*Calls for public inquiry into death
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Recently brutalized former Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Jokotola Pelumii has called for the setting up of a high powered public inquiry to unravel the cause of the death of a senior police officer, attached to the anti-cultism unit of the state police command, allegedly killed by a group of cultists in Agbowa, Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
On October 27, at about 4:30 p.m, a team of Anti Cultism Policemen attached to Area ‘N’ Ijede, of the Lagos State Command, were attacked while trying to effect arrest of some suspected cultists.
In the process, a police officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, Akingboju Akindele was killed.
Subsequently, investigation into the case led to the arrest of 49 suspects including Pelumi.
Following the death of Akindele, enraged policemen swooped on the rural community, manhandling many, and vandalized the former speaker’s property at will in the process.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal declared that the former speaker, alongside others, attacked and killed Akindele while chasing some suspected cultists.
According to Edgal, the suspects were traced to the former lawmaker’s house where they were reported to be hibernating after committing the dastardly act.
He said investigation had narrowed down the arrested suspects to five who actively took part in the crime.
The policeman’s rifle was also recovered at water front Ijede where it was burried.
Last week, Pelumi and six other suspects were arraigned by the Police before an Ebute Meta Magistrates court over the alleged murder of Akindele.
While Pelumi was arraigned for aiding the escape of some suspects in the crime, the six other persons were arraigned for the murder of the police officer.
The police in the charge accused the former Speaker of receiving into his home, a prime suspect Adekunle Dabiri, who was alleged to have taken part in the killing of the senior police officer.
The prosecution said the other accused persons conspired among themselves to murder DSP Akindele.
Pelumi pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail by Chief Magistrate A.O. Adedayo in the sum of N1million with two sureties. A lawmaker from his constituen perfected the bail conditions.
The magistrate also directed that one of the sureties must be a member of the State House of Assembly.
The magistrate however, ordered the remand of the other accused persons at the Ikoyi Prison, pending legal advice from the Office of the State Director of Public Prosecutions.
The case was adjourned tiil November 26, 2018 for mention.
Pelumi narrates ordeal
A visibly traumatized Pelumi, in a chat with Vanguard, at his Ikosi, Ketu, Lagos office on Tuesday, managed to utter some words: “It is only the setting up of a public inquiry that can help show the whole world what was responsible for thé death of a senior police officer who died at Agbowa recently, for which the police invaded the venue of a burial ceremony in the town and adjoining streets, unleashing terror on me and my family and vandalizing my property for no justifiable reason.
“What happened last week (penultimate week) when police invaded Agbowa and unleashed chaos on me and many other residents, to avenge the death of a senior police officer, and vandalizing my property in the course of that needless invasion, was a travesty of justice.
“What happened on that day was not something that should hapen in any decent society in this modern time. Such dastardly, occurence ought only occur in Banana Republics where Law and Order is an anathema.”
“I was at my house in Agbowa that day with some family members, when news filtered in that there was chaos nearby where a senior pilice officer was said to have lost his life in unexplainable circumstances. And immediately I heard that, I changed my mind to stay at home and not attending the burial ceremony of a departed community member, but putting calls through to the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, instead.
“I was therefore, caught unaware when a horde of heavily armed policemen scaled my fence, breaking down my doors to gain access, after which I was given the beating of my life with the butts their guns, which left deep cut on my left chin, that is very visible for all to see.
“Immediately they gained access to me, they did not just manhandle me but also took away the sum of $10,000 U.S. Dollars, #34,000 Naira, several expensive wrist watches, and jewelries, while several household electronics were destroyed.
“It was after they had done so much damage that they wisked me, two of my cousins, who had been with me in the house with their family all days, and two others who were servers at the party in town to Panti Police Station, Yaba, Lagos and detained us from early Sunday morning till Tuesday, when we were arraigned in court.”
Reacting to the police allegation that he allowed cultists to hide in his house after taking part in killing of the dead senior police officer, Pelumi declared: “To say that I habour cultists in my house is a blatant lie from the pit of hell. How can I, a senior member of the Bar, and a former number three citizen of Lagos State do such a thing. It is absolutely impossble for me to do that.
“What I learnt is that the deceased police officer was runover by the police van that the police brought and not killed by anyone. And that is why I demand for the setting up of a public inquiry to unravel what happened.”
Asked if he would press charges against the police, Pelumi decleared: “As a responsible citizen, I still strongly believe that the system will do the needful by ensuring that justice is done. And most commendably, the Lagos State is already seeing to that.
“What is clear is that by the time an autopsy is carried out on the late senior police officer, the cause of his death would have been unravelled.”