Falae: Ondo, Osun CPs to arrest trigger-happy cop

By The Citizen

The Ondo State Commissioner of Police and his counterpart in Osun State have met in Akure, the Ondo State capital to unmask the identity of a policeman, who opened fire on the vehicle of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, on Tuesday.

A policeman in the escort of a bullion van allegedly shot at the vehicle of the elder statesman on the Akure-Ilesa Expressway at Ipetu Ijesa, Osun State, on his way to Ile-Ife for a meeting of Afenifere leaders with the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on Tuesday.

While the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Femi Joseph, said the command had commenced investigation into the matter, an aide to Falae, a former Minister of Finance, added that the police bosses of the two state commands had met in Akure to map out strategies to apprehend the trigger-happy policeman.

' What I can say for now is that the case has just been officially reported to the command (Ondo) and we have started investigation; even though the incident is outside our jurisdiction, we will still investigate it,' Joseph said.

The Personal Assistant to the ex-SFG, Capt. Moshood Raji (retd.), confirmed that that the matter had been reported to the headquarters of the police command in Akure, the state capital, on Wednesday.

Raji explained that sequel to the incident, a meeting was held on Wednesday between Falae, whom he represented and the commissioners of police of Ondo and Osun states in a bid to arrest the perpetrator.

He added, 'The Ondo police commissioner invited his counterpart from Osun to decide which command should handle the matter. So, Osun CP asked his Ondo counterpart to go ahead with the investigation since Chief Falae resides in Ondo and if there is a need to transfer the case to Osun, they would know later.'

He stated that the case had been handed over to the Anti-kidnapping Squad or the State Criminal Investigative Department to check the policemen on duty on Tuesday to know whether the policemen, who escorted the bullion van, were from Ondo or Osun state.

Meanwhile, some two groups have accused the Ondo State Police Command of attempting to sweep the matter under the carpet.

A group, under the aegis of the Defence for Yoruba Peoples Right, which condemned the attack, said it was not good for the image of the Nigerian police for such an incident to happen and the culprit policeman had not been apprehended by the command.

Speaking with our correspondent on the telephone, the President of the group, Mr. Muyideen Olamoyegun, called on the state police commissioner, Mr. Mike Ogbodu to fish out the trigger-happy policeman in order to serve as a deterrent to others.

He said, 'I think the CP has to do something about this issue, the recklessness of the policemen, who escort bullion vans, is too much on the roads. They have killed many people as a result of their recklessness, if the bullet has hit Chief Falae, that is how he would have killed the man.

'We are hearing this because it concerns Olu Falae; some many unknown Nigerians have been killed by policemen.'

A member of pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, who spoke on condition of anonymity, alleged that the police command did not take the issue with seriousness by allegedly refusing to fish out the culprit several hours after the incident.

'We are very sure that the policemen that followed the bullion van were from Ondo State Command. So, why is it difficult for the command to identify the person that shot at Chief Olu Falae's vehicle since yesterday? It is an indication that they want to kill that matter, this is Nigeria where anything can happen,' he stated. Punch