The tragic death of a 23-year-old apprentice tailor, Jamiu Ayoade, has caused grief in Ijeshatedo, Lagos State.
Jamiu was allegedly shot dead by the Divisional Police Officer of the Ijesha Police Station, identified as Muhammed Yakubu.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Jamiu, who lived on Oke-Onijo Street, had gone to Wosilatu Daudu, a neighbouring street, to attend a birthday party of a friend, Abubakar Animashaun, around 4pm on Sunday.
It was gathered that the DPO and his men went on surveillance to the venue around 5pm, and left a few minutes after they were told of what the event was all about.
About two hours later, the team was said to have returned to the area in a van, announcing their presence with blaring of sirens and gunshots, which scared away the fun seekers.
The DPO reportedly followed some people, including Jamiu, who ran to safety in a building. He was said to have shot Jamiu at a close range with his service pistol.
An eyewitness, who claimed to be the brother of the birthday boy, Jelili Bakare, told PUNCH Metro that the policemen fled the scene, immediately Jamiu was hit by a bullet.
He said, “Some policemen came around 5pm when the event just started. They asked a woman called Iya Aliya what was going on. She told them that it was a birthday party and they left. Around 7.30pm, I was sitting with my friends outside when I heard the blaring of police sirens. The van stopped some distance to the venue of the party and some policemen, led by the DPO, came out and started shooting. People ran helter-skelter. Many people fell into a gutter.
“The DPO brought out a pistol and chased some people into a passage. He shot twice at them. A bullet hit Jamiu in the head, while another person, Akeem, was shot in the hand. Immediately they saw the harm they had caused, they entered their van and fled. We went to the Ijesha Police Station, but we were not allowed to make a report. We then went to the Itire Police Division, but we were directed back to the Ijesha division.
“Nobody was fighting that would have warranted the police action. Around 9pm, the DPO and his men came back in about five vans. Nobody was arrested.
“This morning (Monday), we were invited to the secretariat of the Itire-Ikate Local Council Development Area. We narrated what happened to an official called Mrs. Raji. She called the DPO on the telephone and he met us in her office.
“The woman told us to excuse them. After their discussion, the woman called us in. She said the DPO told her that Jamiu had a case with the police. I was shocked. I told the woman that the boy was an apprentice and easy-going. He did not drink or smoke and had never been arrested before. The woman said I should not worry.”
Animashaun, who was marking his 22nd birthday, said he had yet to recover from the shock, adding that he was pained Jamiu was killed for no just cause.
“I didn’t know the mission of the policemen at the venue because there was no fight. Jamiu was a decent person. He was my friend. It was the DPO that shot him,” he added.
Jamiu’s brother, Taofiq Ayoade, said the victim was rushed to a private hospital in the community from where he was referred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba.
“He gave up the ghost on the way to LUTH. He was not a suspect. He was learning tailoring and was supposed to graduate this year. He was not a criminal. He would leave for his workplace around 9am and come back by 8.30pm. He was 23. Our mother lives in Abeokuta, Ogun State. The officer that killed him must face the consequence of his action,” he said.
Taofiq added that the deceased was buried on Monday (yesterday) in accordance with Islamic rites.
Jamiu’s stepsister, Mrs. Sadiat Ogunsola, said she had been catering to the victim since their father died a few years ago.
She said, “Jamiu would never complain or argue with you, and he didn’t foment trouble. He was still at home around 3pm. He had finished his secondary school education, but could not register for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination due to financial challenge.
“We planned that he should finish his vocation this year and register for the examination next year. We are still trying hard to console the mother. Nothing can bring him back, but justice must prevail.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, confirmed the raid in a text message, but was silent on the killing.
He said, “There was an incident relating to a raid on some suspected cult members in the Ijesha area of Lagos. Arrest of a suspect has been made, while investigation is ongoing. Further details will be communicated soon.”