By Yakubu Temitope
The Oyo state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Shina Olukolu on Sunday confirmed that two civilians were shot on Saturday in Ibadan during a protest that followed rumoured death of an Okada rider, Sule Ikoforiji, which made a group of angry mob to set fire on a police station.
He was however quick to clarify that one was dead while the other guy, Ikuforiji is recuperating at the University College Hospital, Orita mefa in Ibadan.
Olukolu in a two-page press release he personally wrote on Sunday and titled, “the unfortunate shooting incident in Ibadan involving the police: facts against fiction”, condemned the mob action over the matter and regretted police killing of another man in the ensuing melee.
Olukolu said, a six-man police patrol team from Alakia-Adekubi division led by an inspector, sighted a motorcyclist with an unusual number of passengers; four in all, and flagged them down for routine stop and search.
He said the men refused and proceeded. “Due to the positioning of the men, the armed sentry man Sgt Sunday Ogunkanmi who was the last man on the professional positioning made effort to stop him and consequently, there was a scuffle and they all fell down.
“While others took to their heels, the apparently already cocked weapon was fired and hit the rider on the left elbow and grazed his ribs hence he was hospitalised.
“The concerned mischief makers who heard the sound of a gunshot concluded that the man was dead and therefore circulated the untrue story. A spontaneous uninformed angry mob immediately descended on the team; damaged the windscreen of the patrol vehicle and injured two officers.
“Thereafter, the mob proceeded to Egbeda division but they were repelled, though three vehicles had their windscreens damaged. The mob not done yet proceeded to Alakia-Adelubi division with a view of burning it down.
“At the scene, all entreaties for understanding and peace was rejected by the multitude. They proceeded to attack the officers and men protecting the station with all manner of dangerous weapons, thereby damaging three other vehicles windscreens, part of the police station particularly the sliding glasses, and vandalised some of the offices and the charge room.
“In the ensuing melee, one of the mobs with 25 litres of petrol began to wet the police station building with petrol and set ablaze part of it. In the process, he was unfortunately hit and lost his life on the way to the hospital while others escaped and normalcy was restored,” Olukolu added.
While stressing that the sergeant concerned is in custody while the matter is being investigated, Olukolu regretted the unfortunate incident that led to the whole fiasco.
He said contrary to the news that the first guy that was shot on Okada, Ikuforiji was dead, he said he was recuperating at the UCH.
The police boss urged the people to refrain from taking laws into their hands, while assuring members of the public of adequate safety of lives and property.