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[EXCLUSIVE] Akirun stool: How Police officers enforcing Gov Oyetola’s order to forcefully open Akirun palace shot my brother dead – Gboleru Ruling House spokesman

...Palace burnt

The ancient town of Ikirun, headquarters of Ifelodun Local Government of Osun State again witnessed another bloody turmoil on Wednesday (yesterday) over the lingering Akinrun kingship tussle. 

NewsClick Nigeria reports that the crisis started when Governor Gboyega Oyetola some few weeks back  announced the appointment of Prince Yinusa Olalekan Akadiri of Oba-Ara Ruling House as the new Akinrun of Ikirun.

However, the selection of the new king and subsequent announcement did not go down well with indigenes of the town who immediately trooped out enmass to reject the Governor’s choice. Since then, the Akirun Palace had been under lock and key and the whereabouts of the new king unknown.

According to findings and going by the last two occupants to the throne, the Gboleru Ruling House of Ikirun, is the next to produce the next Akinrun of Ikirun hence the rejection of Prince Akadiri by indigenes.

However, in what appears like a new development on Wednesday, Ikirunland witnessed another disturbance when men of the Osun State Police Command stormed the palace for a possible reopening.

According to eyewitness accounts who confided in NewsClick Nigeria, the move to reopen the palace was vehemently opposed by the youths who insisted that the selection of the new Oba did not follow due process.

NewsClick Nigeria gathered that the officers released teargas to disperse the youths and they (the youths) responded with stones. It was at this stage that the officers began firing live bullets which led to the killing of one of the youths, identified as Lukman Omoola.  A section of the palace was also burned by the protesting youths.

‘How my brother was murdered in cold blood’

Speaking in an exclusive interview with NewsClick Nigeria on Thursday, elder brother of the deceased and spokesperson of Gboleru Ruling House, Abimbola Tooki said: ‘In an obvious attempt by Gov Oyetola to impose his candidate on Ikirun people as king before leaving office, he (Oyetola) sent police operatives to unseal the Akinrun Palace which had been under lock and key since the very day he (Oyetola) announced Prince Akadiri as Oba-Elect.

‘The youths in their numbers rejected the moves by the officers to unlock the palace. To have their way, the officers started firing teargas and the youths responded with stones. When the teargas didn’t work, they started firing live bullets killing my brother on the spot in the process. Others sustained various degree of injuries and are still at the hospital,’ he said.

Asked if the deceased has been buried, he replied: ‘No. We have deposited his corpse at the mortuary.’

Osun Government keeps mum 

Meanwhile the Osun State Government is yet to react or issue a statement on the crisis almost 24 hours after. Efforts by NewsClick Nigeria to get the reaction of the state government was unsuccessful as at press time.

Police deny shooting allegations 

The Osun State Police Command has denied allegations that its personnel shot at members or killed anyone in Ikiriland on Wednesday.

In a statement signed by the Command’s spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, the Commissioner of Police, Faleye Sunday Olaleye, disclosed that policemen were drafted to the palace to provide protection to those renovating the palace when armed hoodlums shot at them.

During the shooting, Olaleye revealed that two Police Inspectors, Obajobi Adedokun and Raji Abiodun were injured.

He also revealed that fire service personnel who were called in to put out the palace fire were attacked on their way to the palace.

According to the Osun Police boss, “They were rushed to hospital for treatment. They set the palace ablaze and also attacked the fire brigade personnel and injured one Orunwumi Roseline and Abel Olayinka and attacked their truck while on their way to the palace to put out the fire.”

The CP, while recalling that he had held a peace meeting with the contending parties on the need to allow peace to reign in the town and the state, expressed worries that the kingship crisis erupted again on Wednesday.

“The Osun State Commissioner of Police, CP Faleye S. Olaleye, psc is miffed about the Kingship crisis that erupted in Ikirun town today 23rd November, 2022 despite series of peace meetings held with the relevant stakeholders/parties over the kingship tussle since the announcement of the installation of the new Akinrun by the State Government.

“It would be recalled that yesterday 22nd November, 2022, the Commissioner of Police held another round of peace meeting with the contending parties on the need to allow peace to reign in Ikirun and the State in general, where all consented to maintain peace, but was surprised to learn about the attack on security personnel, fire brigade personnel and the burning of the Akinrun of Ikirun Palace by armed hoodlums who shot two Police officers and injured two fire service personnel.”

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