THE family of Pastor Adeniyi Adisa, a chartered accountant, has demanded for justice over the murder of their son, whom they alleged died in the hands of some youths and the police in Ogun State.
Information gathered reveal that the father of five was kidnapped on June 24 as he returned from a visit to a friend in the Yotomi area, Owode Egba area of the state.
The deceased, who was the General Manager of VGC Water in Lekki, Lagos, was held hostage by his abductors for several days until his body was eventually found deposited outside a morgue in Ogun State. He was buried in Ibadan on July 8, 2023.
However, the deceased’s younger brother, Musiliu Adisa, stated that Adeniyi was murdered by some irate youths in Abule-Ori community and some security operatives who falsely labelled him a kidnapper.
It was learnt that due to the delay in the ransom payment after he was kidnapped, his abductors took him to a bush close to a church they were going to attack. They were said to have abandoned him and went to attack the church, where they killed the pastor during a mid-year night vigil before policemen and the state’s So-Safe Corps called upon by church members arrived at the scene.
However, Musiliu said the police and the corps pursuing the kidnappers found a frail Adisa in the same bush and mistook him as one of the kidnappers, following which he was killed.
Musiliu added, “My brother married two wives and had five children. His first wife, Temilade Adisa, who had three children, was married to him till death. He had two children with his second wife, Bukola, but they later divorced.
“My brother was killed by the police and others on July 1, 2023, at the Abule Ori bush close to a branch of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in the Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of the state. We are all traumatised and still in pain.”
“I received a phone call from him on Sunday morning and he informed me that he had been kidnapped, and we commenced a rescue mission and were prepared to pay a ransom to his abductors.
“We were on this until that Friday when his friend negotiated with the kidnappers and they agreed to collect the ransom at the Abule Ori bush. The lady took the money there around 9 pm but returned with the money that day because there was no commercial motorcycle to transport her into the bush.”
A key to the puzzle
The Adisa family noted that a press release issued by the So-Safe Corps gave out the police and the Corps as Adeniyi’s possible killers.
In a Facebook post dated July 2 by an online publisher, Felix Mordi, he wrote that the “day of reckoning came for a member of a suspected kidnapping syndicate when he fell to the superior firepower of the operatives of the Ogun State Community, Social Orientation and Safety Corps (So-Safe Corps).”
A press release issued from the office of the State Commander of So-Safe Corps, Soji Ganzallo, through the office of the Director of Information and Public Relations, Moruf Yusuf, said the Corps swung into action after they received a distress call at about 12 am on Saturday, July 1, 2023.
It read, “The special operation team of the Corps, Owode-Egba Zonal Command, under ACC Jimoh Rasaki Omoniyi, received a distress call that some of the members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Desires of Nations Parish, under Ogun Province 22, Abule-Ori in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area, were attacked during a vigil, while seven members of the church were kidnapped and the pastor killed.
“The seven victims were rescued unhurt, while one of the kidnappers was killed and many of the suspects sustained serious injury during a fire exchange.”
Following the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Ogun State Command, Omolola Odutola, confirmed the situation to PUNCH, adding that one of the pastors of the church, Adesina Oyesegun, had reported the incident at the police station in the area.
Odutola stated, “At about 3:30 pm on Saturday, Oyesegun said he was in church with other pastors and church members when some hoodlums numbering about seven invaded their church, attacked them with guns, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons with the intent to kidnap members.
“The hoodlums were shooting aimlessly, and as a result, one Pastor Kayode Oluwakemi, 56, sustained bullet wounds on his chest and unfortunately died on the spot.
“The villagers and security men in the area attracted the neighbouring villagers and security men, who confronted the suspected kidnappers in a gun duel. The kidnapped victims have regained their freedom.
“Some of the suspected kidnappers escaped with bullet wounds, but one yet-to-be-identified suspected kidnapper was neutralised while combing the bush, and the corpse was deposited at Owode Egba General Hospital Morgue. An effort is in progress to arrest the other fleeing suspects that are still at large.”
Meanwhile, the Adisa family was distraught when they found out that the “yet-to-be-identified suspected kidnapper” who was killed during this operation was their brother Adeniyi, who was earlier kidnapped by the hoodlums who attacked the church.
Musiliu stated that, “The next day after the failed ransom attempt, the kidnappers attacked the RCCG church close to the forest and one of them was supposedly killed by the police. What we didn’t know was that the kidnappers who abducted our brother also took him along in the bush during their raid on the church.
“We later saw the photograph of the suspect in the police news bulletin, and on Tuesday, we discovered it was my brother that was killed by the police and they thought to be a kidnapper. When we went to identify the corpse, it was discovered that it was my brother that the police killed, not a kidnapper.
“From our own findings, it was confirmed that when the kidnappers wanted to collect the ransom money, they brought my brother along with them to the Abule Ori bush thinking they would collect the money, release him to us, and tarry for a while before they operated again.”
He noted that when the ransom payment failed, the family believed their brother became a burden to the kidnappers and they probably demobilised him.
“They didn’t kill him,” he continued. “The following morning when my brother was wading through the bush, the police, the So-Safe Corps, and the villagers took him to be one of the kidnappers who came to attack the area earlier that morning and they killed him with guns, machetes and sticks.”
The Adisa family believed that the late Adeniyi, who had become weak following his seven-day torture by his abductors, was found in the bush early in the morning by residents of the community along with the police team, all of whom he alleged pounced on him and accused him of being one of the kidnappers.
Musiliu added, “We know they murdered him because they took a video while they were killing him. We got the video and went to the Eleweran Police Command, Ogun State.
“We wrote a petition and the Commissioner of Police held a meeting with us, the family, as well as the Divisional Police Officer, the Area Commander and other big shots. They ordered the arrest of all the people who were in the video and charged them with murder.
“They have commenced the investigation and it has been ongoing for about one and a half months now. Our contact who has been helping us to follow up with the police case said we should be patient and that the investigation will continue.”
Another video footage forwarded to newsmen by the family showed the deceased’s body surrounded by a group of six young men some of whom were holding machetes.
Four policemen could also be seen, with one of them holding a gun on the one hand and a machete on the other.
“He has become dead meat,” one of the youths sneered in Yoruba language. “Don’t carry him, drag him,” ordered one of the four policemen at the site as two youths held each of Adeniyi’s legs and cruelly dragged his lifeless body through the grass.
As his corpse was shoved and squeezed into the back of the pickup van, one of the men said, “Look at them, they hide their own children at home while kidnapping other people’s children.”
One of the policemen hit the already dead Adeniyi in his legs to remove his shoes from his legs. The shoes fell off and were placed on his body.
“This was where we first found him, he was crawling through the bush. He could no longer walk on that leg,” one of the men said in the video.
With sadness in his voice, Musiliu said that even in death, his brother’s body was still not accorded any measure of dignity by the authorities.
“My brother’s corpse was kept outside Owode Egba General Hospital mortuary, exposed harshly to both rainfall and sunlight. Both in life and in death, he was treated like a common criminal,” he lamented.
“By Wednesday, July 5, the corpse had become over bloated. It was a horrible sight. We paid the mortuary attendant over N160,000 to deflate the bloated corpse.”
When the state PPRO, Odutola, was contacted for an update on the police investigation into the murder she said:
“I will get the relevant information from Obafemi Owode and let you know the update on WhatsApp. Please send me a message there,” she said.
A subsequent inquiry on the case sent to Odutola on Tuesday has not been responded to as of the time of filing this report today.