The Ondo State Police Command, on Monday, said it had begun investigation into the alleged killing of a businessman, Babatunde Olubasa, who was said to have been shot dead in a hotel in Akure on Boxing Day.
The 38-year-old Olubasa was allegedly murdered at the Helena Hotel in the Ijapo area of Akure, where he had lodged for the Christmas holiday.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Tee-Leo Ikoro, who confirmed that the matter was a case of assassination, said the Commissioner of Police, Mr Bolaji Salami, had ordered investigation into the incident, adding that operatives of the command were already on the trail of the assailants.
Ikoro said, “We have commenced investigation and trying to track down those who killed him. It’s an assassination. At the time it happened, there was nobody else at the bar, except the bar girl. The bar girl said three killers came into the hotel.
“The deceased lodged in that hotel and went out at some point in time. By the time he came back, the assailants were already at the bar drinking. When he got to the bar, the three guys asked for a lighter from him to light their cigarettes and he said no. It was at that point that they pulled out their guns and shot him. The assailants left the hotel when he gave up the ghost.
“We are on their trail right now. The Commissioner of Police has ordered a full investigation into the incident. To us, we are thinking it was an assassination. But the investigation will unravel all that happened.”
A source in the hotel stated that the deceased was shot dead at the bar during an argument with the killers over a cigarette lighter.
He said, “The killing of Tunde was a clear case of someone who had been targeted. The guys, who killed him, had requested a lighter from him at the bar. But he declined their request. Tunde’s reaction made them to engage him in an argument before opening fire on him.
“After shooting him, they also descended on him with a small axe to completely snuff life out of him.”
Meanwhile, the hotel was under lock and key when our correspondent visited the scene.