NURTW chief arrested over Offa-Erinle crisis
Published on February 6, 2013 by pmnews · No Comments
A Nigerian commercial vehicle owner, Ganiyu Oyeyemi Ogunjobi, has been arrested by the Kwara State Police Command over the murder of a hotelier, Alhaji Bukola Lawal during the recent communal clash between Offa and Erin-Ile communities.
The deceased, owner of the popular Adlag Hotel in Offa, who was one of the casualties in the crisis, was brutally killed and hacked by armed men who invaded his hotel and also inflicted injuries on one of his workers.
Ogunjobi, a member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, based in Osogbo, State of Osun, was alleged to have led the armed men who killed Lawal. He was reported to have been arrested on Monday at his hide-out in Osogbo by a 13-man team of police men from Ilorin.
The suspect allegedly led a mercenary gang that fought on the side of one of the communities in the crisis which left in its wake loss of lives and properties worth millions of naira.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Olufemi Fabode, confirmed the arrest, some other arrests in connection with crisis have been made but said he was yet to ascertain their identities.
Fabode said the Command has commenced investigation into the sources of arms and ammunition recovered from suspects during the Offa/Erin-Ile communal disturbances, adding that the investigation would reveal the sources of of the weapons and enable police check the flow of dangerous weapons into the state.
An Ilorin Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday remanded in prison nine accused persons linked to the Offa-Erin-Ile communal crisis in Kwara.
Two of the accused persons and indigenes of Erin-Ile, Muyideen Jimoh and Joseph Joel, were accused of severing the head, legs, wrists and male organ of Lawal, the owner of Adlag Hotel in Offa.
According to the charge sheet, the accused also conspired with others now at large and set ablaze some houses and filling stations belonging to Offa indigenes.
It also said that one Lamidi Jogbondo, Salawu Yusuf, Ibrahim Rasheed, Taofiq Kusamat, Moruf Jimoh, Jimoh Nasir and Taofiq Lawal, who were all indigenes of Offa, also carried out a reprisal attack.
The charge sheet further said that the accused persons from Offa set ablaze the Erin-Ile shopping complex and some buildings.
The prosecutor, Al-Hassan Jubril, told the court that the accused were arrested at the scene of the crime while some criminal charms, fire arms and assorted live cartridges were recovered from them.
Jubril said that the accused were arraigned on a seven-count charge of criminal conspiracy, inciting disturbance, disturbance of public peace, mischief by fire, being in possession of criminal charms, unlawful possession of firearm and culpable homicide.
He said the offences contravened Sections 97, 114, 113, 336, 217, and 221 of the Penal Code Law and 27 (A) of the Firearms Special Provision Act Cap F 28 Laws of the Federation, 2004.
He said that investigation into the matter was ongoing and urged the court to remand the accused in prison.
The defence counsel, Mr Mamud Bello, applied for the bail of the accused on liberal terms.
Magistrate Kalejaye Yahaya, however, ordered the remand of the accused at Madala Prison in Ilorin and adjourned the case to 26 February for mention.
Meanwhile, Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara on Tuesday in Ilorin said that the Chairmen of Offa and Oyun Local Government Councils were suspended for not demonstrating capacity to forestall lawlessness.
Ahmed stated this while receiving the management team of the Nigerian Navy School of Medical Sciences which paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Abdulwahab Oba, said in a statement that the governor also assured both communities of due prosecution of those found culpable in the recent violence that rocked two communities in the councils.
He said the suspended chairmen, as chief security officers of their respective local governments, failed to provide adequate security for the people during the crisis between Offa and Erin-Ile communities.
“The council chairmen fell short of expectations in their responsibilities to maintain law and order and in ensuring the safety of lives and property,’’ Ahmed said.
He described the suspension as a signal to everybody that laws were meant to be complied with, adding that those charged with the responsibility of implementing them must always be proactive.