A 28-year-old businessman, Tayo Olatunbosun, has been allegedly killed by two members of Vigilante Service of Nigeria (VSN) at Adiyan, a community in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The vigilantes, identified as Ismaila Jimoh and Hassan Olatunde, have been arrested by the police. The suspects were said to have nabbed Olatunbosun, who was selling phones and laptops, in the Adiyan area on Saturday for allegedly stealing a hair dryer.
The vigilantes reportedly beat Olatunbosun with charms and later took him to the Agbado Police Station about 10 p.m. Police later released Olatunbosun on bail and was subsequently admitted in a hospital in the community, where he gave up the ghost on Sunday.
In the wake of his death, angry youths, who claimed Olatunbosun was returning from a party when he was arrested, took to the street and vandalised the VSO office at Bakare Bus Stop on Adiyan-Orudu Road.
The mob also set four motorcycles ablaze. It was also learnt that a combined team of policemen from Agbado Division and Area Command, Sango-Ota, was deployed in the area to restore peace.
A resident of Adiyan, Bashiru Irewole, described Olatunbosun’s death as painful. He said: “Contrary to the stealing allegation, Olatunbosun was returning from a party when the vigilantes stopped him. They tortured him severely.
He eventually died in the afternoon yesterday (Sunday). “He was selling phones, laptops and their accessories. He was not a thief. They just wasted his life.” Irewole added that Olatunbosun’s friends mobilised and attacked the VSO office. “They burnt a motorcycle in front of the office and moved to Olomowewe area and burnt three motorcycles parked by the roadside,” he said.
Police were able to bring the situation under control later in the evening. As at yesterday, police were still patrolling the community. The vigilantes, Jimoh and Olatunde, were later arrested by the Agbado Division.
A police source said the dryer purportedly recovered from Olatunbosun was brought to the station. The source said: “By the time the vigilantes brought him to the station with the dryer, he had being beaten up. He was released to go and treat himself, but later died in the hospital.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the incident. Oyeyemi said the suspects were being investigated for murder and would be charged to court later. He said: “The vigilantes said they arrested him for stealing. In the process, they beat him up. He eventually died.
The two vigilantes in question are in custody. The Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, has ordered that they should be transferred to the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) for proper investigation. Even if he was caught for stealing, that does not mean he should be killed.”