Tax collectors allegedly kill hairdresser in Ondo
A 38-year-old woman and hairdresser, Mrs. Toyin Ijiyemi, has been reported killed by tax officials from Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State while trying to exert payment from her.
The Guardian gathered that Ijiyemi slumped while she engaged in a brawl with the government officials, who tried to seize her television set for alleged failure to pay tax.
According to eyewitnesses, the officials had successfully dragged the television from her and went away with it, leaving her on the ground unattended to.
One of the deceased’s aunts, Mojisola Otitilowo, narrated that “Toyin was at her shop at Bolajoko Street, Oke-Aro area in the state capital around 2:00p.m. when the council officials invaded her shop. They were four in number.
“The council officials ask her to pay the rate for her shop. All efforts made by Toyin to appeal to them not to seize her television set failed. She did not have money and that was why she begged them that she would come and pay the money the second day.
“Her persistent plea fell on deaf ears. One of them removed the television from where it was but Toyin started dragging it with them. She fell down. Despite her fall, the council officials went away with the television.”
Otitolowo noted that a customer who came to buy sachet water, “discovered that Toyin was unconscious where she laid on the floor of the shop and raised an alarm, which attracted neighbours who rushed in and started pouring water on Toyin to revive her.
“When it was realized that Toyin had given up the ghost, the matter was reported at the B Division police station, Oke-Aro,” she said.
She noted that her body had been deposited at the morgue of the State Specialists Hospital, Akure, adding that the local government tax officials were later arrested by the police.
Mother of the deceased, Mrs. Abike Ijiyemi, who was crying profusely when our correspondent visited her home at Alade-Idanre in Idanre Local Government Area of the state, demanded justice.
Recounting her grief, she said: “She called me yesterday morning and said she had bought some foodstuffs for me. She promised to bring them to me in Idanre the second day. Instead of her coming to fulfill her promise, it was the announcement of her death they brought to me.”
All efforts to speak with the caretaker chairman of Akure South L.G.A., Mrs. Margret Atere, proved abortive but a source at the council had been to the state police headquarters on the matter.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that those arrested concerning the case are not original staff of the local government but those engaged by the political heads of the council to collect taxes.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Femi Joseph, who confirmed the incident, described it as unfortunate, revealing that some suspects had been arrested over the murder.
Joseph added further that investigation into the matter was still going on, saying that the suspects in their custody would soon be arraigned in court.
“The political heads of the council are fond of bringing people outside to collect taxes. I am sure if they had allowed the staff to do their job, things such as this would not happen. This is because the original staff are well-trained about how to relate with members of the public,” a source added.
“My daughter was a widow. Her husband died for years ago. She has been singlehandedly taking care of their only child since then. She was the one who sponsored the education of their 24-year-old son up to the Gateway Polytechnic in Ogun state before her death. She was the person taking care of me and paying my debts for me.”
While the only child of the deceased, Ayodele Adelanke, also demanded that the killers of his mother should be brought to book, saying she must not die in vain.
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