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Oyo State Police Command has appealed to Ibadan residents over the shooting of a commercial motorcycle operator on Saturday by a police sergeant.
He urged them to shield their swords by allowing peace to reign.
According to Commissioner of Police Shine Olukolu, the action of the police Sergeant, Sunday Ogunkanmi, was regretted.
In a statement he personally signed, Olukolu, while giving a narrative of the crisis that engulfed part of Ibadan on Saturday, confirmed that the sergeant, who opened fire on the motorcycle rider, is in custody.
He said the matter has been transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), where the case is being investigated.
He, however, described as untrue and mischief, the news by a section of the media which reported that the motorcyclist was dead after been hit by the sergeant’s bullet.
Appealing to the residents to always refrain from taking the law into their hands in case of any occurrence in the future, the police chief added that the motorcycle rider, Sule Ikuforiji, is alive at the University College Hospital (UCH) and not in emergency or Intensive Care Unit.
He added that Ikuforiji is responding to treatment and the police are taking responsibility for his medical care.
On what led to the crisis, Olukolu said: “On Saturday, 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 motorcyclist 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.”
He added: “The concerned 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 team.
“Thereafter, the mob proceeded to Egbeda Division, but they were repelled, though the vehicles had their windscreens 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 were 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’ windscreens, part of the police station, particularly the sliding glasses. They also vandalised some of the offices and the charge room. In the ensuing melee, one of the mob 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.“