When in June 2013, Olayinka Kolawole gainedadmission to Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun State, to readMass Communication, his familyand friends rejoiced with him.
This was because Kolawole had been trying for three years to further his education after finishing from Sam Glory Secondary School, Ejigbo, Lagos.
However, the family was thrown into mourning a few days later after the 20-year-old was allegedly killed by policemen attached to Ejigbo Division.
The father of the deceased, Prophet Omisande Kolawole, told PUNCH Metrothat the incident occurred on June 15, 2013.
Narrating what transpired on the fateful day, Omisande said his son had gone to attend a friend’s birthday party but was killed on his way home.
He said, “My son went out to attend his friend’s birthday party not too far from our home. He said he would not stay long and we told him not to stay out too long. The following day, which was a Sunday, we did not see or hear from him and we began to panic.
“Later we heard that police embarked on a raid the previous night. We even thought he had been arrested. His mother, Grace Kolawole, and her nephew, Segun Adio, went to the Ejigbo Police Division but they were told that therewere no suspects in their cell.
“However, residents told us that they had seen my son’s corpse being conveyed by policemen. After about three hours later, the policemen opened up and told us that my son had been killed. My wife immediately fainted.”
Omisande said even after his wife had been revived, the police refused to take her statement as well as the statement of Adio, her nephew.
He said Adio and other residents set out to investigate what actually happened and it was discovered that his son was killed by a stray bullet which emanated from the gun of a policeman popularly known as Oba.
He said, “We were told that around 8pm on the fateful day, Titan Hotel, located at Asaolu Close, was holding an event tagged Ladies’ night. At thehotel, one policeman popularly known as Oba was having a drink and dancing with a lady.
“We learnt that Oba left the hotel premises to receive a telephone call but on returning to the hotel, Oba got into a fight with a youth over the lady he wasdancing with. The altercation degenerated into fisticuffs and Oba ran out of the premises and called his colleagues for back-up.
“When his colleagues arrived at the scene, a shoot-out ensued. During the shooting, my son, who was on his way home from another party was hit in the head by a stray bullet and died instantly.”
Omisande said since his son’s killing, life had not been the same. He said his wife was hospitalised and was only recently discharged.
The deceased’s mother, Grace, who spoke to PUNCH Metro while fighting back tears, said everything was still like a dream.
“Olayinka was the first of my three children. My other children are still young and it feels as if all my labour has been in vain. I want justice for his death,” she said.
Omisande described his son as a responsible boy and wondered why the police would attempt to cover up his murder.
“The policemen at Ejigbo prevented us from seeing the Divisional Police Officer. We are being treated with comtempt because we are not rich. All we want is justice for our son’s murder.”
When contacted on the telephone, the spokesperson for the state policecommand, Ngozi Braide, confirmed Olayinka’s murder.
She said the matter would be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, for further investigation.
She said, “The DPO told me that around 2am on the said date, they received a distress call that cult members were fighting. On getting to the scene, the cult members fled but policemen discovered the young man’s corpse.
“The father of the deceased told the DPO that one policeman identified as Oba was responsible for his son’s death. However, we have not been able to get the actual identity of the policeman. We are transferring the case to the SCID for further investigation.
“We are however calling on eyewitnesses to come forward and we promise that their identities will be protected.”