Aggrieved residents of Iwo Town in Osun State have burnt down a police station following the killing of a young man allegedly by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, a notorious police unit.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the victim, Tunde Nafiu, was shot while he was trying to board a commercial motorcycle to Ile-Ogbo, a neighbouring community, at about 9:30 p.m. on Thursday.
The victim was said to be a student of the Federal Polytechnic, Iree in Osun State.
Consequent upon the shooting, residents gathered on Friday in protest, leading to the burning of the police station in the town.
A witness said a stray bullet hit Mr Nafiu when the SARS officers were shooting into the air.
“At about 9:30 pm yesterday, there was a carnival along Ile-Ogbo area of Iwo,” said a witness who asked not to be named. “At that time, the SARS guys were trying to parade and they were obstructed as a result of the on-going carnival. Afterwards, the officers were able to pass but they saw people gyrating. That prompted the shooting from the security operatives.”
Another resident, Iyanu Ajao, told this newspaper that the death of the young man led youth in the town to mobilise for a protest, today, against the unlawful killing, which then resulted in the razing of the police station.
According to Dauda Ahmed, who also witnessed the protest, the incident was not the first as the police officers are reportedly fond of threatening residents by shooting.
“This is not the first time. We need to show them that they can’t just behave anyhow. All these have to stop,” he said.
The Press Secretary to the monarch of Iwo land, Ibrahim Ali, also confirmed the incident but could not give our reporter a detailed report on the killing.
“We are discussing the issue with the king now,” he said. “I’ll get back to you later.”
However, the spokesperson for the Osun State Police Command, Folashade Odoro, refused to comment on the issue. She said she was in the middle of a programme when contacted.
There are reports that the police officer who fired the shot has been detained.
The killing happened a week after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo ordered the Inspector General of Police to ensure the reformation of SARS in the police structure.