The Eselu of Iseluland, Yewa-North Local Government Area of Ogun State, Oba Akintunde Akinyemi has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu over the death of a farmer in his community by the officers of Ogun State Area Command 1 of the Nigerian Customs Service.
In the petition dated May 10, 2020, the monarch alleged that the Customs officers gruesomely killed one Kehinde Ogunji who was returning home from his farm with his twin brother at Agbon Community in the state.
The traditional ruler emphasised that the deceased was killed by a stray bullet fired by the Customs officers when they were pursuing some rice smugglers in the area.
Oba Akinyemi stated that the deceased was a farmer with two wives and five children.
He noted that, since the young farmer was shot dead, life had not been the same with his bereaved 65-year-old father, Elder Emmanuel Ogunji and his twin brother.
Oba Akinyemi stated that the Customs officers and men of the State Police Command refused to release the deceased’s corpse for his family members.
The monarch alleged that men of the Ogun State Police Command have connived with officers of the Ogun Area Command 1 of the Nigerian Customs Service to sweep the matter under the carpet and to also enable the affected Customs Officers to escape justice.
Oba Akinyemi, however, appealed to the Inspector General of Police to investigate his allegations in the petition and order the Customs officers to face the law.
The petition partly reads, “On Sunday, 3rd May 2020, some Officers of Ogun Area Command 1 of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) who were on the trail of some rice smugglers at Agbon Community in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State killed my subject – Kehinde Ogunji through a stray bullet.
“The deceased, Kehinde Ogunji was an innocent person because he was just a farmer, not a rice smuggler as accused by the men of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).
“On that fateful day, Kehinde Ogunji, a husband of two wives and a father of five children was returning home from his farm along with his twin brother.
“Apart from the fact that the deceased’s family and my humble self want justice and adequate care for the wives and children of the deceased, we also requested the Customs Officers to withdraw the statement in the media, where they claimed that the deceased was a rice smuggler. Amazingly, up till now, they have not withdrawn the malicious statement made against an innocent Kehinde Ogunji.
“Another amazing thing is that up till now, the Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Police Force which has been fully informed of the ugly incident has not deemed it fit to arrest and detain the Customs Officers who committed this heinous crime.
“There is currently an insinuation in the public that the Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Police Force is possibly conniving with officers of their sister agency to sweep the matter under the carpet and to also enable the affected Customs officers escape justice.
“It is crystal clear that despite the fact that Kehinde Ogunji’s life was gruesomely taken, the fundamental right to justice being sought by the deceased’s family is being trampled upon by the affected Customs officers and your men at the Ogun State Command.
“Inspector General of Police Sir, I am reporting this matter to you because I believe in your person and leadership. It is also my belief that you will use your good offices to take over this case and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“With the absolute confidence I have in you, I believe that urgent and drastic steps will be taken on this matter so that we can collectively put an end to this injustice”.