The Osun State Police Command said it has arrested an Oyo prince, Eniola Oyeyode, in connection to the killing of a United States American-based lecturer, Richard Idowu.
Idowu, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party was shot at Oyeyode’s residence on Saturday evening and he died while receiving treatment in a private hospital in the Ejigbo area of the state.
A security source close to the Osun State Police Command who spoke on condition of anonymity, told PUNCH Online that Oyeyode was moved from Ejigbo to Osogbo on Sunday.
Also, the spokesperson for the state police command, Yemisi Opalola, in a statement obtained in Osogbo on Sunday, confirmed the arrest of Oyeyode.
Opalola said, “The Osun Police Command is using this medium to inform the general public that the command is aware of the incident of shooting that occurred at Ejigbo which led to the death of one Dr. Richard Adeoriokin.
“The incident occurred on 27/1/2024 at about 9:48 pm after the 50th Coronation Anniversary of the Ogiyan of Ejigbo, Oba Oyeyode Oyesosin where one Prince Eniola Oyeyode ‘m’ of Ejigbo instructed one of his civilian guards named Hammed Abdul Jelili ‘m’ of Ejigbo to fire his double barrel gun into the air to confirm if the gun was in good condition or not, but instead shot directly at the victim. He was rushed to a hospital where he was confirmed dead by a doctor.
“Meanwhile, the prince, Eniola Oyeyode, who gave the order to his civilian guard to fire guns have been arrested and detained.
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Bzigu Dali Kwazhi, therefore, appeals to members of the public especially the residents of Ejigbo to remain calm as the discreet investigation has commenced immediately.”
Idowu was shot dead in Ejigbo, Osun State on Saturday.
The incident threw the community into mourning and led to tension among the residents.
An investigation by our correspondent revealed that the incident occurred in a private residence of Oyeyode, a son to the Ogiyan of Ejigbo, Oba Omowonuola Oyeyode, who was marking his 50th anniversary on the throne.
It was also learnt that Idowu was part of the coronation anniversary, from where he was summoned to a meeting in the residence of Oyeyode located along Inisa Road in Ejigbo.
An eyewitness, who preferred anonymity, while speaking with PUNCH Online on Sunday on the matter, said at the meeting was a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Ayodele Asalu and one other person identified as Mr. Timothy.
After the meeting had ended and the attendees were leaving the premises, the eyewitness said gunshots were heard and Idowu was hit on the leg which led to his death while being treated in a private hospital in Ejigbo.
Narrating how the incident happened, a Personal Assistant to the deceased, Afiz Lawal, who said, the incident happened in his presence further explained, “When we returned to Osun from Ogun State where Governor Adeleke took a chieftaincy title, we moved to Ejigbo for 50th coronation anniversary of the Ogiyan of Ejigbo, Oba Oyeyode Oyesosin.
“Immediately after the coronation party, we were about to start coming to Osogbo, when Prince Eniola, son of Ogiyan, told us to go to his house along Inisa Road in Ejigbo for a brief meeting. Those that attended the meeting include Hon. Asler ( Ayodele Asalu), and one Hon Timothy.
“When the meeting ended, they all dispersed and were entering their vehicles. I heard Prince Eniola say, ‘release,’ asking a local hunter there on the premises to release gunshots into the air. Unfortunately, instead of firing into the air, he shot towards the ground. And that was how Richard Idowu was hit on the leg and he immediately fell.
“Before we could get him to the hospital, he had already lost so much blood and there is no good hospital in Ejigbo. He gave up at a private hospital in Ejigbo. The incident happened between 8pm and 8.30 pm Saturday. He was a PDP chieftain and a lecturer based in the United States of America.”
Asked if the incident could be regarded as a case of misfiring or preplanned, Lawal said, “It may be planned or accidental, but I just narrated how the incident happened because I was at the scene. His remains have been deposited at the morgue of UNIOSUN Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.”
It was also learnt that the man who fired the shot was beaten to death after the incident.
While speaking with PUNCH Online, the Commander of Osun Command of the Nigeria Hunters and Forest Security Service, the group also known as local hunters, Ahmed Nureni, said no member of the group was involved in the incident, demanding a thorough probe into the killing.
Meanwhile, the state governor, Ademola Adeleke has ordered an immediate investigation into the killing and counter-killing at Ejigbo during the 50 years coronation celebration of the Ogiyan of Ejigbo, Oba Omowonuola Oyeyode Oyeyosin.
A statement by the spokesperson to the governor, Olawale Rasheed, on Sunday partly read, “The Governor who commiserates with the people of Ejigbo town directed law enforcement agencies to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the incident and ensure that the law takes its cause.
“Mr Governor further called for pre-emptive action by the security agencies to prevent any possible counter-attacks or eruption of violence in the ancient town following the sad incident.
“Urging families of the deceased not to take laws into their hands, the Governor has also dispatched a high powered delegation to visit Ejigbo and ensure restoration of calm while the investigation continues. Members of the delegation include the Commissioner of Police, the State Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Local Government Affairs, the State Commissioner for Information and the Special Adviser to the Governor of Security.
“What happened today at Ejigbo is really sad. I extend my condolences to the families of the deceased. I have directed an immediate investigation into the killings of Dr Richard Adeoriokin and the subsequent killing of his killer. I have also instructed the State Police Command to issue guidelines on the usage of local guns. Such regulations will enhance the safety and protection of the citizens especially at public functions.”