Some youths in Ile-Ife, Osun State on Saturday have described men of the Osun State Police command as being ‘exceptionally corrupt’, urging the Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, to step in to forestall a disaster in the community.
EyewitnessMedia gathered that the youths who embarked on a two-day protest since Friday evening over the death of one of them, Olufemi Oriyomi who died in police detention detention, explained that some men of the police still invade private residence and perpetrate acts similar to that of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The angry youths who thronged Ife streets in large numbers threatened that there could be occurrences more harsh than the #EndSARS movement which was hijacked by hoodlums if the police do not stop the activities which they described as ‘illegal’.
A friend of the deceased named Bisi while protesting in front of the Ooni’s palace, said, “Last week Thursday, we got informed that three of our brothers who stay around Olubuse area were arrested SARS officers and we must raise monies for their bail.
“We raised and paid over #1.5 million to the police, but we were asked to add more which we told them we could not afford. While begging the police to release them to us because they are not criminals, we learnt that the police forced them to stay inside a container of water and insert electric shock inside it to hurt them as torture which led to Oriyomi’s death.
Addressing the youths on behalf of the Ooni, the Sarun of Ife, Chief Oyeyemi Oriowo called on the youths to exercise caution in making their grievances known.
“Like you know that the Ooni is always protective of the youths, please allow Baba to step in and I assure you that everything will be resolved in no time. Violence won’t profit anyone, Ife belongs to all of us and we must always think of development and peace of the land.” Chief Oriowo admonished.
Unsatisfied with the response and promise of an amicable resolution from the palace, the angry youths yesterday (Saturday) resumed their agitation across some streets in Ife, especially Moore and Iloro where the Division A and C of the police command are situated.
The protest took a sad twist at the Iloro area where one of the protesters was shot dead which further escalated that protests. Policemen were said to have equally shot into residential areas, leading to panic among residents.
However, the police command through its spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola in a statement on Friday night claimed that operatives arrested three ritualists namely Olayade Kehinde ‘M’ 25yrs, Olufemi Oriyomi ‘M’ 21yrs and Raimi Sheriff ‘M’ 21yrs on the 7th April, 2022 at about 11 AM along Osogbo/OAU Ife Campus Road, the Police detectives on ‘stop and search’ duty accosted three men on a motorcycle, they were flagged down, but rather than stop, sped off, and were pursued.
They were eventually arrested at Safejo area of Ile-Ife, and while searching, human heart, which they claimed was one of their friend’s and various criminal charms were found on them.”
The police denied killing any protester on Saturday, however owned up to the fact that one person was shot, but said the victim did not die.
Opalola said, “Some police operatives were passing through the area in show of force on Saturday, when some protesters pelted them with stones and other dangerous objects.
“They even shot at them. Police operatives involved were trying to protect themselves and one of the youths was shot. He was injured. He is being treated in a hospital. He is not dead.”
The state government of Osun State through the Commissioner of Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs. Funke Egbemode called for calm over the matter.
Egbemode said; “The government has ordered an immediate investigation into the remote and immediate causes of the violence, especially the alleged death of a detained suspect and shooting by men of the Nigerian Police at unarmed youths.”