…. Police deny killings, arrest 11
The traditional ruler of Aye community in Ejigbo Local Government Area of Osun state, Oba Matthew Ajala and some of his subjects have accused the Osun State Police of killing of two persons over a land dispute that has generated tension in the community.
Aside the two deaths allegedly caused by the police, another person, Gbenga, said to be a brother to the monarch , died when he visited the disputed land.
One of the victims is Prince Isaiah Ajala, the monarch’s son. He was said to have been shot dead by Policemen alongside a youth in the community when some policemen stormed the community in the midnight to effect arrest.
While Oba Ajala and some residents of the community accused police of killing the prince and the youth during attempt to make arrest over the crisis that the land dispute generated, Gbenga was said to have slumped and died diabolically on the disputed land.
When our Correspondent visited the community on Friday, there was palpable tension as most areas were deserted. It was gathered that the dispute was between the community and an individual, Mr Jacob Ayoola, who wrote a petition to the police against the community.
Findings revealed that a group had volunteered to build a mosque for the town and to support the project, the community monarch, Oba Mathew Ajala directed workers to use gravel on disputed land, a directive vehemently resisted by Ayoola.
The disputed land was said to belong to a former governor in Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. The land was said to have shared boundary with that of Ayoola.
When the gravel was about to be taken from the land, Ayoola was said to have kicked against it and claimed that the portion of the land, in which the gravel would be taken, belongs to him.
Ayoola was said to have petitioned the AIG’s office at Zone XI in Osogbo before some policemen were deployed to the area. The Policemen were said to have visited the disputed land alongside Gbenga and Ayoola and while discussing with parties was ongoing, Gbenga slumped and died on the spot.
This development infuriated the youths of the community who protested Gbenga’s mysterious death and accused Ayoola on killing him with charms that he had already buried on the land.
For this, Ayoola was said to have petitioned the AIG’s office in Osogbo before some Policemen stormed the community around March 13, 2021 and started shooting sporadically and attacking some youths. About 11 persons were said to have been arrested and assaulted by the police.
Speaking, A traditional Chief, Shitu Olasunkanmi, Chief Osolo of Aye explained that “a group volunteered to build a mosque for the community, so in order to assist them, the monarch said the community has gravel on land and donated it for the construction. But his decision did not go well with Mr Jacob Ayoola, who later petitioned the AIG’s office in Osogbo.
“He came with some policemen and in the company of community representative went to the disputed land. While sorting issues on the land, one of the representatives identified as Gbenga slumped and before he was taken to hospital for treatment he died. His death infuriated the youths in the town, who believed he was killed diabolically and they insisted the man must leave town or they will burn him and his property.
“He left town and reported the matter at the state Police Command Headquarters in Osogbo and return to the community on a Sunday around 1 am in a bus loaded with police, shooting sporadically into the air and arresting youths in their homes.
“Kabiyesi (monarch) later reported the matter to some stakeholders in the state before the Commissioner of Police paid a condolence visit to his palace. The twelve young men have been released”, he said.
Chief Osolo of Aye said the land that the gravel was extracted belonged to Prince Oyinlola and not Ayoola.
He said “I was one of the people who went to dig gravel on the said land. The land belongs to former Governor Oyinlola and not Jacob Ayoola. Since the emergence of Oba Ajala, the man (Ayoola) has been creating one problem or the other.”
In a chat with the traditional ruler, he accused the police of killing his son and also corroborated claim that his brother, Gbenga, was killed diabolically by Ayoola. He said the Police were attempting to sweep the incidents under carpets.
“I have been shattered. My son and brother were killed. My son was killed by gunshots fired by the police when they came to arrest some of my subjects. They beat my subjects with cutlass, at least about three of them sustained injuries. This can’t be swept under the carpet. Justice must be done.
“The police invaded my town, and started brutalising my people. They claimed on the invitation of Jacob Ayoola who they said accused those who were later arrested of setting his house ablaze. You can see the house they claimed it was set ablaze, there is nothing of such. (Pointing the alleged house to CityMirrorNews ).
“He (Ayoola) tricked the police into believing that his house was set ablaze. Surprisingly, instead of the police to investigate the matter to confirm and verify the claim, they invaded my community and started unleashing terror on my subjects.
“I want the state government under the leadership of Governor Gboyega Oyetola to come to my aid, the AIG should come to my rescue. The killers of my son should be arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.
“They killed my son, after they have lured my younger brother (Gbenga) to the farm where he was diabolically killed in the presence of policemen,” the monarch claimed.
Speaking with another resident of the community who showed CityMirrorNews bruises of the injuries he sustained during the alleged police brutality, Alabi Soladoye said the police invaded the community, five days after the monarchs brother died and shot the son.
“I was there when the incident happened in the farm (Oyinlola’s land). The Baba Kekere of Aye (Gbenga) died mysteriously. Kabiesi took heart and left everything to God only for us to see the police invading our town five days after and they brutalised our people including me,” he added.
The residents of the community had staged a protest and accused the police of killing their monarch’s son and another youth.
They alleged further that the Policemen beat some residents with matches and that many of them sustained severe injuries. They sought justice.
However, Police spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola said Ayoola had authored another petition to the Commissioner of Police, alleging arson and attempted murder.
“Ayoola wrote a petition to the CP alleging assault and attempted murder. The police that was deployed went there to snap pictures of the burnt house and later went there at night to arrest the suspects. But one of them was violent and attack a policeman with a cutlass before running away.
“The police tried to arrest him but he escaped, only for the community to later report that he was killed in a bush. However, police are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death and the eleven arrested suspects are in our custody along with the petitioner,” Opalola said.
Attempt to speak with Ayoola proved abortive as he was said to have left the community after the killings. Ayoola was said to have contested the traditional stool of the community with Oba Ajala.
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