February 29, 2024

A resident of Ikirun, Gboyega Adebayo, has narrated how one Lukman Olatunji, who reportedly lost his life during a melee at the entrance to Akinrun of Ikirun’s palace on Wednesday was shot dead.

Olatunji was reportedly shot dead by some police operatives at the entrance to the palace, sparking rage from the residents of the community.

PUNCH Metro gathered that while policemen were making efforts to unlock the palace, some suspected arsonists, set a building within the premises on fire.

The palace had been under lock since the new Akinrun of Ikirun, Oba Olalekan Akadiri, was installed monarch, thus preventing the royal father from accessing it.

It was also learnt that men of Osun State Fire Service that were called by the police to put out the fire were attacked with charms with three of them sustaining injuries and having to be treated at a hospital.

The mob, it was also learnt damaged and vandalised the fire truck taken to the area by the firemen, who reportedly fled the scene after they were attacked.

Giving a further account of how the incident happened, Adebayo said he was on his way to Oja Oba, a neighbourhood market, located directly opposite Akinrun’s palace when he heard sporadic gunshots from police operatives as they were alighting from two vehicles.

He further said the police operatives had come to the entrance of the palace to unlock it.

According to him, the policemen who were shooting into the air caused panic, as many people near the palace had to run for cover, adding that it was in the process of running to safety that Olatunji was hit by a bullet in the head.

He further said, “I was on my way to the Oja-Oba area to buy a herbal product. Then 4 policemen were seen walking towards the palace. A few minutes after, two vehicles conveying more policemen arrived the scene.

“They started firing teargas and gunshots into the air around the palace gate. Everyone near the premises ran in different directions to avoid being shot. It was a bullet from their gun that hit a man called Omoola in the head. He died on the spot.

“The policemen then brought a welder to help them open the locked gate of the palace. They (police) were shooting to scare people away. Bullet also hit about 4 other people. Those ones are not dead yet but Omoola died immediately after he was shot by the police.”

But Tajudeen Gboleru, an elder brother of the deceased, who spoke to PUNCH Metro on phone, said his brother was shot dead when some security men, were attempting to enter Akinrun’s palace.

Speaking further on the circumstances surrounding the incident, Gboleru said “a person trying to enter the palace had come to the area with a lot of policemen and soldiers. One of the security men must have fired the shot that hit him.”

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of Osun State Fire service, Ibrahim Adekunle, confirmed that three men from the team who went to the scene of the Ikirun palace fire were injured.

He also said a fire truck taken to the area was abandoned after a mob attack.

“They attacked our men. Three of them are still in hospital beds receiving treatment. Our fire truck was also vandalised. Our men had to abandon it and run to safety after they were attacked. It was the police that invited us to put out the fire and the mob attacked us,” Adekunle concluded.

Osun State Police Command spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, when asked for a reaction, said a statement would be issued on the incident.

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