Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
A traditional ruler, the Eselu of Iselu Kingdom in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, Oba Ebenezer Akintunde Akinyemi, has opened up why he wrote a petition to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, over what he described as a “gruesome murder” of his subject, Kehinde Ogunji, by men of the Nigeria Customs Service.
According to the monarch, the petition had become imperative when he suspected that there was subterranean move by some officers in the Ogun State command of the Nigeria Police, to sweep the matter under the carpet in order to protect the sister agency, thereby denying the family of the victim to get justice.
Oba Akinyemi, had in a petition, dated May 10, to the IGP detailing how Ogunji, a farmer and native of Iselu, was wrongly accused as a smuggler and shot dead on May 3 by men of the NCS, Ogun State Command on his way from his farm in Agbon area of the town.
Speaking to Daily Sun, at the weekend in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, the monarch declared that he and members of the family of the deceased had lost confidence in the Ogun State Police Command, hence the need for the transfer of the case from Ogun to Abuja.
He said Iselu and the adjoining towns had witnessed several unwarranted killings by the customs under the guise of chasing suspected smugglers, noting the the late farmer was just a farmer and not a rice smuggler as accused by the customs officers.
Oba Akinyemi, who further accused the customs operatives of trying to cover up the “murder” by pushing the motorcycle of the deceased into a ditch, said the real smuggler of the bags of foreign rice and a resident of Eegua town, was never arrested by the “killer customs operatives”.
He further stated that despite the fact that the two customs officers suspected to have pulled the trigger had confessed in their statements at Oja Odan Police Station in Yewa North Local Government Area, the police had failed to arrest the suspects.
The monarch, however, said that apart from demanding adequate compensation for the family of the deceased, he equally wanted the NCS in the state to remove the “smuggler” tag put on the late subject.
He urged the IGP to set up a panel to investigate and unravel the circumstances surrounding the killing of Ogunji, with the view to ensuring justice for the family of the late farmer and father of five.