO Auchi for debriefing at the State Headquarters with immediate effect.
“We urge members of the public to remain calm and patient, assuring that no stone would be left unturned to unearth the circumstances surrounding the incident.”
Recall that one of the suspected attackers of Apostle Suleman was said to have been arrested by vigilantes and handed over to the DPO, who reportedly killed him.
Following the alleged killing of the suspect, Apostle Suleman in a tweet accused the police of trying to erase all evidence that could lead to the arrest of his attackers.
The cleric and his family were on their way back to Auchi when the gunmen attacked his convoy on Friday at about 5 pm, just a few kilometres from his hometown in Auchi.
Seven persons, including his three police orderlies, two drivers and two female domestic workers in his convoy were killed during the attack.
Speaking shortly after the attack, Suleman described the incident as an assassination attempt.
“I just escaped an assassination attempt where seven people were killed. My car was attacked — (they) opened fire on my car, and kept spraying it with bullets. My wife and my kids were there. The escort car, with some police, they killed the policeman, they killed the other people in the other escort car and the buses with us. Seven people — we were all moving in a convoy — were killed,” he explained.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, who confirmed the attack, said six persons, including policemen and Suleman’s drivers, were killed, adding that efforts were ongoing to locate the whereabouts of the cleric’s domestic worker.
“The attack is confirmed. Three policemen were murdered; two of his (Suleman’s) drivers were killed; one domestic female worker was killed and they are still searching for another female domestic worker.
“As we speak, Apostle Johnson Suleman is safe. One of the hoodlums was gunned down and one of the vehicles was recovered,” Nwabuzor said on Friday.
A 42-second video clip showing the corpse of the killed suspect in a vehicle has been trending online.
In the video clip, a policeman was heard describing the slain suspect as a kidnapper.
The policeman said, “One of the kidnappers that were 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.”
Reacting to the video, Suleman, in a tweet, condemned the killing of the suspect who was handed over to the police alive, alleging that it was an attempt to cover up traces that could lead to those behind the attack.
The cleric’s tweet read, “Lies…there weren’t kidnappers. He was caught and handed over and the police killed him immediately. Why? Why kill him on the spot? Who is trying to cover up traces?”
Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City