From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
three months after the brutal killing of 35-year-old Temitope Ojo, is seeking justice on the death of its son.
Ojo, breadwinner of the Ayadi family of Ilado in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, lost his life during a chieftaincy clash in the town, having being stabbed by unknown persons.
Trouble started when residents protested the installation of Chief Ojo Owoyemi as the traditional head of the town by the Deji of Akure, Oba Ogunlade Aladetoyinbo. The protesters insisted Owoyemi was not the choice of the people.
They alleged he was imposed on them, as there was an occupant of the position.
The crisis led to destruction of properties, even as many sustained serious injuries. In the process, Ojo, the youth leader, lost his life in the melee. Today, the family is seeking redress and has approached the state High Court, Akure, over the matter.
The family equally petitioned Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Hilda Harrison, claiming that there are attempts to shield the killers of the deceased from the due course of the law.
Spokesperson of the family, Mr. Atima Koboju, said the death of Ojo could be linked to some parties involved in the chieftaincy matter and urged government to investigate the matter objectively in the interest of peace and justice.
He alleged that the matter was not properly handled by the police and implored the governor to review the case, alleging that there was reckless abuse of power and compromise in the Ministry of Justice.
He said Ojo was stabbed to death on February 3, 2017, when Oba Oguntoyinbo installed a new king “when there is still a substantive Olu of Ilado, Chief Rotimi Tominiyi.” Koboju explained that the youths resisted attempts by Owoyemi to enter the palace and the development caused crisis:
“In the process, Tope (Ojo), the youth leader, was stabbed with a broken bottle on his head. He was taken to the hospital for treatment. It was after his return from the hospital that he was eventually stabbed in the chest with a sharp object after which he died. The case file was duplicated and sent to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), for legal advice.”
He also alleged that the autopsy report and the statements of eyewitnesses were deliberately ignored by the advising legal officer and the DPP. He added that the legal advice was treated with “light-speed,” claiming that the manner showed that “there is a top compromise on the case which amounts to an abuse of powers and office by the officers who worked on the legal advice.
“The advising officer disappointingly did not give any reason each accused person was advised to be let off the hook of the charge of murder in spite of the coroner’s ordinance, medical statement and statements of eyewitness.
“We therefore passionately urge the governor to direct the review of the legal advice to correct the wrong that such legal advice will occasion to the defenseless complainant in order to maintain a society ruled on the foundations of the rule of law, equity and justice.”
However, Ojo denied the allegations, stating that it was one Niyi who ordered his supporters to attack him. He insisted he was entitled to the throne because his mother hails from the community.
He disclosed that he contested for the throne in 2014 but was hindered due to the subsisting litigation at the Akure High Court. He argued that Niyi was unscrupulously installed on December 20,
2014, until the new Elemo of Akure intervened and Deji of Akure installed him as the rightful head of the community three months ago.
He alleged that Ojo mobilised thugs to assault him and his supporters, destroyed his properties and stole his wife’s money and handbag. He denied taking thugs to the community and refuted the allegations that he killed Ojo, whose corpse is still in the mortuary.
However, no officer of the Ministry of Justice was willing to volunteer information on the matter, claiming that it was only the Attorney General that has the right to speak on it.