Osun Governor, Adeleke orders probe after killing of US-based lecturer
A United States of America-based Nigerian lecturer and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Richard Idowu, has been shot dead in the Ejigbo area of Osun State.
The incident, which occurred between 8:00 and 8:30 pm on Saturday, immediately threw the community into mourning and led to tension among the residents.
An investigation by The PUNCH indicated that the incident occurred in a private residence of Prince Eniola Oyeyode, a son to the Ogiyan of Ejigbo, Oba Omowonuola Oyeyode, who was marking his 50th anniversary on the throne.
It was also learnt that Idowu was part of the coronation anniversary, from where he was summoned to a meeting in the residence of Eniola located along Inisa Road in Ejigbo.
An eyewitness, who preferred anonymity, while speaking with The PUNCH on Sunday on the matter, said at the meeting was a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Ayodele Asalu, and one other person identified as Mr. Timothy.
After the meeting had ended and the attendees were leaving the premises, it was gathered, gunshots were heard, and Idowu was hit on the leg, which led to his death while being treated in a private hospital in Ejigbo.
Narrating how the incident happened, a Personal Assistant to the deceased, Afiz Lawal, who said the incident happened in his presence, further explained, “When we returned to Osun from Ogun State where Governor Adeleke took a Chieftaincy title, we moved to Ejigbo for 50th coronation anniversary of the Ogiyan of Ejigbo, Oba Oyeyode Oyesosin.
Immediately after the coronation party, we were about to start coming to Osogbo when Prince Eniola, son of Ogiyan, told us to go to his house along Inisa Road in Ejigbo for a brief meeting. Those who attended the meeting include Hon. Asler (Ayodele Asalu) and one Hon Timothy.
“When the meeting ended, they all dispersed and were entering their vehicles. I heard Prince Eniola say, release, asking a local hunter there on the premises to release gunshots into the air. Unfortunately, instead of firing into the air, he shot towards the ground. And that was how Hon Richard Idowu was hit on the leg, and he immediately fell.
Before we could get him to the hospital, he had already lost so much blood and there is no good hospital in Ejigbo. He gave up at a private hospital in Ejigbo. The incident happened between 8:00 and 8:30 pm on Saturday. He was a PDP chieftain and a lecturer based in the United States of America.”
Asked if the incident could be regarded as a case of misfiring, Lawal further said, “It may be planned or accidental, but I just narrated how the incident happened because I was at the scene. His remains have been deposited at the morgue of UNIOSUN Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.”
It was also said the man who fired the shot was beaten to death, but Lawal could not confirm that.
The spokesperson for the state police command, Yemisi Opalola, could not be reached for comment, as calls did not go through to her mobile line, and she has not responded to a text message sent to her as of the time of filing this report.
But while speaking with our correspondent, the Commander of Osun Command of the Nigeria Hunters and Forest Security Service, popularly known as local hunters, Ahmed Nureni, said no member of the group was involved in the incident while demanding a thorough probe into the killing.
Meanwhile, Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has ordered an immediate investigation into the killing and counter-killing at Ejigbo during the 50-year coronation celebration of the Ogiyan of Ejigbo, Oba Omowonuola Oyeyode Oyeyosin.
A statement by the spokesperson for the governor, Olawale Rasheed, on Sunday partly read, “The Governor who commiserates with the people of Ejigbo town directed law enforcement agencies to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the incident and ensure that the law takes its cause. Mr Governor further called for pre-emptive action by the security agencies to prevent any possible counter-attacks or eruption of violence in the ancient town following the sad incident.
Urging families of the deceased not to take laws into their hands, the Governor has also dispatched a high-powered delegation to visit Ejigbo and ensure restoration of calm while the investigation continues. Members of the delegation include the Commissioner of Police, the State Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Local Government Affairs, the State Commissioner for Information, and the Special Adviser to the Governor of Security.
What happened today at Ejigbo is really sad. I extend my condolences to the families of the deceased. I have directed an immediate investigation into the killings of Dr Richard Adeoriokin and the subsequent killing of his killer. I have also instructed the State Police Command to issue guidelines on the usage of local guns. Such regulations will enhance the safety and protection of the citizens especially at public functions.”