The deceased, on his facebook page, described himself as a nice and caring person who likes to meet creative people and “people with a nice sense of humour.
Titilayo Edewor walked quietly into the spacious room and switched off the conversation about the death of her son. The news of the brutal killing of Oyoma, 33, allegedly by a police officer, last weekend, had added more wrinkles on her face than did her 63 years on earth.
Mrs. Edewor lost her husband two years ago; and then last Saturday night, Oyoma died after a police sergeant from the FESTAC Area Command allegedly pumped bullets into him after stopping his towed car.
“She went to the hospital for a medical check-up,” Junior, the deceased’s younger brother, who pleaded that their mother be out of earshot before discussing the incident, said.
“Since dad died, she can’t stay about 10 minutes in the house without thinking about my dad. Oyoma was the one always with her whenever she’s in the house… Now I’m just trying to be strong for her.”
The police, who had identified the trigger-happy cop as Godwin Otene, said that the sergeant is now in police custody and the circumstances surrounding the incident will be investigated.
“The Nigeria Police is a disciplined organization and will never tolerate any act of indiscipline from its members,” Ngozi Braide, Lagos Police Spokesperson, said in a statement on Monday.
Mrs. Edewor, who had been in the U.S., had returned to Nigeria for Junior’s marriage rites.
Oyoma, who studied Business Management at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, was to be the best man.
“We were drinking in the house on Saturday night when mum said that it was enough, because of the event the following day. He (Oyoma) said that he wanted to get fresh air,” Junior said.
“He, and one of my cousins, drove to the island, hung out for about 30 minutes, and started driving back,” he added.
At about 10.17 p.m., Junior said he got a phone call from the deceased, that his tyre had been punctured around Mile 2, and “that we may possibly not use the car (for the marriage ceremony).”
“He called me 20 minutes later that he was sorting it out. My mum even told him to leave the car there and come back home,” Junior added.
Eventually, the deceased succeeded in securing the service of a towing van, and at the first police checkpoint at the FESTAC link bridge, the driver reportedly parted with N300.
At the second checkpoint in front of the Area Command at 2nd Avenue, a few hundred metres away from the link bridge, the driver of the towing van did not stop.
“The towing van guy refused to stop, that he knows the policemen,” said Junior.
It was gathered that the police sergeant, who was stationed at the checkpoint, first used the butt of his gun to shatter the glass of the van, and as the driver continued his journey, he commandeered a green Toyota bus from a lady and gave chase.
“The towing guy claimed the brake of his van failed. When he got to the junction of 5th Avenue, instead of turning into the street, he continued towards Alakija and eventually stopped the van at a raised platform,” Junior said.
“He came down from his vehicle and ran.”
When the enraged police officer caught up with them, he told the deceased and his cousin, who were in the towed car, to remove their clothes and sit on the ground.
And then he fired his gun.
“At first my cousin said that he thought it was him that was shot because there was blood on his clothes. And then he realized it was Oyoma. He used his cloth to tie his arm but he was bleeding from the side. People heard the shot and started coming out. The policeman disappeared,” said Junior.
“When the police back up team arrived the scene, my cousin was holding one of the officers’ legs and pleading that they rush Oyoma to a hospital. They said that they will call an ambulance and left.”
Junior said that it was around 11.30 p.m. that they were informed about the incident and he rushed to the scene, just less than half a kilometre from their home.
“While we were there, six police vans, each of them carrying about eight officers, all of them armed, rushed there. They wanted to take the body away. If you see the way they came, I was so lucky my uncle was there.
“Later the police asked us to bring N5,000 to tow my brother’s car back to their station.”
On Tuesday afternoon, sympathizers and relatives trickled into the Edewors’ residence to sympathize with them.
On Monday, the family had hosted a press conference to narrate what transpired and call for justice.
The family said that the police officer who committed the act was pleading and saying that he “didn’t know what got into me, as if they were using a remote control on me.”
In their statement, the police admitted that the alleged culprit abandoned his duty post as the Station Guard at Area ‘E’ Command and assured the deceased family that their investigation will be concluded “in good time.”
The police did not react to the claims that the officer was drunk. But they did visit the deceased family on Monday – about half a dozen armed officers stood guard in the expansive compound, while another officer used an iPad to record the Area Commander’s visit.
Junior described his late brother as “a very quiet guy.”
“I would say he’s even a shy person. Most of us in the family are the loud type. He’s just laid back.”
On his Facebook profile, the deceased described himself as a nice and caring person who likes to meet creative people and “people with a nice sense of humour.”