By Aderemi Bamgbose
Okitipupa (Ondo State), Sept. 10, 2019
The kidnapped lecturer of the Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH), Okitipupa, Prof. Gideon Okedayo, has been found dead.
Okedayo, of the Department of Mathematical Sciences and Acting Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies in the university, was kidnapped on Sept. 5 on his way to his hometown in Igara, Edo State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that Okedayo’s decomposing body was found on Sept. 9 in the bush, where his abductors held him.
The lecturer’s death is another sad tale in the recurring cases of kidnapping of travellers on major Nigerian highways in recent times.
On July 12, Mrs Funke Olakurin, daughter of the Chairman of the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoroti, was similarly, abducted and murdered by her kidnappers on the Ondo-Ore highway in Ondo State.
The Chairman of the OSUSTECH Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr Dipo Akomolafe, confirmed Okedayo’s death in an interview with NAN on Tuesday in Okitipupa.
He said that ASUU and the university community had been thrown into disarray and were saddened by the development.
“His decomposing body was found in the bush. This is so sad to ASUU and his family members because the abductors never called anybody, whether ASUU or Okedayo’s family for ransom.
Meanwhile, ASUU has called on the Police and other security agencies to fish out those behind the killing of Prof. Gideon Okedayo.
Dr. Akomolafe made the demand in a statement on Tuesday in Okitipupa.
Akomolafe said the Edo State Police Command and other security agencies did not do enough to rescue the lecturer from his abductors.
The ASUU chairman added that security agencies also failed to contact Okedayo’s family members on developments on the abduction.
He described the death of the lecturer as shocking and mysterious as the abductors never contacted any family member or associate of the murdered lecturer for ransom until his decomposing body was later found.
The unionist said the death of Okedayo had exposed ”the inefficiency and ineptitude” of the security agencies as no information on Okedayo’s whereabouts was given until his death.
Akomolafe said that Okedayo’s demise was one death too many, recalling that another lecturer of the school, Prof. Adegboyega Obadofin, was roasted in an inferno sometime in 2018 without help from security agencies.
“Prof. Okedayo’s death has exposed the nakedness of our security system, the inefficiency and ineptitude of the nation’s security apparatus.
“It was clear that despite the efforts of the university administration and the union to see to his quick release, there was nothing to show that the security agencies we reported to did anything towards finding him.
“The police did not communicate with the university administration on their efforts towards identifying where he was kept until his decomposing body was later found.
“This is more than mere kidnap as we demand that the police and other security agencies should as a matter of urgency unravel the scenes behind this death,” Akomolafe said.
The Public Relations Officer of the Edo State Police Command, Mr Chidi Nwabuzor, who confirmed the recovery of Okedayo’s body, said the police did their best on the matter.
He said that the family of the lecturer did not report the kidnap to the police, disclosing that the command was contacting the person who reported the case to the police.
The spokesman said that investigation was going on to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of the teacher, adding that findings would be communicated to the media.
“Police are not magicians or spirits. We rely and act on information and intelligence gathering at our disposal to unravel criminal activities.
“There are several occasions when some suspects were arrested and they will confess to crimes committed 20 years earlier. So investigation is ongoing to unravel the death of the professor,” said Nwabuzor.
Okedayo was kidnapped by gunmen, described as herdsmen at Akoko Junction on the Igara-Auchi road, together with his driver on their way to Edo State.
The Edo State Police Command had earlier announced that it had recovered his official vehicle, a Toyota Corolla car with registration number 06X47 OD.