Olanrewaju Ogundare

The hope of the family of 24-year-old Olanrewaju Ogundare of seeing him alive after he went missing in December 2020 has been dashed.

On Monday, the family was presented with photos of his mutilated corpse, ending months of search and prayers.

Ogundare worked with The Civic Centre, a popular event centre in the Victoria Island area of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the Kogi State indigene returned from work on December 25, 2020 and dropped his bag at his parents’ house on Adimula Street, Ikotun, saying he was going to spend the Christmas break with his friends.

Our correspondent gathered that after calling his mother two hours later to indicate he had reached his destination, he went incommunicado.

The following Monday, his colleagues at work were reported to have called his family to say they did not see him in the office.

A family member, who did not want to be identified, said at that point, the parents became anxious and raised a search party for him.

“Prior to going missing, he had misplaced his phone. But when he got to his friend’s place on Christmas Day, he called his mum with the friend’s phone.

“When we started searching for him, we could not trace the phone number he used to call because his mum uses an old phone that wipes off call history quickly,” the source added.

Our correspondent learnt that the case was reported at the Idimu Police Station.

One of Ogundare’s friends reportedly told the police that he saw him on December 25, but they went their separate ways without any incident around 10pm.

Our source said the family was called to the police station on Monday and asked to identify a corpse the police found.

“While we were looking for him, we gave the police his photo. The Investigating Police Officer called us on Monday and said the police found a corpse and they wanted us to check it.

“When I saw the picture of the corpse, I immediately recognised it was him; he was brutally murdered. He had a big cut on his head. That was when we knew he was dead,” the source added.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the victim’s parents, after being confronted with the cost of investigation, including autopsy, opted to close the case. A relative said the family did not have the resources to pursue justice, adding that “we have decided to leave the matter to God.

“Our correspondent gathered that Ogundare was killed in the Ejigbo area on the same night he went out for the Christmas celebration.

A source said the police suspected he was a victim of robbers, who prowled the community at night.

“There are hoodlums that attack people at night in that area, which was where his parents lived for many years before they moved to Ikotun.

“It is possible that he was in the area for the Yuletide when he was attacked. Some people said they saw a gang arguing with somebody around 11pm that day, but they could not come close so as not to fall victim as well. But nobody knew he had been killed until on Monday,” he added.

Colleagues of the victim at his workplace, who took to social media to mourn him, said he would be missed.

The state Police Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, confirmed the incident, adding that the case would be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, for further investigation.

[PUNCH]

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