In September 2015, Nigerians living around Yaba area of Lagos State woke up to behold with shock, the corpse of a young man, who would later be identified as Tajudeen Raji, 35, aka Orji. The man appeared to have been stabbed several times. But what had people reeling in shock was that his stomach was cut open and his intestines ripped out. The body was dumped right in front of the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos State.
The murder of Raji was said to have plunged his mother into mourning. Homicide detectives from the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos, took over the case and in spite of intense investigations, kept meeting dead ends. Just when everyone was beginning to forget the case, operatives of the Zonal Intervention Squad, ZIS, Zone 2 Police Command, Onikan, while working on another case, stumbled on a clue connected to Raji’s murder and pursued it. The vigorous pursuit led the policemen to some members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
Two suspects, Saheed, alias Militant and Ogusemilore, were arrested. According to the police, the two men played active roles in the murder of Raji. They are currently being questioned by operatives of the ZIS. A police source said: “The ZIS operatives were attracted to the case two years after it was abandoned. They found fresh clues linking Saheed, Ogusemilore and five others to the murder.
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They raided the Yaba-Jibowu Branch office of the NURTW and recovered two pistols, 20 live cartridges, 30 9mm ammunition and one Ak-47 magazine.” A personal assistant to the NURTW chairman of that branch, Ogunkolade, was also arrested. Ogunkolade confessed that the recovered arms and ammunition belonged to his boss, Akinboyeku, alias Femi Jplum. He further told the police that his boss, Akinboyeku, was out of the country at that time.
The police source further said: “While Ogunkolade was being interrogated, the ZIS received an intelligence report that Ogunkolade and his boss, had information that could help the police solve the September 2015 murder of Tajudeen Raji. When Ogunkolade was quizzed, he confessed that Raji and his boss had a quarrel at that time, but he couldn’t confirm if his boss had a hand in Raji’s death.
Ogunkolade said that he learned that Raji’s death was cult related. Ogunkolade told police that Raji had some rivals in Abule area of Bariga, Lagos, whom he was also fighting. Ogunkolade said those people were of the same cult group.
He believed that Raji was killed because of rivalry. “Ogunkolade gave police the names of those boys whom he said took part in the killing of Raji. Police succeeded in arresting two of them.
But from police intel-ligence, it was discovered that Raji was with some of his friends on the night he was murdered. He received a phone call from someone, who told him to meet him at Abule for a peace talk with Femi Jplum.
He went there with his friends, but was killed. The killers dumped his body at the front of Yabatech. The friends that were with him on that fateful day were killed two weeks later.”
Raji’s sister, Mrs. Muyinatu Adisa, urged the Assistant Inspector General of Police, (AIG), in charge of Zone 2 Police Command, Ibrahim Adamu, to ensure Raji’s killers were prosecuted. Adisa, a mother of four, said: “We were living in Bariga when my brother was killed.
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His intestines were ripped out by his assailants. My mother, my children and I had to run away from the community because we learnt Raji’s killers were hunting and killing everyone linked to him. “They killed all his friend that went with him to the peace meeting. We were all scared and went into hiding.
We were made to understand that powerful people were involved in the murder of Raji. I’m grateful to God that the police have decided to look into the case and have arrested some of the people. My mother had been crying since Raji’s death.
“Before my brother was killed, he told me that he had a quarrel with the NURTW chairman at Yaba and that his life was threatened. After he was killed, I was told that he was with some of his friends in Shomolu when he received a call to attend a meeting. The meeting was to make peace between him and the NURTW chairman. When he got there, he was stabbed to death and his body was dumped at Yabatech.”
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The Zone 2 Police Public Relations Officer (ZPPP), Dolapo Badmus, confirmed the arrest of the alleged killers. She said: “I can tell you that all those arrested in connection with the murder of the deceased will be prosecuted.”