Whatever led to the death of one Saheed Agbele at the Igbogbo area of Ikorodu is one knot the police have to crack.
Our crime desk gathered that friends of the deceased, who got word about his death on Saturday the 23rd April 2016, at about 5 pm, were aggrieved and did not take the news lightly.
Led by one Gbenga Ajadi and five others, his friends matched to the Igbogbo police station alleging that one Chief Kolawole Ogunlana, an 85-years-old man and his family, were responsible for their friend’s death. Saheed was found dead in an uncompleted building in Igbogbo area of Ikorodu Lagos.
Gbenga Ajadi alleged that Chief Kolawole and Saheed Agbele’s family have been locked in a land dispute with the deceased for years. But instead of settling the case amicably, the octogenarian and 40 others ganged up and allegedly dragged the deceased and himself (Gbenga Ajadi) to a nearby bush in Agofuye community in Igbogbo Ikorodu Lagos. It was further alleged that when they got to the bush, chief Kolawale ordered that he, Gbenga Ajadi and Saheed be executed.
In his statement, Gbenga said he and the deceased ran into the bush and as they ran, the thugs chief Kolawole brought were in hot pursuitt while shooting, unfortunately, a bullet hit Saheed and he died on the spot; while he (Gbenga Ajadi) escaped with bullet wounds.
The Daily Times gathered that after making a formal complaint at the police station, Gbenga Ajadi and his friends went to chief Kolawole’s house, abducted him in the presence of his tenants and child, beat him up and took him to Igbogbo police station, where he was detained, but later released.
Investigations revealed that Gbenga and his colleagues took motorcycles around igbogbo community arresting relatives of chief Kolawole and handed them over to the police.
Five suspects have so far been handed over to the police division of Ikorodu and case has been subsequently transferred to the the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Panti Yaba for further investigation.
But the suspects whose names were given as Ahmed Onorbanjo, Taofeek Omidiran, Lukman Ademola, Alade Mabeko and Yusuf Ogusanya said they were all innocent of the alleged crime against them.
Ahmed, who is 42 and hails from Lagos state, narrates how he was arrested. “I was just taking a walk from my house down the street. I had just gotten to Igbogbo park, when three boys approached me and said I had killed someone. I did not understand what was going on. Before I knew it I was immediately carried into a federal Special Anti Robbery Squad vehicle and taken to Agufoye in Igbogbo. There they handcuffed me and taken to where there was a dead body. I was surprised because I did not understand what was going on.
“I was made to stand beside the corpse and they started taking pictures of me with the corpse and the Igbogbo police was alerted and I was taken to the station and then transferred to SCID. What baffles me is that I have never seen the deceased before. I am a responsible father with six children. I am a welder and own a shop at Ojota.”
Taofeek who is 48-years-old also from Lagos recounted his story. “On the day of the incident, Chief Kolawaole called me that he was back from the hospital where he had gone for an eye surgery. I then went to see chief because he is the head of our family.
“I took a bike, but on my way, three men named Salako Ginodu, one Taiye and Lateef started calling me a thief and ran after me with a motorbike too. They caught me and started beating me. I was taken to the Igbogbo police station and was told I had killed someone.
“I do not even know the person in question. But from what I was told was that the deceased was killed in a land that belongs to my family and the land was under dispute for years until 2011 when the court declared us the actual owners of the land. But since then, we have not had rest as the other party has always been looking for a reason to give us trouble.”
44-years-old Lukman and the community chairman of motorcycle operators was also arrested. His story: “I am from Osun state, I don’t know anything about what happened. I am the Chairman of Okada Riders Association in Igbogbo.
“I was busy selling tickets on Monday when one Lolade met me and said I was one of those who had killed someone over a land issue. I told him he was joking, I asked him if I am from Lagos not to talk of being one of those who engage in land issues.
“Four of his friends also came out and said I was part of those who killed Saheed Agbele. Although I do see the deceased and we do greet but I have never had any serious relationship with him, we have never even sat to discuss. I do not do land business. I then followed them to the station and made my statement before we were transferred here.”
Alade, who is 46 said the allegation against him was not true as he had gone to the police station to report one of his tenants and was falsely accused of murder by those at the station.
“I went to Igbogbo police station at about 4 pm to report a tenant who said he had two brothers but three weeks later, other tenants in the house called me that my new tenant was in the attitude of bringing eight or sometimes ten boys to stay in the house. I noticed there were a lot of people at the station, I just minded my business and went straight to where I wanted to make my report; but suddenly, one Tayo and Afeez rushed to me, started beating me and telling the police I was part of those who had killed someone. I was arrested and detained.”
The youngest of them who spoke with surprise in his eyes said he is yet to understand what the whole issue was about. Yusuf who is 18 and a bricklayer said he was at a site where working when some agents who called themselves Owoye boys came with guns and started shooting and ordered them to stop working. “They started beating us and they took me to Igbogbo police station that I was part of those who killed someone. I don’t even understand what is going on.”
A source at the SCID where the matter is being investigated told The Daily Times that investigations so far has shown that as at the time Saheed Agbele was killed, chief Kolawale was in admission in an eye hospital at Adeniyi Jones Avenue in Ikeja undergoing an eye surgery on his left eye. The police source also confirmed that none of the suspects was present at the scene of the incident.
Information also has it that the complainants are alleged land grabbers operating within the Igbogbo area.
Investigation is however on to ascertain the actual cause of the death of Saheed as well as to fish out and prosecute those who have hands in Saheed Agbele’s controversial death.