A couple and their child were murdered on New Year’s Day at their home located on Oba Karunwi Street at the Ibara GRA, in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Daily Trust on Sunday reports.
With two gates, one the entry point and the other the exit point, the quiet street is host to the private residence of a first class monarch, the Osile of Oke-Ona Egba, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso; the state’s office of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), as well as the National Industrial Court.
Yet the killers marched on the street and hacked down the couple, Kehinde and Bukola Fatinoye, and their son, Oreoluwa, and their adopted son, Felix, in a semi-detached duplex and set the building on fire. The two boys were tied with ropes and thrown into the Ogun River.
The incident happened while the family was still mourning the death of their son who died in June, 2022, while playing football.
The festive period brought a relief to the family, and like many others, they attended a cross over service and returned home only to meet their death.
Police spokesman in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said, “It is true that a couple was killed and set ablaze at their residence in Abeokuta shortly after they returned from a cross over service.
“One person has been arrested by our operatives in connection with the incident. We will get to the root of the matter as investigation has since begun.
“The assailants took advantage of the busy cross over night into the New Year to carry out the dastardly act.”
The murdered woman was a worker with the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), while her husband was in the employ of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The adopted son, however, was said to have escaped miraculously from the river and returned to narrate how the incident occurred to the police.
The burial service for the couple took place at the Anglican Church, Iporo-Ake, Abeokuta, on Monday and were thereafter buried in the Lantoro area of Abeokuta.
Couple’s last moments
A source told Daily Trust on Sunday that the woman attended a security meeting organised by the residents and landlords on the street on December 31.
The cleric of the couple’s church, Rev S. K. Oyewale, explained that, “We ended the service around 2am. We spoke together in anticipation that we were going to meet by 10am for the Holy Communion service.”
The cleric described the couple as “a completely gentle family and full of respect for everyone.”
He said, “In the church, they were very active; they touched a lot of lives; not only in the church, but all over. Our brother was a pillar in the church; he was a pillar in the family, he was a pillar at work. This is very disheartening and we hope God brings all those behind the act to justice.”
Son’s corpse recovered after 3 days
The decomposing corpse of the son of the couple, Oreoluwa, was recovered from the Ogun River on Tuesday morning by fishermen and handed over to the police.
I’m not the killer, adopted son says
Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that the adopted son, Felix, was brought in handcuffs to the riverbank where Oreoluwa’s corpse was recovered to identify the corpse.
While Felix was being led away, he shouted, “I am not a killer. I did not kill them. I’m not a killer. I know what I saw. I’m not a kid. I told them to let us check the river before we left. I saw him (the killer). Why will I not recognise someone who wanted to kill me? I saw him. I know what I saw. I know what I’m saying. I’m not a killer.”
When asked who the killer was, Felix said, “Brother Lekan.”
Another source told our correspondent the late couple, the murdered son and Felix were due to relocate to Canada this month before the incident happened.
Family demands justice
Seyi Fatinoye, a younger brother of the late man, has demanded justice for the family, noting that his late brother was a gentleman and breadwinner of the family.
He said, “My brother was a very humble and gentle man. He was not a troublemaker, he did not like trouble at all. He was also very nice. Those people that did this to us will not go free.”
“Look at my life, I buried my brother’s son, buried my brother, buried his wife, what else is left for me in this life? This is my life; I don’t have anything again in this world.”
Meanwhile, Governor Dapo Abiodun has given marching orders to the police command in the state to go after the killers of the couple and bring them to justice.
He said, “This is a grievous crime; no doubt. I have directed the Commissioner of Police to ensure that everything is done in order to arrest the people behind the dastard act. I assure you that the perpetrators will not go unpunished. Such a heinous crime should not go without making the people responsible face the full wrath of the law.”