Late Olarenwaju Ogunsanwo
The Police are investigating the death of one Olarenwaju Ogunsanwo, allegedly killed over a struggle for the attention of a lady, writes Chiemelie Ezeobi
When Olarenwaju Ogunsanwo, a young printer, went to pay a courtesy call on his girlfriend’s brother whose wife had put to bed, he never envisaged his death. He had no inkling that a fight would ensue and lead to his death. Perhaps, if he had premonition of the ugly turn of events, he might still be alive today.
Prior to his untimely death, the deceased had moved from Port Harcourt, Rivers State to Lagos in search of greener pastures. After delving into so many pursuits, he finally settled for printing and was making enough to sustain himself at No 36, Adebisi Street, Shomolu area of Lagos State.
According to reports, Ogunsawo had met his untimely death in the hands of suspected cultists who stabbed him to death for his involvement with one Bukola, his supposed girlfriend. THISDAY gathered that Ogunsanwo was dating Bukola and had made plans to tie the nuptial knots with her. He had even gone to the extent of taking tentative steps in meeting the girl’s family.
On the said day of the incident, about 30 hoodlums dressed in red attires, who were touted to be cultists, had stormed the premises of the naming ceremony to rejoice with the new mother and her child. Unknown to Ogunsawo, the hoodlums were friends of a rival, one Musa who was also interested in dating Bukola.
THISDAY gathered that although Bukola had two kids for another man before they met, he was heads over heels with her and so proposed to her. After courtship, the couple had fixed their marriage plans for next year but unknown to Ogunsanwo, Bukola also had another man vying for her love, who was simply identified as Musa, who was touted in the area as the kingpin of the hoodlums in the place as well as the son of a traditional ruler.
The naming ceremony, which was held at no 36 Araromi Street, was bustling with music accompanied by hips moving in gyration to the tune before it was halted by violence. According to the information made available to THISDAY, earlier on, Ogunsanwo had appealed to two of his friends to accompany him to the naming ceremony as befitting a potential in-law.
However, unknown to him, Musa had gotten the same invitation to attend the ceremony. Although his gang of 30 had stormed the party earlier in the day, Musa and his brother, Idris came in later and in the thick of the party, one of Ogunsanwo’s friends had approached Bukola for a dance.
Whilst they were twirling to the tune of the music on the dance floor, unknown to them, that was the only encouragement Musa’s gang needed to make trouble. One Dare Ibironke was said to have approached Ogunsawo’s friend and challenged him for dancing with the girlfriend of their boss.
Expectedly for them, Ogunsanwo unknowingly danced to their tune when he attempted to defend his girlfriend dancing with his friend. That singular act led to his death! Ibironke had reportedly broken a bottle of beer on his head during the scuffle.
Reports said one Nojim who attempted to stop Ibironke ended up with several degrees of injuries as he was reportedly manhandled by the group. Not yet done with their act, Idris who was identified as the younger brother of Musa, allegedly took yet another bottle, broke it on the ground and aimed the jagged end at Ogunsanwo’s throat.
Drenched in the pool of his own blood, Ogunsanwo slumped to the ground and bled profusely. Eyewitness accounts said Ogunsanwo might have been saved but for the hoodlums who had shot sporadically into the air to prevent anyone from rendering assistance to the deceased.
The gang were said to have continued releasing hails of bullets until about 6:30p.m when a detachment of policemen from Alade Police Station stormed the area and engaged them in a gun duel. Sources said the sound of the gunshots from both camps sent everyone in doors. However, the hoodlums later surrendered to the superior fire power of the police and took to their heels.
THISDAY gathered that it was then that Ogunsanwo was eventually carried to the general hospital in the area but had at that time lost copious amount of blood. At about 9pm, he was pronounced dead and his remains was released to his family the next day who quickly made arrangements and interred his corpse at Atan cemetery, Yaba.
A relative of the deceased who pleaded anonymity claimed the attack on Ogunsanwo was premeditated. He said: “It is quite painful that Lanre did not know what he died for. He did not know his girlfriend had another person she was also dating. If he had, he would not have tried to broker peace when Ibironke started the fight.
“In fact, all he knew was that some persons who did not disclose their identity had been sending threat messages to him. All the threat messages claimed that he had stepped on some powerful toes and that he would be dealt with.” The relative could not however explain why the deceased did not report the threat messages to the police.
Another relative of the deceased, who also spoke on terms of anonymity, reiterated that Ogunsanwo’s murder was well orchestrated. She said: “It is more painful that Lanre died because of a girl. He was killed by those who felt that he was a threat to their love life. It’s really sad because he died out of misplaced love.”
THISDAY gathered that initially, Musa was arrested by the police on the day of the said death but was later released on bail. However, Idris is still at large despite concerted efforts by the police to trace his whereabouts. Also, the other members of the gang are yet to be arrested too as they have fled the area.
During investigation, accusations and counter-accusation were the order of the day and one of the leaders of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), one Gbenga, was fingered in the mess, an accusation he didn’t take lightly. He was touted to have sent the other members of the gang to support Musa.
But the said Gbenga had denied any involvement in the crisis. According to him, it was nothing short of blackmail for people to mention his name in a crisis that he was unaware of. He said: “It was quite baffling when I heard that I was pointed as the brain behind the killings. How can I send people to go and fight or kill someone? I did not do that. It is strange when people ascribe violence to me. I am a peace-loving person.”
Also, the monarch and father of the alleged assailants have also absolved his sons in the death of Ogunsanwo. Speaking through a mutual friend, he maintained that neither of his friends were involved in the unfortunate incident.
He said: “My son did not kill anyone. Even when the police came to raid the area after the said fight, my sons were not there. In fact, they were far from that environment, so I do not know how anyone could involve my sons in an incident they were not any way around the said environment. The people that fingered them have nothing to say than to malign them.”
Attempts by THISDAY to speak with Divisional Police Officer of Alade Police Station met a brickwall as it appeared that the DPO had been transferred out of the state. Further attempts to get the contact of the new DPO also proved abortive.
However, at the SCID, Panti, THISDAY authoritatively gathered that Musa who had been earlier released on bail after the said incident, was re-arrested again recently when the pressure of Ogunsanwo’s relatives became too much.
The source who did not want his name in print said: “Initially, he was arrested and later released on bail. But we were forced to re-arrest him based on certain information that was brought to our knowledge as well as the efforts of some people who had intervened.”
Whilst investigations continue, Ogunsanwo’s family members urged the police to see that justice is meted out and that the death of the deceased who was cut in his prime would not go the way of some unresolved murders without the law being invoked on the perpetrators.