According to a report by SaharaReporters, following the r*pe and gruesome murder of her daughter, Barakat Bello on June 2, 2020, in his house in the Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State by a daredevil serial killer, Sunday Shodipe, the father of the victim, Kazeem Bello Elepo has reportedly died after suffering from trauma.
Bello, who was said to have died in September 2021, could not come to terms with reality after the tragic incident which further complicated his health condition.
The 19-year-old student at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Ibadan was raped and killed while in her parents’ house after Shodipe broke into their house.
The assailant, after molesting the girl, dragged her to the back of the house where he stabbed her to death.
Some of the families of those killed by Shodipe have expressed concerns over the nonchalant attitude of the police toward the case.
The wife of the deceased, Kafayat Bello, who spoke to SaharaReporters on Thursday said her husband was traumatised following the incident before coming down with a fever which eventually snuffed life out of him.
She expressed disappointment over the lacklustre attitude of the police towards the prosecution of the suspect after his rearrest, as the self-confessed serial killer once escaped from police custody.
She said, "We are tired because the police are not helping in the matter. The day they said they will take him to court, we were in the court but they did not bring him. They have refused to give us information on the matter, to tell us why they have not taken Sunday to court. For us, we have let go of the matter and left everything to God to judge. My husband died over this matter."
Meanwhile, findings by SaharaReporters revealed that other parents whose daughters were killed in similar circumstances by the serial killer have lost hope of getting justice from Nigeria's judiciary.
Shodipe upon his arrest confessed to the killing of five persons, including Barakat. He was paraded on July 17, 2020, by the Oyo State Police Command alongside two others in connection with serial killings in Akinyele Local Government Area.
He later escaped from police custody on August 11, 2020, but was apprehended by some locals a few days later.
Shortly after his escape, he sneaked into the room of another woman identified as Funmilayo (Iya Ibeji) in the same community and smashed her head with an object believed to be a cutlass.
A source who spoke to SaharaReporters on condition of anonymity said some of the parents of the victims who may be called as prosecution witnesses in the case have lost interest due to the way and manner in which police have not shown seriousness in handling the case.
He narrated how the families of the victims were conspicuously absent at a meeting convened by the Oyo State Police Command.
The source said, "This is a criminal case and the police will need witnesses during the prosecution but I can tell you that with the way this case is going, we don't even know anything about it again. The last time we went to court they said they will bring him but they did not. We don't even know the whereabouts of the suspect any longer if he is still with the police or not.
"They have not even called the matter and this has made many parents to lose interest and give up on the matter.
"As I am talking to you now, some of the victim's parents have resigned to fate and handed over the matter to God."
Shodipe was arraigned before a Magistrates' Court sitting in Iyaganku on one count which bordered on murder.
The prosecutor, Salewa Ahmed, told the court that Mr Shodipe on August 13, around 2:30 pm in the Moniya area of Ibadan, allegedly caused the death of Oladeji, 45, by hitting her with a plank on her forehead.
Ahmed said the offence contravenes section 316 and is punishable under section 319 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Vol.II, Laws of Oyo State 2000.
The Senior Magistrate, Patricia Adetuyibi, who refused to take his plea, ordered him to be remanded at Abolongo correctional centre, pending further advice from the state Ministry of Justice.
When SaharaReporters reached out to the spokesperson for the state police command, Adewale Osifeso, for reaction on the allegations and to know the status of the matter, he declined to comment and refused to respond to the text messages sent to his mobile phone.
No fewer than eight persons have been allegedly killed in similar circumstances in the area by the suspect, thereby causing apprehension in the affected communities.
Shodipe's case is a litmus test for the Nigeria Police to prove to Nigerians that they are committed to ridding the country of criminal elements.