A bricklayer, Sunday Ojo, has been shot dead by mobile policemen who stormed Otere-Apano community, Mowe, in the Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Ojo and his colleague, identified only as Kazeem, were working on a building site in the community when no fewer than four armed policemen invaded the premises on Tuesday around 2.30pm.
The cops reportedly opened fire on them as a bullet hit Ojo. He died on the spot.
Kazeem, however, escaped death by a whisker.
The policemen were said to have dragged the victim’s corpse and dumped it in the bush in a bid to conceal the crime, as they fled the scene.
The Baale of the community, Ismaila Fatoye, told our correspondent on Thursday that residents gave the policemen a hot chase.
While two policemen escaped, Fatoye said the remaining two cops, who hid in the bush, were arrested.
He noted that the incident was reported at the Mowe Police Station.
Fatoye said, “We were in the community when we suddenly heard gunshots. At a junction leading into the community, two people, Kazeem and Ojo, were sand-filling a site, so we ran in that direction.
“When we got there, Kazeem and Ojo were nowhere to be found. We started calling their names, but only Kazeem responded. He came out from where he was hiding and when we saw him, he said we should not allow the policemen to escape as they had shot Ojo.
“We saw bloodstains on the ground and when we trailed the blood, we found where they dumped Ojo’s corpse. At the same time, people in the community chased the four armed policemen, but two of them escaped, while the remaining two ran into the bush.
“I quickly went to the Mowe Police Station to report and policemen from the station, alongside our youth leader, were able to locate and arrest the armed policemen inside the bush.”
Fatoye accused policemen guarding a neighbouring estate, which shared a boundary with the community, of perpetrating the crime.
He said, “The policemen were part of those guarding Pentagon Estate for the estate’s Chairman, Kennedy Okoruwa. A boundary separates the estate from our community.”
A woman in the community, who does not want her name in print, said the policemen had been tormenting residents, adding that after allegedly killing 30-year-old Ojo, they hid his corpse to incriminate the community.
She added, “The boy (Ojo) went to work to make money to feed himself when the policemen shot him dead. We want the government to come to our aid because we no longer have rest in our community.”
The estate chairman, Okoruwa, said the matter was under investigation, adding that Fatoye allegedly brought hoodlums to foment trouble when the policemen intervened.
He said, “They (policemen) didn’t storm the community. We have mobile policemen guarding the estate with over 300 houses. Some years ago, we had a robbery attack on that estate, so mobile policemen from Oyo police command were posted to guide the estate.
“They have been there since last year. Two days ago (Tuesday), we heard that they had a crisis; we were not there; our office is in Lagos State. We heard that as usual, he (Fatoye) and some people went to create some crisis at the back of our estate that we are still developing.
“Our lawyers and staff who went to investigate the matter yesterday (Wednesday) said there were altercations between the mobile policemen and them (Fatoye) and we heard that somebody passed on as a result.
“The report I got was that when the guys were having an altercation with the Mopols, the Mopols shot into the air and the other guy was trying to run away. In the process, he hit his chest against some sticks and died. We also heard that it was a stray bullet that hit him. But the police are investigating the incident.”
The Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, Asewale Onifeso, said, “The command does not have any of its officers and men in that jurisdiction.”
The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, had yet to respond to calls and a text message sent to his phone as of the time this report was filed.