How riot broke out in Osogbo, af­ter po­lice shot dead stu­dent

A mob tried to set ablaze a po­lice sta­tion in Osun State af­ter an of­fi­cer killed a man among a group dis­turb­ing the peace.

Sunday Trust - - PAGE 3 COMMENT - From Hameed Oyeg­bade, Osogbo

Just when this year’s EidEl-Kabir fes­ti­val was be­ing cel­e­brated in Osun State, an un­pleas­ant in­ci­dent scut­tled the joy of the res­i­dents of Oke-Baale and Gbeja area in Osogbo. The in­ci­dent even­tu­ally led to the death of a mid­dle-aged man, Muideen Adeg­boye.

Pop­u­larly known as Se­gun-Emir, he was al­legedly shot by a po­lice­man. The death of Muideen caused un­rest in Osogbo and a mob at­tempted to set ablaze the Oja-Oba Di­vi­sional Po­lice head­quar­ters. Hav­ing failed, the mob de­scended on in­no­cent peo­ple in the area.

An eye­wit­ness told Daily Trust on Sun­day that trou­ble started when thugs were ha­rass­ing peo­ple en­joy­ing their Sal­lah cel­e­bra­tion at Imole Street, Lion Junction, Ori Eeru, Oke Al­lahu all at Oke Baale. They also pre­vented free move­ment in the area.

It was gath­ered that some res­i­dents in­formed the Di­vi­sional Po­lice Of­fi­cer (DPO) at Oja-Oba about the sit­u­a­tion but po­lice­men sent to con­trol the sit­u­a­tion were over­whelmed.

A se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer at the di­vi­sion who pre­ferred anonymity said the thugs started hurl­ing stones at them upon sight­ing their pa­trol ve­hi­cle. “Yet, we were not de­terred. We moved in be­cause those that called us said that the thugs were hold­ing some peo­ple hostage. We were sur­prised when the thugs started us­ing dan­ger­ous weapons, in­clud­ing guns. They were so many and we were few.”

A res­i­dent, Afeez Imole, told Daily Trust on Sun­day that the thugs en­gaged the po­lice­men in an ar­gu­ment and that one of the po­lice­men shot the de­ceased on his ch­est. “When the po­lice­men came, they said they wanted to ar­rest Emir but he re­sisted. He was ask­ing for the rea­son they wanted to ar­rest him and they told him that some peo­ple brought a com­plaint against him. That was how they started ar­gu­ing and even­tu­ally, he fired at Emir,” Imole said.

He was taken to Ladoke Ak­in­tola Univer­sity Teach­ing Hos­pi­tal, (LAUTECH), where he died.

The fa­ther of the de­ceased in a chat with our cor­re­spon­dent said he wanted jus­tice, lament­ing that the po­lice­man that fired the shot should be pros­e­cuted. The man said his son was a stu­dent and that he was not a thug as por­trayed.

“My son came to Osogbo for the Ileya fes­ti­val. He was a stu­dent at Star Ma­rine Academy in La­gos. He was a naval stu­dent. He left to go and play foot­ball on Sun­day morn­ing. Not long af­ter, some­body called and told me my son had been shot by a po­lice­man and when I got there, my son told me the po­lice­men wanted to ar­rest him and he asked what his of­fence was. He said he told them he was a stu­dent and one of the po­lice­men shot him di­rectly in the ch­est.”

His death trig­gered a riot as a mob at­tempted to set ablaze the Oja-Oba po­lice sta­tion. The ri­ot­ers blocked roads and pre­vented ve­hic­u­lar move­ment for hours. When the mob did not suc­ceed in burn­ing the po­lice sta­tion, they de­stroyed some prop­er­ties of peo­ple liv­ing nearby.

A trader at Oke-Baale, Mrs Ami­nat Muhammed, said the pro­test­ers de­stroyed many items in her shop and that she nar­rowly es­caped be­ing lynched. “See my shop, they looted the shop. They poured kerosene and petrol on the food stuffs and left me help­less. I have been liv­ing in this place for a long time since I came to Osogbo from Borno State. They have de­stroyed ev­ery­thing that I worked for,” she lamented.

Also, a farmer, Mr Rafiu Raji, nar­rated that his house was dam­aged. “The boys banged on the win­dow. They used axes and cut­lasses to at­tack my house when they were pre­vented from burn­ing the po­lice sta­tion. They broke the glasses and dam­aged other things. We just stayed in­side be­cause such peo­ple could kill.”

The Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, Fim­i­han Adeoye, said the po­lice­man that shot the de­ceased has been ar­rested and de­tained. He promised that the case would be prop­erly in­ves­ti­gated and that jus­tice would be done. He con­demned the mob ac­tion and urged peo­ple to cul­ti­vate the habit of re­port­ing mat­ters to the ap­pro­pri­ate author­ity rather than re­sort­ing to tak­ing the law into their hands.

Adeoye said: “There are chan­nels for com­plaints. They should rather not take laws into their hands be­cause if they do, they have also vi­o­lated the law. They should learn to fol­low due process and we as­sure them that jus­tice would al­ways be done. Po­lice­men that would en­force the law must also re­spect the law. They are meant to pro­tect the peo­ple and we shall deal with any po­lice­man that kills an in­no­cent cit­i­zen he was ex­pected to pro­tect.”

The de­stroyed sign post of the Oja Oba Po­lice Sta­tion

Mr Rafiu Raji has the win­dows of his house smashed

Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, Fim­i­han Adeoye

Mrs Ami­nat Muhammed

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.