HOW IBADAN GOLDSMITH WAS HACKED DOWN
He had gone through hard times as a young man. Having lost his father, Pa Azeez, 22 years ago, he struggled to train himself as a goldsmith. He soon became a successful gold trader, with office in Oranyan, Ibadan, Oyo State. The business took him to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and European countries.
As a sign of his affluence, he bought his third vehicle, a Pathfinder jeep. In appreciation of God's blessing in his life and to mark the 22nd year celebration of his father's death, he organized a prayer session at which Islamic clerics prayed at his twin bungalow building at Ire-Akari, Olomi-Olunde, Ibadan.
However, less than 24 hours after the prayer, his dream of riding in his new car and enjoying the fruits of his labour was brought to an abrupt end by merchants of death who stormed the house. He was sent on a journey of no return by three armed men on Saturday, February 4, 2012.
Yakubu Azeez, a.ka Ojutalayo, 46, was in his bedroom, as his wife Morufat, had travelled to Dubai, in one of the family's business trips shortly after the prayer on Friday. His six children and mother were sleeping in another building within the same compound when the assailants arrived. The sons of the devil had gained entry into the compound by scaling the fence of the building and accessing Yakubu's bedroom by breaking the ceiling. He was then shot at close range in the chest and left in the pool of his blood.
The yelling of 'Mama mi o' (My mother) woke other members of the family, but it was rather too late. His youngest brother, Ishola (20) who was said to have rushed out of his room on hearing the screaming and the gunshot was ordered by the gunmen to go back to his room. They went to his mother's room and dragged the old woman to come and behold his son's lifeless body. Not satisfied, the agents of death, went to the new jeep parked inside the compound, broke the rear and side mirrors and carted away all the gold kept inside it.
His wife was immediately contacted. She was said to be on her way back home when Daily Sun visited. 'He was loved by all, as he had helped a lot of people and he was a devout Muslim. He constructed a big mosque for the use of Muslims in this area,' Abiola, one of the deceased's brothers said.
Sympathizers wore long faces, they shook their heads and murmured in disbelief, raining curses on those behind the dastardly act. 'I couldn't believe it when I heard. We were together yesterday (Friday) at the prayer he organized for our late father, only for me to be called on the phone that he had been killed.' Abiola told this reporter.
Fighting back tears, he described his late brother as a perfect gentleman and very generous. Asked if he heard any news of his brother being involved in any deal or disagreement with anybody which might warrant his death, he simply replied, 'I have not heard of any of such disagreement or deal whatsoever with anybody'.
Muniru (a.k.a Ige-Owo), another brother to the deceased said: 'This was a man who helped many of his brothers and even other people.' He lamented that he was not sure of what the fate of the family would be after the death of its breadwinner.
Alhaji Opeyemi, the Naib-Imam of the mosque constructed by Yakubu said he received a call around 2.00a.m, asking him to come to the late Yakubu's house: 'I knew something terrible had happened immediately I received that call and when I got there, it was a terrible sight.' He added that neighbours had called the Atagba and Sanyo police stations alerting them of the incident, but were told that there was no vehicle to come to the area: 'They later came around 8.00a.m, took his photographs, while his body was taken to Adeoyo State Hospital, Yemetu, Ibadan, where autopsy was done. But as a Muslim, we insisted that his body be released to us.'
The remains of Yakubu were later committed to mother earth same day in accordance with Islamic injunctions after police had taken necessary sample. Opeyemi described Yakubu as a devout Muslim: 'He was the one who constructed this mosque for the use of Muslims in this area. We have indeed benefitted from his wealth. He will be missed by all.' Meanwhile, the Oyo State Police Command promised to unravel the mysterious death of the businessman. The Divisional Police Officer at Sanyo Police Station, Mr Abiola Haruna, confirmed that the incident was reported at his station, while hinting that the police had since commenced investigations on the matter.
Mr Moses Onireti, the state Commissioner of Police, said the matter had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) for proper investigation. He added that when the police detectives visited the scene of the incident, it was confirmed the assailants actually broke through the ceiling of the house before hacking down their target. He advised members of the public to always come up with useful information that would help the police in their investigation.