By Taiwo Okanlawon
Eyewitness accounts have revealed that the gruesome murder of popular Lagos-based traditional medicine practitioner Fatai Yusuf, popularly known as Oko Oloyun was done in between two police checkpoints on Eruwa-Igbo-Ora Road in Oyo State on Thursday.
The trado-medical expert was shot dead while he was on his way from an outing in the company of two police escorts when some unidentified gunmen shot at his vehicle around 4:30 pm along Eruwa-Igbo-Ora Road in the Ibarapa Central area of Oyo.
He was confirmed dead at the General Hospital Igbo-Ora.
Our correspondent who visited the hospital found out that his corpse was not deposited at the hospital’s mortuary but was taken away after he was confirmed dead.
An anonymous source who works at the hospital confirmed that the deceased was brought to the hospital around 6:26 pm after the incident where he was confirmed dead but his body was not deposited at the hospital.
“The doctor on duty yesterday just gave them files and when he was confirmed dead, they left with his corpse but I cannot say where the corpse was taken to wether back to Lagos or Eruwa”, he said.
A resident of the town Dauda Ojediran, who is also an Okada rider told P.M. News that the gunmen killed Oko Oloyun in between two police checkpoints, at a point called Akeroro on Eruwa-Igboora road.
“The incident happened after Akeroro, there is a checkpoint before Akeroro and there is another checkpoint after. He was killed between the two police checkpoints. So his body was taken to the police station by the police and his convoy,” he said.
The 55-year-old Okada rider said though Eruwa-Igboora Road sometimes have cases of kidnapping and robbery, they don’t often hear of gunmen on the roads, if the attack was not premeditated.
“Igboora to Eruwa is my route every day. Eruwa from here is 20 kilometres. Those gunmen were hired assassins. They were putting on blacks. If someone didn’t send them after that man, such things don’t happen here. Talking of Fulani herdsmen, kidnappers, there are many here.”
“We often go to the police when any of our people are kidnapped or they snatch his Okada and sometimes they go on a rescue mission while most of the time they won’t go. Some of them will even tell you that they also have kids at home and we will have to go by ourselves to pay a ransom. It was at that same scene two people were kidnapped recently and nothing happened before we later heard some amount was paid as ransom.”
Ojediran, however, called on government to create community police that can successfully protect the lives and properties of people in collaboration with other security agencies.
“The police are not doing much in terms of security. Our people are suffering.They extort us every day. There are six police checkpoints from here to Eruwa which is 20 kilometres. The bottom line is that what we need here are vigilante and not the police. They are just there to collect money from Okada riders and motorists.”
Another resident said there were four people in his car and Oko Oloyun was the single target . “We believed these killers have been trailing him from Lagos.:
“But the most painful part is that he was assassinated here at Igbo-Ora with all that is currently going on in our environment,” he added.
Adeyemi Okeronbi, also a resident of the town, and who claimed to be the Oko Oloyun’s teacher in secondary school said he was in Igangan town for a particular programme and he was probably heading to Ibadan when the incident happened.
“I was also invited to the event but I couldn’t attend. He was here to develop our society because there’s no place in this southwest region that he has not established his business.”
“He was my student at Muslim High School, Ikotun when I was doing teaching practice for my Degree programme. I knew him to be a very generous man. The first time we met after my teaching practice was at a herbal presentation at Onireke and he was there, being the sponsor for the event and when we met, I couldn’t recognize him again. So he introduced himself to me. I used to call him Otu Olomukan as at then, because he was from Otu.”
“The only truth here is that he was assassinated. But who is the person, we don’t know. It’s terrible and it’s also painful because it’s certain we are all going to die. But why here,” he queried.
Okeronbi also called on the Federal Government to make a quick decision in creating local police as the current police are not capable of protecting the people.
“Police cannot provide us the security we need. The same police that will take to their heels when they hear the sound of a burst tyre? The same police that will quickly pull off their uniform when there is a pandemonium somewhere?
“They’re on the road just to collect bribe. What we need is a vigilante group. Our government should not deceive themselves. If robbery is happening somewhere and vigilantes are alerted, they will be there. I was one of OPC leaders in Igbole before I became Balogun of traditional herbalists here in Igbo Ora.
“Local vigilante is the solution because I know what I’m saying,” he added.
Meanwhile, Oyo State Police Command said it has started interrogating the two police escorts that were with Oko Oloyun when he was gruesomely murdered.
In a statement made available to the public on Friday, the state Police Command also said some members of his staff are also being questioned for possible involvement in his death.
The interrogation, according to the police, followed a tip-off on an alleged fraud perpetrated recently in Oko Oloyun’s Lagos office.
The Police Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Mr Gbenga Fadeyi said the deceased may have been killed due to an alleged book-keeping fraud he detected in his Lagos office, adding that the ‘fraud’ he found out “allegedly led to the burning/destruction of some financial/bookkeeping records.”
“In addition to other possible motives, a plausible nexus is, therefore, being suspected between the fire incident and the attack on the deceased,” Fadeyi explained.
The police spokesman, however, appealed to members of the public with credible information on Oko Oloyun’s death to come forward.