Ondo Government pledges to bring perpetrators to book
Students of the Ondo-State-owned Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, trooped out in numbers to protest the killing of their colleague, Folarera Ademola, by officers of the Ondo State Security Network, known as Amotekun Corps.
The corpse of the ND1 student from the Department of Science Laboratory Technology was taken by the angry students from Owo town down to the governor’s office in Alagbaka Akure, the state capital, where they blocked the office entrance.
The students demanded that the state take full responsibility for Ademola’s burial, as well as details of the officer who shot Ademola for proper prosecution.
Furthermore, the students demanded that Amotekun should debunk tagging the deceased as a criminal and compensate his family.
RUGIPO SU Reacts
Speaking with Campus Reporter, the Students’ Union President, Olorunda Oluwafemi, said Ademola was shot on the 27th of June by an officer of the Amotekun in front of his house.
Oluwafemi added that the deceased was taken to an uncompleted building by Amotekun where he suffered from gunshot wounds for 10 days before he was taken to St Louis Hospital. At St. Louis, he was referred to the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, shortly after but unfortunately died on Thursday.
“He was shot and taken to an uncompleted building where dogs were licking his blood. They took him to a herbalist for medical care, who in turn extorted One Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira from the deceased’s mother.
“After the mother saw that her son was not getting better, she took him to St Louis hospital and was later referred to FMC, where she paid Three Hundred Thousand Naira for surgery where he gave up the ghost.”
Olufemi said the school management was not aware that a student was shot by Amotekun personnel or else they would have taken all necessary steps to save him.
Also, the Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS JCC Ondo Axis, Comrade Omotoso Surprise described the Amotekun’s action as callous, adding that they were meant to protect the lives and properties of inhabitants, not to kill them.
Omotoso said Ademola’s mother was denied access to him until his health worsened and he was referred to a hospital with poor services.
Omotoso disclosed that the bullets had eaten up Ademola’s intestines and caused severe damage to his liver.
“Whilst it is not within our rights to pass an immediate judgement on this unfortunate event, we have been left to rue why Amotekun would firstly attack a students’ hostel and fire live ammunition on unarmed students. It is also baffling that a herbalist was preferred as the first aid for a gunshot victim.
“We wonder why the Corps has been inconsistent in their explanations of what transpired on that fateful day.
“This unprofessional and obvious exhibition of ineffectiveness seems to be the modus operandi of the Corps in Ondo State.
“The Corps seem to have forgotten why it was created and are now turning into an extortion unit, arbitrator and road wardens. They have forgotten, “Amotekun ni gbogbo way!”
“We also use this medium to call on Nigerians to prevail on the Amotekun leadership to engage in training and retraining of her men on the use of guns placed in their hands. The goodwill the Corp is enjoying from Ondo State people cannot be taken for granted.”
Ondo Government Speaks
While commiserating with the deceased’s family and students of the institution, the Deputy Governor of the State, Honourable Lucky Ayedatiwa, pleaded with the students to put their demands in writing rather than verbally.
Ayedatiwa commended the students for the peaceful protest, for not destroying anything, while saying it is true that a life has been lost.
He further assured the protesting students that the government will look into the matter and conduct a thorough investigation.
“We all know that no society is free of crime or situations like this, but we pray this does not happen again.
“We all know that our Governor always stands on the path of fairness, truth and justice. We will investigate by the police, not Amotekun this time and they will submit their report. Justice will be served at the end of the day and every culprit involved will be brought to book.
“I plead with student union leaders as today is Friday and it is already the closing hour and Monday and Tuesday are public holidays as declared by the federal government.
“Your voices have been heard and your demand is heard, I plead with you to be patient as we will be getting to the student union as soon as possible because we would not allow injustice to prevail.”
Similarly, the State Commissioner of Police, Oyediran Oyeyemi said no one would be happy to lose any soul and that he took the matter up three days ago when he was briefed.
“I swung into action immediately when I heard about it, but unfortunately, the guy later died. We would not stop the investigation until the perpetrators are brought to justice.
“The Governor is not in town and I have spoken with him, he sympathises with you by noting that he will get to the root of the matter as no stone will be left unturned.”
Amotekun’s Side Of The Story
In a rapid reaction, the State Commander of Amotekun, Chief Àdetunji Adeleye in a statement expressed sadness at the death of the student.
Adeleye who doubled as the Special Assistant to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu On Security Matters said the incident happened while Amotekun Corps was investigating the case of a syndicate that specialises in attacking Okada riders with dangerous weapons and dispossessing them of their motorcycles in the process, as part of their vow to ensure the State is rid of criminals.
“Luck however ran out of one of the syndicates who was given a hot chase into a building in Owo by men of the Amotekun Corps where other members of the gang met 15 men in the building, 7 out of the men stacked naked inside the room filled with smoke. Four Okadas were also found inside the bedroom.
“After introducing themselves to the men, the men struggled to disarm the operative whose alarm attracted the other two outside.
“In an attempt to apprehend the suspect, they swung on men of the Corps, trying to disarm them and in the course of the struggle, one of their rifles triggered off and hit one of the suspects and an Amotekun officer.
“At that instance, none of them told the Amotekun officers that they were students.
“Our men eventually overpowered the suspects, arrested and took them to the Corps office in Owo where they were detained. The incident occurred on the 27th and 28th of June, 2022.
‘” He was later released on health grounds, promising to return to the corps custody to continue the investigation.
“The suspect left our facility on the same day, 11 days after the incident to get first aid treatment with the promise to return in a continuation of the investigation.
“Surprisingly, the news of the death of the injured suspect filtered yesterday after 11 days since the incident occurred.
“We sincerely register our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased while we continue with our in-depth investigation into the real cause of his death.
Adeleye said that “The Ondo State Amotekun Corps, however, wishes to assure the public that it will work with stakeholders including NANS, the Polytechnic Community and the family of the victim to ensure that justice is timely served.”
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