According to The PUNCH, two suspects have been arrested and charged with the murder of a Lagos-based socialite and contender for the Badore chieftaincy stool, Chief Rasak Jikoji.
It was gathered that the suspects, Sulaimon Ogunlana, 23, and Abiodun Taiwo, 22; who allegedly belonged to the Eiye confraternity, were arrested by the operatives of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba, Lagos.
The two suspects also reportedly indicted one Chief Waliu Adeniran, who was a co-contestant with the late Jikoji in a struggle for the chieftaincy stool of Badore, in the Eti-Osa Local Government Area of the state.
Magistrate Oluwatoyin Oghre of the High Court of Lagos State had since issued a warrant of arrest on Adeniran, who is now at large. Adeniran and the two suspects were charged with conspiracy and murder.
Jikoji, 60, was reportedly assassinated on April 25, 2021 after his family nominated him as the successor to the late traditional ruler in the community, who died in June 2020.
However, some community elders reportedly backed Adeniran, whose name was forwarded to the local government secretariat.
The dispute was later taken to court.
Justice E.I. Alakija of the Lagos State High Court on March 22, 2021 subsequently ordered that the parties should maintain the status quo while the substantive suit was adjourned till May 2021.
The state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, while confirming Jikoji’s murder, had said the case had been transferred to the SCIID.
He had said, “The two persons who assassinated him were in a tricycle. They accosted him while in the vehicle and fired at him in the chest with what appeared to be an English pistol. He ran out, but they went after him and used a stone to break his head to ensure he died.
“The driver said before they killed him, they said, ‘so you want to be baale (traditional ruler), it is only someone who is alive that can become baale’. It was not a case of robbery. He was a direct target. We are working round the clock and closing in on his killers.”
City Round learnt that detectives at the SCIID eventually arrested Ogunlana and Taiwo and arraigned them for conspiracy and murder.
The charges read in part, “That you Sulaimon Ogunlana and Abiodun Taiwo and others at large, on 25th day of April 2021 on Badore Road, Langbasa area of Lagos State, in the Lagos Magisterial District did cause the death of one Rasaq Jikoji, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.”
Both Ogunlana and Taiwo were remanded in the Kirikiri Prison while the court in a warrant of arrest dated September 22, 2021, and sighted by our correspondent, mandated the state Commissioner of Police to produce Adeniran and others at large at the next adjourned date on December 7, 2021.
The widow of the deceased, Olajumoke Jikoji, told City Round that the family was afraid of going to Badore since the brutal murder of her husband.
She alleged that Adeniran and some other persons in the community had been threatening her husband before his murder.
She said, “They have threatened him repeatedly and my husband wrote several petitions to Zone 2, Abuja and other police stations against Mr Adeniran even up to two weeks before they succeeded in killing him.”
Olajumoke alleged that Adeniran paraded himself as the Baale of Badore shortly after the killing of her husband.
“We appeal to the legal authorities to come to our aid and make sure that justice is served,” she added.