The first official reaction of the Nigeria Police headquarters to the murder of the commissioner, Kwara State police command, Mr Chinwike Asadu, last Saturday, was that the murderers had murdered sleep.
Force spokesman Frank Mba was obviously alluding to Shakespeare's words in Macbeth. "Those who murdered CP Asadu have murdered sleep and they will not find peace or rest until they are brought to book," he said, adding that IGP Mohammed Abubakar had ordered that the crime be "solved correctly".
One whole week has passed since Asadu was assassinated near his home in Enugu but his killers, likely, are still sleeping soundly. The police in Enugu are said to have mopped up no fewer than 500 "suspects" from beer parlours and other public places and clamped them in jail. Enugu Sate governor Sullivan Chime has offered to give N10million to anybody who could give information about Asadu's killers. So far, nobody has unmasked the killers.
Judging by the reaction of those who knew him, Asadu was a good man and a diligent worker who would be greatly missed by the police. Why anyone would decide to kill him in his home state, in the twilight of his career, is unimaginable; he was billed to retire in May this year.
None of the leads offered by the public should be discountenanced: The first is that he was being prepared to run for governor of Enugu State in 2015. Having been police commissioner for a long time, Asadu was said to have been connected to many highly placed people in the country and could have been tipped to run for governor by some kingmakers in his home state.
This allegation could have a ring of truth because he hailed from Enugu North senatorial district that is expected to produce the governor of the state in 2015 and there are many contenders for the position already. The claim that he was interested in becoming the chief of his village in Nsukka is therefore likely to be false.
The second credible lead is that an armed gang had been targeting policemen in Enugu city. Could that gang be a variant of the terrorist group that has been fighting security agents in certain parts of the country? Could the murderers have trailed him from Ilorin, knowing that the security around him would be relaxed if he travelled to his home state? Were there criminals that he prosecuted in the past that had been seeking revenge? Because murderers are not rational beings, the actual reason for the murder may not be known immediately.
Everything remains in the realm of speculation - until the gangsters are arrested. Asadu is not the first ranking law officer to be assassinated in the country. Let him be the last. To boost the morale of all other agents of the law in the country, his killers must be found sooner than later. His name must not enter the list of unresolved murders in the country.
We sympathise with Asadu's family and friends in this period of grief. We hope that the police he served meritoriously would do justice to his memory by delivering justice to his killers.