By Sheriff Ibrahim
The People of Arandun town in Irepodun local government area of Kwara state has decried the invasion of the community by fully armed men of the Nigeria Police Force, amidst performance of ritual that ushers in the celebration of Egugu cultural festival.
Arandun is an ancient town, with over twenty satellite agrarian villages hosting settlers from Iragbiji, Ila-Orangun, Iresi, Igbajo, Otan-Aiyegbaju and host of other people from Osun State and other South West States of Nigeria. It is a town that host five percent of Hausa/Fulani residents of Kwara State and other tribes, known for its peaceful nature that stand out in peaceful co-habitation, despite being a border town of Osun State and Kwara State.
According to SOS sent to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, signed by the trio of Olawuyi Emmanuel, Bobawale Onifade and Abdulraman Ajayi, “The peace loving people of Arandun town were thrown to a state of cadaverous yesterday June 14, 2023, when a team of hard looking and fully armed men of Nigeria Police embarked on indiscriminate arrest, cudgeling, bastinadoes and humiliation of the law abiding people of Arandun town and its environs at the beginning of the traditional performance of ritual that ushers in the celebration of Egugu cultural festival.”
They noted that the festival is an annual ritual that brings people from overseas with huge economy benefits to Arandun town, Irepodun Local Government, Kwara state and Nigeria in general.
“It is a mise-en-scene of the highest level of radicalization by the men of Nigeria Police, claiming and shouting IG order, IG order while brutality were at the peak on the unharmed people of Arandun town. Some of handsets/cameras/phone sets of our people were seized by the men of Nigeria Police Force”, the statement added.
The community therefore called for the intervention of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to call the Inspector General of Police to order and stop further invasion and indiscriminate arrest of the people of Arandun town without issuance of warrant.
The indigents also urged President Tinubu to ensure full investigation into the matter and ensure that law take its full course on the erring officers of Nigeria Police Force that involve in this dastard act.
However, investigation by Fresh Insight revealed that the Inspector General of Police (INGEPOL) Monitoring Unit had via a letter dated 7th June, 2023 with reference number CR.3000/IGFSEC/MU/TA/ADM/ABINVOL.028 and addressed to Oba Ibikunle Olapade Adekanye, the Paramount Ruler of Arandun Community, invited the traditional ruler and fourteen (14) others over an alleged case of criminal conspiracy, serial killing, kidnapping and criminal intimidation among others.
According to the letter, Oba Adekanye of Arandun was expected to report at the Force Headquarters in Abuja on Monday 19th June, 2023 at 10:00am, with the 14 other concerned persons. It was however a surprise, as the Police invaded the community five days to their invitation, to arrest some of the invited persons.
The letter by the IGP monitoring unit, which is signed by the Head of the Unit, ACP. Ibrahim M. Musa reads, “LETTER OF INVITATION
RE: CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY, CONTINOUS ACT OF SERIAL KILLING. MALICIOUS DEMOLITION OF TRADITIONAL OBA IBUOYE PALACE ARCH ATTEMPIED TO DEMOLISH PRIVATE PROPERTY. MULTIPLE CASES OF GRUEL MURDER, KIDNAPPING. ASSASSINATION. CONTINOUS ACT OF CRIMINAL INTIMIDATION.
THREAT TO LIFE.ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION AND OTHER HILARIOUS CRIMES.
“This office is investigating the above mentioned case reported to the Inspector General of Police in which your name and others featured prominently and the need to seek for certain ciarification to enable the unit take an informed decision has become imperative.
“In view of the foregoing, you are kindly requested to interview the undersigned, through SP Usman Garba (08037827231) on MoNday 19th June, 2023 by 1000hrs along with the following persons:(1) Mr. Oladele Olanrewaju (2) Mr. Laitan Abidove a.k.a Omo Spain (3) Mr. Oloye Esa (4) Mr. Nathaniel Adewoyc(5) Mr. Ben Adewove (6) Mr. Gbenga Adewoye (7) Mr. Toyin Ibitoye (8) Mr. Mr. Wale Awoyale (9) Mr. Gbenga Awolaye (10) Mr. Lekan Awolaye (11) Mr. Segun Adeoye (12) Mr. Seun Tolagbe (13) Mr. Rufus Awoyale(14) Mr. Saka Ajisafe and others to shed more light on the allegations.
“Accept the assurances of my highest regards, please”, it added.
When contacted, the Kwara state Police Public Relation Officer, SP Ajayi Okasanmi although said “Personally, I am not aware of the incident. But I am sure the IGP monitoring Team wouldn’t have carry out an operation within Kwara state without reporting at the Kwara state Command. That’s the procedure.”
When contacted, the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi said “I don’t know the nature of the case in contention. Invitation is just an honor, it is not known to Police law. If it’s a criminal case, the accused persons can be picked up at anytime, it doesn’t matter whether they are invited or not.”