The Eselu of Iselu Kingdom, Oba Akintunde Akinyemi has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar over the death of a resident in his community that was allegedly killed by officers of Ogun Area Command 1 of the Nigerian Customs Service.
In the petition dated 10th of May, 2020, the monarch alleged that the customs officers gruesomely killed one Kehinde Ogunji who was returning home from his farm with his twin brother at Agbon Community in Yewa North Local Government Area of the state.
The traditional ruler stressed that, the deceased was killed by a stray bullet fired by the customs officers when they were chasing some rice peddlers in the area.
Oba Akinyemi maintained that the deceased was a farmer with two wives and five children.
He noted that, since the young farmer was shot dead, life has not been the same with his bereaved 65-year-old father, Elder Emmanuel Ogunji and his twin brother.
Oba Akinyemi stated that, the customs officers and men of the state police command refused to release the deceased corpse for his family members.
The monarch alleged that, men of the Ogun State Police Command have connived with officers of the Ogun Area Command 1 of the Nigerian Customs Service to sweep the matter under the carpet and to also enable the affected Customs Officers escape justice.
Oba Akinyemi however appealed to the Inspector General of Police to investigate his allegations in the petition and also order the customs officers to face the law.
The petition partly reads, “Now to the crux of the matter, Inspector General of Police Sir, I wish to inform your office that:
“On Sunday, 3rd May, 2020, some Officers of Ogun Area Command 1 of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) who were on the trail of some rice smugglers at Agbon Community in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State killed my subject – Kehinde Ogunji through a stray bullet.
“The deceased, i.e Kehinde Ogunji was an innocent person because he was just a farmer, not a rice smuggler as accused by the men of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).
“On that faithful day, Kehinde Ogunji, a husband of two wives and a father of five children was returning home from his farmer along with his twin brother.
“Sunday Omo Iyalabo residing at Eggua Community of Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State who was the actual rice smuggler being trailed on that ugly day should have been arrested and dealt with by the men of Ogun Area Command 1 of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) who gruesomely murdered my subject, Kehinde Ogunji.
“Since the young farmer was shot dead, life has not been the same with his bereaved 65-year-old father, Elder Emmanuel Ogunji and his twin brother who accused the Customs authorities of trying to cover their complicity in the killing of Kehinde.
“Elder Ogunji emphatically said his son was returning home on a motorcycle with his twin brother, Taiwo Ogunji (after a communal work at a farm belonging to one of their kinsmen, Sanusi Akindele) when the minions of law opened fire on them, killing Kehinde Ogunji who operated the motorbike on the spot, while the real smugglers they were trailing escaped.
“When the father of the deceased rushed to the scene of the incident, he met the Customs Officers who could not substantiate the whereabouts of Kehinde Ogunji and this prompted him (Elder Emmanuel Ogunji) to report the matter at the Eggua Police Division where he was directed to Oja Odan Police Division which has the jurisdiction over the case.
“By the time Elder Emmanuel Ogunji returned to the scene of the urgly incident, the Customs Officers had called for a reinforcement and forcibly took away the corpse of his son (Kehinde Ogunji).
“To cover up their indiscretions, the Customs Officers, numbering six moved the deceased’s motorcycle to a cliff near a river and covered his corpse with leaves.
“The two Customs Officers that pulled the trigger have confessed in their statements at Oja Odan Police Station in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State that they actually opened fire on the deceased, i.e Kehinde Ogunji.
“The parents of the deceased and my humble self drew the attention of the affected Offficers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to the fact that Kehinde Ogunji was not a rice smuggler, rather he was a law abiding farmer in his community.
“Apart from the fact that the deceased’s family and my humble self want justice and adequate care for the wives and children of the deceased, we also requested the Customs Officers to withdraw the statement in the media, where they claimed that the deceased was a rice smuggler. Amazingly, up till now, they have not withdrawn the malicious statement made against an innocent Kehinde Ogunji.
“Another amazing thing is that up till now, the Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Police Force which has been fully informed of the ugly incident has not deemed it fit to arrest and detain the Customs Officers who committed this heinous crime.
“There is currently an insinuation in the public that the Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Police Force is possibly conniving with officers of their sister agency to sweep the matter under the carpet and to also enable the affected Customs Officers escape justice.
“It crystal clear that despite the fact that Kehinde Ogunji’s life was gruesomely taken, the fundamental right to justice being sought by the deceased’s family is being trampled upon by the affected Customs Officers and your men at the Ogun State Command.
“Inspector General of Police Sir, I am reporting this matter to you because I believe in your person and leadership. It is also my belief that you will use your good offices to take over this case and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“With the absolute confidence I have in you, I believe that urgent and drastic steps will be taken on this matter so that we can collectively put an end to this injustice”.