Who killed the 23-year-old son of Olikan-elect of Etikan in the oil-rich Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, Prince Adeleke Oyetakin? That is the poser the father of Orioye has posed to the police in the state in a bid to unmask those who brought grief to his house just two days after the Christmas. Oyetakin has fired a petition to the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Danladi Mshebwala, urging him to do all he could to find the gunmen who killed Orioye when they invaded the community and started shooting sporadically.
It was learnt that Orioye, who came to town to prepare for the annual family gathering, which was to come up on December 30, was mowed down in the hail of bullets from the invaders.
With his death, the family and the community celebrated the New Year in sorrow and pains. Apart from Orioye who was killed, others, including Rev. Nelson Okunomo and Adewole Ikudehinbu, were seriously injured.
THISDAY gathered that the death of the prince was the second homicide in the community, coming eight months after the town’s regent, Chief Shem Omoreigha, was murdered. Up till now, his killers are yet to be apprehended.
There is a suspicion that the two deaths, though time apart, have something to do with the struggle for who occupies the town’s throne.
The struggle to occupy the Olikan throne, which became vacant in 2009 after the death of the former monarch, had been a fierce battle among contestants.
The jockeying, THISDAY learnt, became tense about eight months ago when some hoodlums invaded the private home of the regent, the late Omoreighe, and allegedly strangled him to death.
Recounting the incident, Oyetakin explained that the crisis started in the community after the selection process, which led to his emergence in October last year.
He accused those dissatisfied with the electoral process that threw him up of being behind the crisis that engulfed the town and which led to the killing of his first child.
“The latest incident, which led to the death of my son, started around 6pm on the fateful day at Ode-Itikan when the young man came home for the preparation of our family’s annual social gathering slated for December 30.
“The hoodlums invaded the community and started shooting sporadically until they got their target and shot him dead,” he said.
He added that the next day after the shooting, some soldiers were deployed in the town to restore order and during their preliminary investigation, they took away some items, which he added, could be have been useful in leading security agents to the gunmen.
“We were yet to hear from the Army but I have written to the police commissioner that some of the items recovered by the soldiers at the scene of the incident could be useful in the course of their investigation,” he stated.
He said the remains of his son had been deposited at the Igbokoda General Hospital’s mortuary while the matter was promptly reported to the police.
Oyetakin lamented that the loss of lives and property would have been avoided if the state government had presented him with the staff of office immediately after he was elected by the kingmakers.
“If I had been presented with my staff of office and installed legally as the Olikan by the state government, this ugly situation would not have occurred,” he said.
The Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Mr. Aremu Adeniran, confirmed the incident in the town while speaking with THISDAY in a telephone interview, adding that the police have started investigation into the incident.
“The incident actually occurred and the matter had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department for a proper investigation. So the matter is under investigation,” he said.