Taiwo Oluwadare, Ibadan
The Chief Whip of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Mr. Olafisoye Akinmoyede, has exonerated himself from the killing of a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Temitope “Sugar” Olatoye, saying that he knew nothing about the incident.
Olatoye was killed by gunmen on March 9, during the governorship and House of Assembly elections, in Lalupon, Lagelu Local Government Area of Oyo State.
Akinmoyede, who contested for the Lagelu State Constituency for the second time on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) but lost to the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, has since been in detention at the State Criminal Investigations Department, Iyaganku, Ibadan, in connection with the incident.
The legislator, in a statement issued yesterday by his media assistant, Mr. Segun Olawale, said that he was not in any way connected with the death of Olatoye.
“Although both of us are from rival political parties, Sugar was my friend, brother and long-time political ally. We were together in the APC for a very long time before he defected to the African Democratic Party (ADP) on whose platform he contested for the Oyo South Senatorial election.
“I am a man of peace and this can be attested to by my political associates, my colleagues in the House of Assembly and indeed the people of my constituency. The fact that Sugar and I are not from the same political party does not mean that we should be at each other’s throats.
“Incidentally, we were not contesting for the same political office. While he contested for the Oyo South Senatorial seat, I contested for the Lagelu State Constituency for the second term,” he said.
Akinmoyede further explained that, on receiving a call from the headquarters of the Oyo State Police Command, Eleyele, Ibadan, that his attention was needed in connection with Sugar’s death, he honoured the invitation by voluntarily walking to the police command, since he was innocent as far as the incident was concerned.
He said that the unfortunate killing of Olatoye did not happen at his polling unit, Ward 7, Isale Osun, where he had earlier cast his vote and there was no crisis whatsoever while the voting lasted until the arrival of the federal lawmaker in Lalupon town from his Alape village with his “boys,” which resulted in the electorate scampering for safety.
According to him, it was not long after he heard that gunfire was being exchanged between Olatoye’s boys and some people at the Lalupon motor park, which eventually culminated in his being shot.