Couple arrested over alleged role in kidnapping, killing of hotelier

A couple has been arrested by the Ogun State Police Command in connection with kidnap and killing of a popular hotelier Otunba Abayomi Smith, after collecting N15million ransom in Ijebu-Ode town of the state.
Penpushing reports that the, a female suspect Olufunmilayo Okereke is the staffer of the deceased and was said to have connived with the husband, Larry Adewunmi in conjunction with other suspects to abduct Smith who until his death was the Director of Rolak Hotel Ijebu Ode.
The gang had on 28th of September 2020 at about 7:30 am, at Anifowose Estate Igbeba, Ijebu Ode kidnapped the victim at gunpoint, while efforts by the anti-kidnapping of the police command to rescue the victim proved abortive, but the abductors succeeded collecting N15 million ransom from the family.
Penpushing further reports that, the Command Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi who confirmed the development said two years after of the crime, nemesis caught up with the gang, following the arrest of the couple
‘On receiving the information about the kidnap, men of Anti Kidnapping unit were then mobilized to commence investigation, but all efforts to get the victim out of captivity proved abortive, despite the fact that the victim’s family paid a ransom of N15 million to the abductors”, Oyeyemi recalled
Penpushing also reports that, he said  since then, police operatives have not relent in their efforts to fish out those behind the devilish act, adding that, the efforts yielded positive result in September, 2022 when the authorities got wind of plan by the hoodlums to strike again, this time, the wife and son of the deceased were their target.
“Operatives of Ogun state Police Command have arrested one Larry Adebayo Adewumi and his wife Okereke Olufunmilayo with one Adebowale Sanni over the abduction and killing of a popular hotelier, Otunba Abayomi Ajayi Smith, the Director of Rolak Hotel Ijebu Ode.  Otunba Ajayi Smith was kidnapped on the 28th of September 2020 at about 7:30 am, at Anifowose Estate igbeba, Ijebu Ode by some gunmen”, Oyeyemi said.
“The efforts of the SP Taiwo Opadiran led team yielded positive result in September this year, when they got wind of plan by the hoodlums to strike again, this time, the wife and son of Otunba Ajayi Smith were their target. 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 the 55 -year old Adebowale Sanni was apprehended”, Oyeyemi stated.
Penpushing further reports that, the police spokesman said on  interrogation, he confessed to have been on the trail of Yeye Olusola  Ajayi, the wife of their earlier victim, in order to kidnap her, on the order of Larry  Adewumi the ring leader, whose wife Olufunmilayo happened to be an employee of the late hotelier.
The police said 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 not to leave any trace, just as they did to her husband two years ago.
“His confession led to the arrest of Larry’s wife Olufunmilayo who was a manager at the victim’s building materials shops. Larry himself was arrested three days after, he initially denied having anything to do with the kidnap of Otunba Abayomi Ajayi Smith, but when he came into confrontation with Adebowale Sanni, his accomplice, he knew immediately that the game is up”, Oyeyemi emphasised
Penpushing also reports that, the command explained that preliminary investigation revealed that Larry used to be a fraudster before he graduated to full-time kidnapping business, adding that 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”, police disclosed.
“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 said.
Penpushing reports that, the Commissioner of Police, 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, and also directed that the arrested suspects be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.
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