Members of the group have been arrested by the police.
Police have rounded up members of the Ogun State Command of Vigilance Service after its members on Sunday erroneously shot dead two persons in Abeokuta, while searching for suspected armed robbers.
The incident occurred at Adigbe area of the town following a distress call received by the command from the neighbourhood.
On arriving at 18a Sorinola Street,Oniyanrin, located opposite the popular Erinmo Temple at about 1.00am, the team ordered residents of the building to open the already locked gate,alleging that they were looking for armed robbers.
The residents, majority of them who are in their 20’s and early 30’s, however thought it was gang of armed robbers trying to play smart on them,and in compliance with the directive, two of the residents came out to voluntarily open the gate.
Ironically, as the duo were attempting to open the gate, one of the vigilante members who had already taken a position in a dark corner from a neighbouring building opened fire on the two men, who he thought were armed robbers.
Thereafter, the vigilante members forced their way into the compound, to ransack the rooms, while those shot identified as Moroof Raji(29) and Akeem Usman(32) lay bleeding profusely.
As the ransacking was going on, other residents begged that those shot were not armed robbers and should be taken to the hospital. The two men were later rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta. Both died due to loss of blood.
Moroof was a Business Administration student of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic,Abeokuta currently on one year industrial attachment.
Akeem,a former staff of MTN, was said to have come to Abeokuta from a Lagos where he works, to attend an Islamic programme scheduled for 10.00am on Sunday. He was said to have resolved to sleep in a friend’s when the calamity befell him.
His driver,Abayomi Awoyajo who also sustained injuries on the head after being battered during the raid, said they were all inside when at about 1.00am,the men came asking us to open door.
“We all thought they were armed robbers, we started running helter-skelter, some of us hid in the wardrobe, while some hide under the chairs,” he said.
The 30 year old driver, who wept profusely during the interview with journalists, recalled that, both his boss and Moroof took the courage to open the main gate, adding that it was while trying to open the gate, that one of the hidden member of the vigilante opened fire on them.
He said, the two victims in pool of blood crawled back into the house,crying loud, while the vigilante forced their way inside to continue dealing with all of them in a brutal matter.
“They even asked for brother Akeem’s car key which I gave to them, but could not be taken out because of the security device installed in it. The shot and myself were later rushed to the hospital,”’ he explained.
As at the time of this report, all members of the vigilante team for the operation had been arrested by the police from Adigbe station, while the case is to be transferred to Eleweran Police Headquarters, Abeokuta on Monday.
When contacted, the Vigilante Service Commander,Femi Bisiriyu said, his men acted on distress call to the place, but lamented that the victims were shot as a result of mistaken identity.
He explained that the area is known to be volatile,which in recent time had become robbers incessant target,hence, when a distress call was received, the men raced to the place. He explained that, his men opened fire in self defence, when it was noticed that, one of the victim was holding a gun-like object while trying to open the gate.
Mr. Bisiriyu confirmed the arrest of his men by the police, adding that, investigation on the matter has commenced by the police authority. He said, the killing was in error and mistaken identity.