By Dayo Johnson, Akure
The corpses of a community chief and two others allegedly crushed to death at a police check-point in Odigbo council area of Ondo State were dumped at the Police Divisional Headquarters, Kajola by protesting youths, weekend.
The victims, who were reportedly killed while on a motorcycle and heading home from their farms, include the chief of Korede village, Kola Akinduro, David Olowofeyekun and Gbenga Abayomi.
The youths, who threatened to burn the police station over the alleged killings, declared that they do not want to see policemen in the community henceforth following the killings at the police checkpoints along Lagos/Benin Expressway.
An eyewitness revealed that the police officers in the community were extorting and harassing the residents of the areas at the checkpoint.
The eyewitness, Funmi Olowogboye, said the police stopped the deceased at the checkpoint, Saturday evening, and while trying to halt an on-coming Hilux van, the driver manoeuvred to dodge the police and ran into the motorcycle.
“The Hilux driver crushed the three victims on the motorcycle where they were parking at the instruction of the police officers, who wanted to collect money from them,” the eyewitness said.
The community leader, Chief Oloruntobi Maiyegun, said he had to mobilise the personnel of Amotekun and other security agencies to the scene to forestall break down of law and order adding that he had to appeal to the youths not to burn down the police station.
Acting on a security report, the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, reportedly deployed the Amotekun personnel to the troubled community.
Also, the state Police Commissioner, Oyeyemi Oyediran visited the community to calm the frayed nerves and appealed to the angry youths for peace.
Contacted, the state police spokesperson, Funmi Odunlami, absolved the police of complicity, noting that the deceased flouted the traffic law and incidentally had an accident.
Odunlami said: “It was not due to the recklessness of the police officers, they took one way and they had an accident. So there was no way the police can be reckless in a situation where there is a route to take and they took another one.
“Of course, it was an oncoming vehicle that they collided with and died, it was not police recklessness.”