Lagos- The Lagos State Police Command says it has yet to arrest any management staff of Paulson Hotel, Ketu, where twin brothers and their friend were murdered by a drunk policeman.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Panti, Yaba, Mr Abiodun Odude, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.
He spoke while giving an update on the incident which occurred on Saturday on Anibaba Street, Ketu-Ikosi, Lagos.
“We have yet to arrest anybody from the hotel. The manager is on the run. We have not been able to effect arrest of any management staff.
“The Homicide Unit is investigating the case. We are looking for the manager and other management staff that run the hotel,’’ Odude said.
NAN reports that a drunken policeman, one Sgt. Stephen James, on Saturday shot dead three male customers at Paulson Hotel, over their refusal to buy him drinks and killed himself thereafter.
The said killer cop worked with Mopol 22, GRA Ikeja before killing the twins, their friend and himself at about 4.20 p.m. on Saturday.
NAN also reports that the deceased twin brothers were identified as Taiwo and Kehinde Oyesunle and their friend simply identified as Jeje.
One of the twins, Kehinde and their friend Jeje were buried in Ikorodu on Sunday and Monday respectively, while Taiwo, who was a Navy personnel was taken away by the Navy authorities for burial.
As at the time of filing this report, the hotel had been completely deserted by staff and guests as the facility was vandalised by irate youths in the area.
Sources told NAN that policemen led by the Divisional Police Officer at Ketu Police Station arrived at the scene on fateful day and removed the corpses.
When NAN visited the family of the twins, the members of their family called on the police authorities to do the right thing for the family as they could not demand for compensation.
A son in-law of the family, Mr Segun Sodunke, who is the husband to the immediate older sister of the twins, Olufunke, made the call.
He said that “no amount of money could compensate for the lives of Kehinde and Taiwo Oyesunle’’, describing their deaths as a calamity too many.
Sodunke urged the police authorities to check officers in uniform with guns who were always drunk.
He noted that in spite of the cries by Nigerians against careless killings by the police, nothing seems to be happening to culprits.
Sodunke said the police had wanted all the corpses to be buried at the same place, but the family and the Navy refused, hence, Jeje was buried in Ikorodu on Sunday by his sister.
“My wife is the immediate older sister to the twins killed by the policeman at the hotel.
“The Commissioner of Police in Lagos was at Ketu Police Station on Sunday where he addressed the families involved.
“He advised them to bury the dead bodies instead of punishing them more by keeping them in the mortuary.
“But he did not visit the mother of the twins or any member of the family to commiserate with them,’’ he said.
Sodunke said that the twins’ mother had just returned home two weeks ago after the burial of her husband in June.
“She was with us after staying with her eldest daughter in Abuja and while she was trying to settle down, this incident happened,’’ he said.
Sodunke said that the woman lost her first son, who was a lecturer at Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro in Ogun about 10 years ago, when he disappeared without any trace until now.
“It is a very sad situation,’’ Sodunke retorted.
When a NAN Correspondent visited the their mother, Madam Beatrice Oyesunle, at No. 6, Ajefemi Street, Ketu, where she lives with a family friend; family members and friends were seen consoling her.
NAN reports that the bereaved mother looked calm and even offered a seat to the NAN correspondent though she was unable to answer any question.
Her oldest daughter living in Abuja, Mrs Dupe Adeosun, told NAN that she got the news on Saturday evening through her husband and arrived in Lagos on Sunday to take care of her mother.
Adeosun described the death of her younger twin brothers as a very painful.
A family friend, who identified himself as Olakunle, said the killing of innocent persons by the police seemed to be getting out of control of the authorities.
He wondered why a policeman in uniform and with a gun could be so drunk to kill.
“The police authorities should check police officers who drink on duty. With these killings, Nigerians can say indeed that the police are our enemy,’’ he said.
At No. 3, Dairo Str, Ketu, a two-storey building where Kehinde and Taiwo lived, the residents’ mood revealed that the spirit of Christmas celebration had gone far from them.
A co-tenant, who simply identified himself as Wale, said the twins, had been living in a three-bedroom flat on the first floor for more than four years, describing them as easy going brothers.
“Taiwo is naval officer, while Kehinde works with Mac Auto workshop of Conoil, Shaginsha, near the Lagos old toll gate.
“They left home that afternoon when Manchester United and Chelsea FC of England were about to start their match.
“They told me they were preparing for one of their friend’s girlfriend coming from London on Saturday.
“Their plan was to go to the hotel to book for an accommodation for the lady and also make arrangement for Jeje’s birthday, who was also killed before going to the Airport to receive the lady.
“We got the news of their death from people. We heard that a policeman had killed some people at the hotel.
“And while we were trying to go there, someone else met us on the way to say our co-tenants were among the dead,’’ he said.
At that point, we rushed to scene and found Kenny and Taiwo on the ground, while some boys destroyed the hotel.
“Their death is a very painful one. This is the worst day and Christmas for me and my family.
“The mother was taken away from her rented apartment in Mile 12 to a family friend’s house in Ketu here,’’ Wale added.
Another of their neighbours, who also identified himself as Chris, said Kehinde re-charged his laptop in his apartment before going out that day, stressing that the twins were peaceful fellows.
When NAN visited Paulson Hotel the blood from the dead bodies, including the policeman were still visible on the road in front of the hotel.
NAN observed that the hotel glasses were shattered, a development suspected to have been caused by irate youths in the area on the night of incident.
One of the residents of Anibaba, Mr Olu Gbenga said the hotel management should be held responsible for the tragedy, stressing that the said policeman often shot into the air any time he was on duty.
“People have been complaining of the police shooting at the hotel, yet the management did nothing to curb it.
“We are aware that they invited police to provide security due to the incessant robbery attacks on the hotel.
“This particular policeman often threatened guests at the hotel if they refused to buy drinks for him.
“If the hotel management had reported to the police authorities, perhaps, this tragedy would have been avoided,’’ Gbenga said.
At Conoil filling station, Shaginsha, near Lagos old Toll Gate where Kehinde worked, NAN observed that his colleagues, including security guards had yet to overcome the shock of his death.
Nasir Yusuf, a security man said Kehinde bided them good bye at about 2 p.m. on Boxing Day, assuring of seeing them after the holidays.
He noted that they were shocked to hear of his death that day’s evening.
Efforts by NAN to get the Western Naval Command to comment on Taiwo’s burial arrangements was not successful as calls put through to the spokesman yielded no positive result. (NAN)