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Fear grips Ogun community over death of guard in cell

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Ogun state. photo: WIKIPEDIA

Palpable tension has gripped residents of Ipaya in the Yewa North area of Ogun State following the death of a member of the Agbekoya Vigilante Group, Shola Adeleke.

The deceased had only worked for a week at the farm, where he was employed, when he was arrested over a missing herder by policemen from Aiyetoro Police Station and later transferred to the state police headquarters in Eleweran.

He died at the headquarters of the Ogun State Police Command, Eleweran, prompting the police to release three other detainees, while the whereabouts of another is still unknown.

Over 300 residents and workers have relocated from the area following apprehension that either the Agbekoya group or the Fulani herdsmen might attack the community.

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The employer of the deceased, Seun Adegoke, narrated: “On May 22, 2021, I received a phone call from the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Aiyetoro Police Station, Yewa North Local Local Government, Ogun State, Mr. Olusesi.”

“On the phone, he told me that the body of a Fulani man was found around the area where we have our farm in Ipaya village, off Anigbado, Yewa North.”

Adegoke said he was convinced that Adeleke’s death was not natural, and added that “I asked him if the said body was found on our farm, which he said no. ”

“However, considering it was a suspected murder case, he would like my workers to come in for possible questioning to help enhance police investigations.

“As a law-abiding Nigerian with massive investments in the area, I immediately summoned my farm managers and security team to report and support the police investigations in any way.

“I must state that the police never came to arrest. I told my workers to report to the station to support police efforts. Little did I know that this would be the worst decision I would ever make,” the farm owner said.

He said: “To our surprise, our security men were detained upon arrival the next day and subsequently asked to make a statement.”

According to the farm owner, the Agbekoya members: Olaitan Oluwaseun, Jimoh Ibraheem, Wasiu Adeshina, Hakeem Elegbede and the deceased were detained by the police on the insistence of the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), who himself is a Fulani man.

Adegoke noted: “To my surprise, on May 28, 2021, I got a distress call that one of our security men, Mr. Shola Adeleke had died in police custody in circumstances the police could not explain.

“Upon his death, the police hurriedly released three members of our security team. My question is, if truly there was ever a murder charge, why would the police release the suspects the same day that one of them died in their custody.”

The farm owner also said that prior to the latest incident, the farm had lost over N50 million to destruction of crops through cattle grazing activities by Fulani herdsmen.

Efforts to get the reaction of the image maker in charge of the state police command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, failed as calls put through his mobile telephone were not answered.

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