By OLA AJAYI
IBADAN — A Consultant Surgeon, Accident and Emergency Unit, University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, Oyo State, Dr. Olukayode Oyetunde, yesterday told the Commission of Enquiry set up by Governor Abiola Ajimobi to probe the mayhem induced by the crises in the state chapter of National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, that 38 victims of the bloody clash between factions of the Union were brought to the hospital after the attack on June 5.
The doctor said that most of the victims had gunshot and machete injuries when they were rushed to the teaching hospital.
He gave his testimony just as the Deputy National Secretary of the NURT W, Chief John Olaoye, said the national leadership of the union did not recognize any of the warring factions led by Alhaji Lateef Akinsola and Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi.
To the national leaders of the union, there has been no legal state executive member since 1999 after the expiration of the tenure of a former chairman of the union, Chief James Ojewumi.
Olaoye told the Justice Olagoke Ige(rtd) led panel that the union leadership did not support how Alhaji Akinsola hijacked the chairmanship of the union from Chief Ojewunmi on August 17, 1999 , noting that it contravened the constitution of the drivers’ union.
On the claim of Alhaji Akinsola that he is still the authentic chairman of the union, the national leader said it was wrong for him to still hold tenaciously to the title after spending twelve years.
While giving evidence at the panel, Ojewunmi said he was overthrown by some members of the union at gunpoint.
According to him, “heavily armed members of the union asked me under duress to stand up and hand over my seat to Akinsola who was then sitting beside me as my deputy.
Initially, I resisted but some policemen at the place persuaded me to do so for my own sake. It was then I reluctantly handed over to him. I was also forced to raise his hand up to show that I have handed over to him.”
The forceful takeover of the chairmanship of the union, he said, was the genesis of the crises.