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.
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