Monarch petitions Fayemi over indiscriminate arrests of subjects
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Pandemonium broke out in Ogotun-Ekiti in Ekiti Southwest Local Government Area of Ekiti State last week as soldiers invaded the town over alleged killing of one of their members by armed men.
This is coming as a traditional ruler in the state and the Owa Ilogbo of Ilogbo Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Government Area, Oba Edward Oke Ajayi, has petitioned the state Governor, Kayode Fayemi, over alleged indiscriminate arrest of his subjects by the police on what he called trumped-up allegation of being secret cult members.
The soldier was reportedly killed by suspected armed robbers last Wednesday, a development that has sparked the invasion of the community by scores of soldiers.
As the community had come under siege, many residents have left the town, others who are afraid of going out are staying indoors.
A leader in the town, Mr. Paul Awopetu, who narrated the incident to journalists, said a resident was killed by suspected robbers at Olori Oko farmstead in Ogotun.
Awopetu disclosed that one person who escaped from the robbery scene reported the incident to soldiers manning a checkpoint between Ogotun and neighbouring Igbara Odo.
He added: “Two soldiers followed the person who escaped from the farmstead but the robbers killed one of the soldiers.
“As I am talking to you now, many soldiers are patrolling Ogotun in 12 Hilux vans.
“The soldiers are combing the bushes, forest and surrounding farmsteads in search of the robbers who killed their colleague.”
The state police spokesman, Caleb Ikechukwu, said: “The incident has come to my notice, I have been duly informed about the soldier killed by unidentified gunmen. That is the information at my disposal for now.
“Intensive search is going on now but I cannot ascertain the number of soldiers but if you kill a soldier you should expect the military go into action.
“We have deployed our men to join in the search for the culprits who committed the crime.”
In a another development, a traditional ruler in the state and the Owa Ilogbo of Ilogbo Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Government Area, Oba Edward Oke Ajayi, has petitioned Governor Fayemi, over alleged indiscriminate arrest of his subjects by the police on what he called trumped-up allegation of being secret cult members.
Oba Ajayi, in a petition dated October 28 and personally signed by him, urged the governor to intervene in the crisis that broke out among some youths culminating in the death of a man identified as Bolu Adeleye.
The monarch added that Fayemi should also warn the police from Ido
Ekiti division of the state command to stop clamping down his subjects into detention over ‘unfounded’ allegation of being members of secret cult, saying over 15 youths are currently being detained at the police headquarters in spite of no verifiable evidence linking them to cultism.
Some youths had on October 21 besieged the palace at Ilogbo, vandalised the building and destroyed some vehicles owing to allegation that some youths who fought in the community suspected to be cultists were being kept in the palace.
Oba Ajayi described as a blatant lie, position canvassed by the complainants and a faction in the crisis, Kayode Omojola, Gbenga Omojola, Femi Olabamija and one Apiaka, that he (the monarch) was using his palace to shield a group of youths belonging to a dreaded secret cult.
Narrating his ordeal to the governor, the traditional ruler clarified that he had since that day abandoned the community when the aforementioned personalities threatened to deal with him after vandalising his palace and burnt down a Toyota Previa parked therein on the day the crisis broke out.
He also fingered the personalities as being allegedly aiding the police to arrest more people on a trumped-up charge of cultism, which the police found to be untrue.
The letter read: “I wish to inform you sir that the news making the round the media and town about the crisis was purely cooked up lies. I hereby write to brief you on what really happened; the role I have played and the situation of things now. It happened on October
“On October 22, 2018, as a king of the town, I called for a peace meeting and invited the chiefs to settle the matter among these youths. Those that arrived earlier and were seated with me at the
palace were Chief Ajirowa, Chief Obalua, Chief Olosun and Chief Alawo
“A version of those fighting was also seated and they were Bayo
Omotoso, Ajayi Adeyemi, Femi Oluwadare, Jimoh Hameed, Ajirotutu Ojo,
Olajide Morakinyo and Oluwateru Kayode while we waited for the other aggrieved group for the meeting to commence.
“The other aggrieved group which consists of Kayode Omojola, Gbenga
Omojola, Femi Olabamijo and Apiaka, arrived at the palace, instead of sitting down for the discussion, one of them used the walking stick in his hand to hit the boys seated in my presence and other invited chiefs.
“They also started attacking my palace, vandalising and burning the palace properties, including all vehicles packed within the palace vicinity. It was in the midst of that confusion that Apiaka shouted that someone has been killed around the town hall which is about 150
metres away from the palace, and I later got to know it was Bolu Adeleye. The deceased was never seen at the palace and was not part of those invited.
“Sir, I will like to clarify that there is no iota of truth in all of these allegations of cult related issues in this crisis. My son, Ajayi Adeleye, who was alleged to be the arrowhead of the crisis was not in town as at the time of the crisis, he has never been reported on any cult related case and as at five years ago, he commenced his degree programme.
“All my children were born and raised in the town and they have no other home hence cannot be a terror to their own people.
“I call for your help because as we speak, only those boys who were seated with us in the palace were arrested, the other group were exonerated, and are still moving about freely. Your prompt intervention would go a long way at restoring peace to my town.”