City Life Mega City

A state held hostage by banditry, kidnapping

Many Nigerians at one time or the order have fallen victims of banditry, kidnapping, robbery, police brutality in different ways.

 

A lot of these Victims have in the process met untimely death leaving family and friends into agony and despair of loosing loved ones. Families of victims often times cry for justice urging authorities to wage into action and ensure evil perpetrators are brought to book to face wrath of the law.

 

Ekiti state, for quite some time now have been witnessing a lot of tragedies characterised by gruesome killings as residents are again forced into unpleasant and sad moment. Residents are seriously lamenting incessant cases of killings, kidnapping and banditry as currently being witnessed. They tasked security agencies on coming alive to their responsibilities.

 

Wrong alarms of unsafe began to ring as unknown gunmen on a Wednesday night, November 4, 2020, stormed into Dalimore area of Ado Ekiti metropolis and brutally murdered a young trader identified as Olanrewaju Oladapo.

 

The deceased specialised in sale of recharge cards and provisions at the area of Ado Ekiti. The incident reportedly occurred at about 9.45pm after the trader had closed from work and drove home.

 

One of the residents of the area, who identified himself as Olatunji revealed that the assailants traced the deceased to his house behind Jone Jane Hospital, Dalimore, Ado Ekiti, where he was ambushed and killed at the main entrance. The deceased’s valuables and money, were said to be carted away by the gun wielding killers.

 

“The deceased had just packed into the house few months ago after he felt unsafe in his former apartment.

 

“We are deeply saddened by the incident and we call on the security agents to fish out the perpetrators. He was a young, enterprising, diligent and respectful man, who had been robbed several times in his former house.” When contacted, the Ekiti State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Sunday Abutu, confirmed the incident.

 

He said: “Yes, he was reportedly shot dead by unknown gunmen while returning home from his shop at about 9:45pm yesterday(Wednesday). His body had been evacuated and deposited in the mortuary. Meanwhile, preliminary investigation is ongoing for possible arrest of the culprits”.

 

Shortly after that incident, another tragedy struck in the capital city of Ado Ekiti, on Friday evening November 20, 2020, as a policeman was reportedly shot dead when some protesters were being chased out within the premises of Ado central Police Divisional headquarters in the state capital.

 

An eyewitness who spoke with newsmen the following day explained that some youths numbering about 20, had besieged the police area Command office chanting war songs over the killing of a motorcyclist by a driver. It was gathered that the policeman was shot in the course of the tumult that erupted while trying to scare away the violent protesters.

 

The youth were said to be expressing anger over the killing of one them by  the driver and alleged police seizure of the corpse and a sum of N470,000 paid to the family of the deceased by the car owner.

 

The deceased’s family had allegedly demanded money to enable them transport the corpse to their country home, for burial. A source said: “When the police failed to release the corpse and money allegedly collected from the driver to the family of the deceased person, the relatives stormed the police station in protest and demanded that the corpse and money be released.

 

“Sensing that the protest was becoming violent, the police fired teargas canisters and gunshots to scare them. In the process, stray bullets hit a policeman in the leg, who later bled to death in the hospital.” However, the Police Public Rations Officer, Ekiti Command, ASP Sunday Abutu, said the police are still investigating who actually fired the shot that killed the policeman.

 

Abutu alleged that the investigation became expedient on the premise that the protesters came to the police station with dangerous weapons and that the gunshots came from different directions. “It was true that the police allowed the driver and the deceased’s family to  negotiate and the driver agreed to pay a sum of N440,000, which had been paid to the family of the deceased.

 

“But out of that money, it was agreed that a sum of N150,000 should be paid to the bike owner. The protesters heard this and stormed the police station in anger that our men were trying to cheat them. The owner of the motorcycle has not even been paid at all.

 

“As they were brandishing dangerous weapons and requesting that the detainee be released to them, the police fired teargas canisters to scare them. But to the police’s surprise, they saw that gunshots were coming from different directions and one of our men was hit in the process and died.

 

“It was hasty and wrong that it was the police that fired the shot that killed one of them. We are still investigating,” he said. Barely 30 hours after the incident that led to the death of a policeman due to alleged mishandling of firearms in a police station, two persons on Saturday night, November 21, 2020, were again reportedly shot in Ado Ekiti.

 

One of the victims, a polytechnic graduate identified as Ayomide Olaoye died on the spot while the other Ismaila Idris, on critical condition was rushed  to the Emergency Unit of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital(EKSUTH), in Ado-Ekiti.

 

The incident happened at a hotel located along Ado-Ikere road when a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police allegedly visited the facility. It was rumoured that the victims were shot by one of the police orderlies of the former police top officer .

 

Recounting the shooting incident inside the hotel, an eyewitness said: “The policemen came into the hotel with one retired police officer. They were up to five in number, as they were doing gyration inside the hotel, they were shooting into the air and creating awareness. Two persons were hit by bullets in the process.

 

“The two policemen themselves conveyed the victims in their Hilux to the hospital, but they took to their heels moment after dumping the victims.” The police escort Hilux Van, which was believed not to belong to the Ekiti police Command was reportedly abandoned by the policemen at the entrance of the EKSUTH emergency unit .

 

The Police Public Relations Officer , Ekiti Command , Mr Sunday Abutu, who confirmed the sad development explained that the policeman fingered in the shooting had been arrested and detained at the police headquarters in Ado Ekiti. Abutu added that the policemen allegedly responsible for the heinous crime were not from the Ekiti police command .

 

“We have been able to establish that there was a shooting on Saturday night at one hotel in Ado Ekiti. Two persons were hit and one had died while the second man is receiving treatment in the hospital.

 

The policeman that was responsible had been arrested and now in our custody. “We are not going to hide anything. Although those involved are not from our command, the incident is within our jurisdiction and we promise that whoever is found culpable will be prosecuted accordingly.”.

 

The very recent ones which occurred on Friday November 27, 2020, were the incident of Chinese expatriate who was abducted by kidnappers also in Ado-Ekiti in which a police officer was reportedly killed at the incident. Another was a cleric who was also abducted at Ikere Ekiti and later found dead in the bush.

 

The incident of the Chinese expatriate according to the Police Public Relations Officer , Ekiti Command, ASP Sunday Abutu, occurred around 4.30pm on that day along new Ado-Iyin road.

 

The abductee was one of the Engineers handling the dualisation of Ado- Iyin road awarded to a Chinese Company by Governor Kayode Fayemi.

 

Apart from the police officer who died at the scene, Abutu said one other person was shot at the scene of the incident, who has not been confirmed dead at that time. He said: “it is confirmed that a    kidnapping incident occurred today at about 4:30pm along new Iyin road. During the incident, one civilian, an expatriate, was kidnapped, one shot, while one policeman was shot dead. “Our operatives are already combing the bush for possible apprehension of the perpetrators”. The police spokesman added that the Ekiti State Commissioner of Police, Mr Babatunde Mobayo, enjoined everyone to be calm and avoid any form of apprehension as the Command will do everything possible to rescue the victim and arrest the culprits.

 

The sad incident of the cleric Revd Johnson Oladimeji who was murdered along Igbara-Odo- Ikere-Ekiti road in Ikere local government area of Ekiti state by unknown gunmen occurred the same day the Chinese expatriate was abducted. Oladimeji was said to be a presiding cleric of Solution Baptist Church Ikere- Ekiti ,he was killed along the road by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers around 5pm when he was returning to Ikere-Ekiti after an official assignment in Osun state.

 

A source in his church who spoke on condition of anonymity said the family members launched a search on the pastor on Friday before his corpse was found in his car along the road with gunshot wounds. The source said, “the man was returning from Osun state on Thursday evening and decided to make use of the Igbara- Odo route to Ikere-Ekiti when he was ambushed and shot dead by gunmen in the evening.

 

“After series of calls to his phone numbers with no response, members of the church decided to start searching for him and he was found dead this evening (Friday) in his car along the road close to the University of Education and Technology in Ikere-Ekiti.”

 

The source explained that the incident was reported at the Igbara-Odo police station before his corpse was evacuated to the morgue. The President of Ekiti Baptist Church, Revd Adeyinka Aribasoye who confirmed the killing said the deceased had traveled to see his mother at Ipetu-Ijesa in Osun State and was returning from the journey when the incident occurred.

 

He said, “the incident is synonymous to a kidnapping case that went wrong, maybe he refused to stop for the abductors thus making them to open fire on him.

 

“The family were already expecting him but when they found out that he was taking too late they began to make series of contacts and search before they found out that he had been killed on the road.”

 

But, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) ASP Sunday Abutu told journalists he was not aware of the incident.

 

According to him, “I am not aware of such incident, I will have to make my findings. But I can assure you that if we are informed of the incident, our command will commence investigation immediately in a bid to arrest the perpetrators of the dastardly act. It was at the helm of the spontaneous danger which bedeviled the people of the State that a suspected kidnapper on November 28, 2020, met his Waterloo and fell into the hands of angry Ekiti residents when attempted to kidnap a boy.

 

The angry youths who were provoked beyond doubts apprehended the middle aged man suspected to be a kidnapper and beat him to death. The incident reportedly occurred at Iludofin area of Omuo Ekiti, headquarters of Ekiti West local government area of the State. The deceased was said to have been caught while attempting to kidnap a 7-year old boy. An eyewitness revealed that the incident happened around 2.30pm.

 

The source disclosed that a man, who sighted the deceased suspect had raised an alarm as he grabbed the boy and forcefully dragging him into the surrounding bush. The residents were said to have trooped out en masse and pounced on the suspect and beat him until he fell into coma.

 

“The suspect was trailing the boy home from school. When he realised that he had reached a bushy footpath, he pounced on him and started dragging him into the bush.

 

While confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, ASP Sunday Abutu, said the man died immediately he got to the police station. Abutu said it was one of the Chiefs at Iludofin quarters that reported the case to the police, which he said they acted upon promptly. “When we got the information, the police rushed to scene of the incident, but the man had already gone into coma.

 

“The mob action was very thick, but the police tried and rescued him and the intention was to first take him to the station for cover before rushing him to the hospital for medical attention. Unfortunately, he died in the station as a result of the beating.” Abutu said the suspect’s corpse had been deposited in the morgue at the Omuo-Ekiti General Hospital, while investigation into the matter continues. The police spokesman, however, cautioned against jungle justice, advising that any suspect arrested should be handed over to the police for investigation and prosecution

 

A resident of Ado-Ekiti Mr. Emanuel Owolewa while commenting on the scenario lamented alleged drinking habit of some security agents, an act he described as uncomplimentary considering the delicate roles of security operatives.

Owolewa urged people to seek human shelter in the course of indiscriminate gunshots rather than running helter-skelter out of fear. Another resident who pleaded anonymity said the policeman who fired shot in an hotel that led to the death of a graduate, committed the act due to overzealousness that bored out of his recent promotion.

 

“In this case, the cop never wanted to shoot anyone, he was on the zeal of his promotion, when the arm was mishandled and hit the innocent victims.” He added that the trader killed by unknown assailants, when he was accosted by the bandits reportedly threw all what he had with him at the other side of the building.

 

Sequel to the untoward developments, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Kayode Fayemi on Community Engagement and Enlightenment, Chief Tosin Ajisafe-Aluko alerted residents to be more security conscious and report illegal movement/ activities in their areas to security operatives for prompt action. In a statement in Ado-Ekiti, Chief Ajisafe-Aluko urged people to adopt necessary security strategies so as not to be caught in the web of the evil perpetrators.

 

 

The former council boss urged residents to shun night traveling, uploading of sensitive and family information on social media, use of flashy materials and discussion of financial related issues in public. She expressed optimism that the government of governor Kayode Fayemi would leave no stone unturned at sustaining the peace and growth of Ekiti State.

 

She gave the assurance that the present administration in the State would intensify efforts in working assiduously at creating more awareness on various issues relating to security health and politics to ensure that people of the state are more informed.

 

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