The Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Shina Olukolu, has confirmed the death of one person, when some motorcyclists staged a protest to register their grievances after a police man allegedly shot one of their colleagues in Ibadan.
It was reported that scores of commercial motorcyclists plying the Iwo Road-Olodo in Ibadan, the state capital, had on Saturday protested against the shooting of one of their colleagues identified Sule Ikuforiji, by a policeman.
Our correspondent learnt that Ikuforiji was shot by one of the policemen from Adenunbi Police Station at the Bishop Philip Academy, after he refused to offer a bribe to the policeman.
The incident, which occured in front of the police station behind Bishop Philip Academy, Iwo-Road, resulted into chaos, which escalated to major areas of the city.
The commercial motorcyclists, also known as Okada riders, later resorted to burning of tyres on the road, a development, which led to stoppage of human and vehicular movements for hours. It took the intervention of the men of the Operation Burst, a special security outfit set up by the Oyo State government, to return normalcy to the affected areas.
But, Olukolu, while reacting, appealed to residents of the state and the aggrieved commercial motorcyclists to shield their swords, by allowing peace to reign in the state.
According to him, the action of the police Sergeant, Sunday Ogunkanmi, and consequence of the action was regretted.
Olukolu in a press statement made available on Sunday, disclosed that the Sergeant who opened fire on the motor cycle rider is currently in custody.
The CP while giving a narrative of the crisis, said the matter has been transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department ( CID) where the case is being investigated.
“The Commissioner of Police seriously regrets this the unfortunate incident that culminated in avoidable destructive disturbing of public peace in Ibadan”.
Olukolu while appealing to the residents to always refrain from taking the law into their hands in case of any occurrence in the future, insisted that the motorcycle rider, Sule Ikuforiji, is alive at University College Hospital ( UCH), and not in emergency or Intensive Care Unit but is responding to treatment, while the police is taking responsibility for the medical care.
“On Saturday, 13, July 2019, a six man Police Patrol team from Alakia, Adelubi Division, led by an inspector left their office on morning duty patrol. In consonance with constitutional responsibility of the Police to protect life and property. While on duty at Academy area of Ibadan, the team sighted a motocyclist with an unusual number of passengers, four in all, but when flagged down on routine stop and search, he refused and proceeded.
“Due to the positioning of the men, the arms sentry man Sgt. Sunday Ogunkanmi who was the last man on professional positioning made effort to stop him. Consequently, there was a scuffle and they all fell down, and the others took to their heels, but the apparently already corked weapon was fired and hit the rider on the left elbow and grazed his ribs and hence he was hospitalised.
“The concern mischief makers who heard the sound of 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 members of the patrol team.
“Thereafter, the mob proceeded to Egbeda Division but they were repelled, though the vehicles had their windscreen damaged. Not done yet, the mob 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 and stones thereby damaging three other vehicles’ windscreen, part of the police station particularly the sliding glasses and vandalised some of the offices and the charge room.
Olukolu while speaking further confirmed that one of the protesters who was hit died on his way to the hospital.
“In the ensuing melee, one of the mobs with 25 litres of petrol began to wet the police station with petrol and set ablaze part of it. In the process, he was unfortunately hit and lost his life on the way to hospital, while others escaped and normalcy was restored. Two of the motorcycles the mob rode to the station and the partly used 25 litres keg of petrol were recovered.”