There is mounting tension in Ekiti between Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, and the Commissioner of Police, Abdullahi Chafe, over alleged shielding of a killer customs officer.
It was learnt that the yet-to-be-identified customs officer ram his car into a shop in Ayetoro Ekiti and killed two persons on the spot while a few others were injured.
The deceased victims are Emmanuel Owaremi and Mrs. Titilayo Omotoso.
Another victim, Bukola Aboko, lost her five months pregnancy in the accident and also sustained bodily injury.
According to witness accounts, the police after rescuing the man and another female occupant of the car from the scene of the accident, released them without charging them to court.
This made the aggrieved residents to storm the police station to demand the re-arrest and prosecution of the killer ‘drunken’ driver.
Some of the family members of the victims were subsequently arrested and charged to court for breaching public peace and for allegedly attacking the police station.
Some family members on Wednesday took their protest to the Government’s House in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday to complain to the governor.
A spokesperson for the two families, Mr. Adeola Abiodun, said the police withheld the remains of the victims and forced the families to withdraw their interest in pursuing the case in court before they could secure their release their bodies for burial.
“We were made to write the letter under duress and we had no choice because we were constantly harassed by the police.”
Fayose, who addressed journalists after the protest, said he was saddened by the weighty allegations against the police
He lamented that the Commissioner of Police could not give a satisfactory answer when he was confronted with the facts of the case.
He said, “I am saddened by this development. Those who are supposed to be protecting us shouldn’t be oppressing us. When people face this kind of trauma, this kind of sad experience, the killing of their breadwinner, husbands and for any reason, a right-thinking person should not cover it up. We must stand up against this. These people must get justice.
“A man killed two of their family members, rather than charging the suspect who occupied the car to court, the police charged the family members of the deceased to court. I want to assure Ekiti people that we will get to the root of this matter.
“For any one trying to cover this up, that would only be for a very short time. You can see the young lady, who was also hit by the car. She was pregnant and the foetus has to be evacuated to save her life.. so, for the police to release the suspect who owns the car is unacceptable.
“I have summoned the Commissioner of Police but I am not satisfied with what he said. There is a cover up everywhere. It is becoming a recurrent decimal. The police must wash their hands clean of this mess.”
“How can they ask those who lost their son and relative to write an affidavit indicating that they are not pursuing the case any longer. This was done to cover up the crime.
“It is also funny that the police Commissioner has withdrawn his men from the town. How can. You say because the townspeople reacted to what you did, you now withdraw all your men and render the town insecure.”
Reacting to the allegations in a telephone conversation Chafe who denied the allegations, said: “no one can prove yet that the customs officer was drunk. The car that hit the deceased could just be an accident and we had to rescue the customs officer from being lynched by the angry mob. The mob attacked our police station and beat up a police officers so that made me to withdraw the policemen there as their life was no longer safe. We had to grant the man bail becase that was legal. You should go to Ayetoro and see what happened yourself before coming back to me for full details of what happened, ” he said.
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