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Police quiz, detain Gen Tanko Ayuba •Pinheiro, 6 others also

Posted by By Ben Okezie on 2005/10/09 | Views: 1013 |

Police quiz, detain Gen Tanko Ayuba •Pinheiro, 6 others also


Manhunt for the killers of Engineer Charles Alaba Joseph, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mobitel, intensified at the weekend with the interrogation and detention of board members of the ailing telecom company including its chairman, Brigadier-General Tanko Ayuba (rtd).

Manhunt for the killers of Engineer Charles Alaba Joseph, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mobitel, intensified at the weekend with the interrogation and detention of board members of the ailing telecom company including its chairman, Brigadier-General Tanko Ayuba (rtd).

Ayuba, one-time Communication Minister, is being detained at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
Also arrested was Mr. Oluwakemi Pinheiro, the Receiver/Manager for Mobitel who was penultimate week denied the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) award.

Six other directors of Mobitel, according to impeccable police sources, were arrested in what insiders described as a response to an express presidential order Wednesday to the police to fish out the killer(s) of the telecom engineer.

Sunday Sun learnt that the directors were taking turns to face the crack team of interrogators earlier assembled by D.I.G Ogbonnaya Onovo.

DIG Onovo is adjudged one of the best hands in crime investigation in the country. Often, he has had to be consulted by both the FBI and Metropolitan police in cases involving arms.

One of the directors, it was learnt, pleaded his innocence to the interrogators by saying that he was somewhere drinking beer on the day Joseph was shot.

The said director’s defence, it was gathered, followed a question as to why he allegedly went to drink beer when news of Joseph’s death was broken to him. The interrogators were said to have found that curious, wondering whether the action was to "celebrate" the dastardly act or seek a "psychological tranquillizer" to absorb a devastating report.

"Our detectives have, in this case, adopted a novel interrogation strategy. So far, I can tell you that it is yielding good results," said a source.
Engineer Joseph was on September 15 found dead in the pool of his blood, at the premises of ICON House, Victoria Island, Lagos, Mobitel’s Corporate Head Office.

His death had sparked off controversy as it coincided with the arrival at company premises of a team of security personnel led by a Receiver/Manager whose services a commercial bank engaged to take over the debtor Company.

When Joseph’s body was found in the balcony of his office, the initial presumption was that he could have taken a plunge from his high-rise office, ostensibly to avoid the ignominy of losing the company he laboured for years to build.

But that possibility was later foreclosed following the discovery of bullet hole in his eye. Autopsy report eventually confirmed that he was actually shot at a close range with what is suspected to be a pistol fitted with silencer.

In giving the marching order that the killers be found, the presidency, Sunday Sun learnt, is mindful that the telecom sector remains the corner-stone of its economic reforms, the more reason why an untoward development of this nature could destabilize the sector if not addressed properly.
It was further learnt that the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero had specifically directed Onovo to ensure that "no stone is left unturned in bringing all the persons connected with the case to book."

Each of the directors, Sunday Sun learnt, is being detained in separate rooms to avoid contact with one another.
Mr. Opaleke, the commissioner in charge of investigation, is said to be directly in charge of the matter at this level, taking instructions from Onovo.

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