There was tension in Osogbo, on Friday, as some youths and members of the Civil Societies Organisation (CSO) barricaded the popular Olaiya Junction.
The youths were protesting the police shooting and killing of citizen, Abiola Afolabi, who was allegedly shot in the leg at his friend’s house in the early hours of Monday, April 4, 2022.
Earlier, an Osun-based civil society group, Osun Police Watch, called on the Osun State Commissioner of Police, Olawale Olokode to quickly unravel the issue surrounding the killing of Afolabi Abiola Olamide.
According to the group, during an address on Friday in Osogbo, Olamide was shot in front of a house located at the Capital Area in Osogbo, on Monday, around 12:30am.
Spokesperson of the group, Oluwasegun Idowu disclosed that it was sad that the Nigeria police force in the State, under the leadership of Olawale Olokode had turned itself into terror in the State.
According to him, “We received with shock on Thursday the news of the alleged shooting of Mr Abiola around 12.30 a.m. in front of his house in Capital Area, Osogbo on Sunday. The victim was said to have been shot in the leg by men of the police force from Housing Police Station, Ring Road, Osogbo while he was eating indomie with his friend Matthew (who is currently being detained) and his girlfriend (who was also arrested but has since been released). After several interventions, we are shocked that the Osun Police Command has since not been able to give any details as to the reason for the shooting or the whereabouts of the victim.
We are aware of the underground moves to accuse the victims of armed robbery so as to justify the shooting, whereas there are eyewitnesses who may disagree with this idea and we await how this will play out in the court of law and public opinion.
While we appreciate the efforts of the Police Complaints Response Unit (PCRU) and Mrs Abiodun Ige (Special Adviser to Osun State Governor on security) that has ensured that calm is maintained in the public space in Osogbo, we, however, have a few questions for the Osun Police Command.
We condemn in very strong terms the use of excessive force that is now becoming the operational code of the men of Osun command of the Nigeria Police, which has resulted in deaths of some citizens of the State. We also condemn the brazen disregard for the rule of law and the provisions of the Police Act in illegally detaining suspects and denying them their right to a lawyer as constitutionally provided.
Our demands: We are by this statement requesting for information on the whereabouts of Mr Abiola before the close of business on Friday 8th of April, failing which the Osun command must be ready to face legal action and also public action in the same vein, as citizens are already prepared to March down to the State command in protest of this disappearance.
That the detained Mr Matthew be allowed to see a lawyer and the reason for which he was arrested and being detained be made known to him.”
Earlier on Friday, the Osun State Police Command warned the youths not to participate in any form of protest in the State as the command had credible intelligence which revealed that some youths and individuals and groups were planning to embark on protests against the police carrying out their lawful duties.
The Osun Police Command had also announced the death of Abiola Afolabi Olamide.
The announcement was contained in a press statement signed by the Command’s Police Public Relations Officer, Yemisi Opalola.
Opalola had disclosed that the deceased and his colleagues were armed robbery suspects.
Credible intelligence at the disposal of the Command revealed that some youths, individuals or groups are planning to embark on protest against police carrying out their lawful duties.
In view of this, the Commissioner of Police CP Olawale Olokode, psc, wishes to set the record straight that, on 29th day of March, 2022 at about 02:14am the Commissioner of Police received a distressed call from a woman around Dada Estate Area of the State, Zone Nine, Behind Capital Hotel, Osogbo about the activities of some suspected criminals who had jumped into her compound and invaded the premises.
Upon the information received, the Commissioner of Police immediately deployed officers and men of the Nigerian Police into the area. On sighting the presence of the members of the Nigerian Police, they quickly scaled through the fence and ran into the bush. The police chased them but they escaped. They carted away 1 laptop, 5 phones, N300,000.00 and other valuable items. Consequent upon this, the Commissioner of Police increased surveillance and patrol around the area.
Five days after the above incident, that is Monday, 4th day of April, 2022 at about 02:15 a.m., the information received based on intelligence was that some fully armed suspected criminals and hoodlums were holding nocturnal meeting behind a house around the same Dada Estate Area, Zone 11, Behind Capital Hotel, Osogbo in preparation to perpetrate further criminal activities in the Area.
Consequently, the police quickly stormed the area. On sighting the Police, the suspected criminals opened fire on them, police responded accordingly and in the process, one of the suspected criminals was hit and injured, two were arrested including a lady while others escaped through the bush. Items recovered from the scene of the incident includes: one cut to size single barrel gun, one live and one expended cartridges, Army Camouflage T-shirt, Nigerian Army ID card, charms etc.
The injured suspected criminal was taken to a hospital for treatment but later died.”
The information about the disappearance of Abiola Afolabi Olamide was first brought to light by his girlfriend.
Taking to her Instagram handle, she accused the Nigerian Police of shooting her boyfriend and taking him to an undisclosed location in Osogbo, Osun State.
Sharing pictures of her boyfriend, she demanded the police to reveal his whereabouts.
According to her, “My boyfriend visited his friend, a mobile phone technician named Matthew, at his shop on Sunday, April 3, 2022.
Abiola then followed the friend home and while they were having dinner with Matthew’s fiancée, the police barged in without warrant, claiming they were on a raid.
In the process, they shot Abiola on the leg and then took his body to an undisclosed hospital.
Matthew and his fiancée were also detained but the fiancée has now been released, while Matthew remains in custody.”
She also disclosed that the police have claimed they did not know Abiola’s whereabouts, yet they were in possession of his phone and car.