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How Police Kill Artisan In Ogun

Police Officer attached to the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FEDSARS) of Ogun State Police Command recently shot and kill a Truck Welder, Paul Hodewu aka Agbede in Ilashe area of Ipokia Local Government Area of the state.
The incident which threw the whole community into chaos was as a result of the deceased failing to complete a job contracted to him by one Ope Fashola.
The Police Officer named Wasiu Lawal was said to have opened fire on Hodewu while the Royal father of the town, Oba John Adewale, The Alase of Ilase was trying to settle the rift between the duo.
Speaking with Our correspondent at Idiroko, one of the eyewitness known as Abiodun said the late Hodewu was given a sum of N600,000, leaving a balance of N200,000 to help in repairing a truck.
The late artisan stopped work on the truck because he had not been given the balance for the job.
His words, “On Wednesday August 16, Ope Fashola led four operatives of FEDSARS to Hodewu’s workshop and demanded he completed the job or be arrested”.
The late artisan was taken to the palace of Alase of Ilase, Oba John Adewale in order to settle the matter.
At the palace, Hodewu was said to have agreed to complete the work and demanded the payment of his balance, which Ope agreed and payed him Fifty Thousand Naira in the presence of those at the Palace.
The meeting however ended on a tragic note when one of the FEDSARS operatives led by one Wasiu Lawal opened fire on Hodewu, killing him on the spot.
It was learnt that the incident was reported to Idiroko Police Division.
Hodewu’s body has since been deposited in a public mortuary.
It was learnt that Ope has since bolted without a trace.
The incident led to an outrage as residents protested the killing, noting that SARS operatives have been lately deployed by some unnamed affluent persons in the community to terrorise people.
The protest lasted several hours as angry residents demanded the removal of the community’s monarch, who they also accused of complicity in the death of Hodewu.
Hodewu’s colleagues in a local chapter of the Welders Association also protested the killing on the streets of Idiroko.
It took the intervention of monarchs from neighbouring communities to calm the protesters who vowed to raze the palace.
A resident, Adebowale Joshua said: ‘’ It was a civil matter messed up by FEDSARS operatives. Why should armed policemen be used to harass an artisan over a job given to him?
‘’The policemen were brought to Agbede’s ( Hodewu) residence by the aggrieved customer called Ope, who lives in Ilashe.
They took him from his house to the palace of a monarch in Ilashe, who brokered peace between Ope and the late artisan.
He (Hodewu) pleaded for more time to complete the job requesting the payment of his service charges (N200,000) and Ope promised to pay him the next day.
‘’While everyone at the palace were happy that the matter was amicably resolved, no one knows why one of the policemen ‘hired’ by the aggrieved customer fired the shot that killed Hodewu on the spot.’’
Another resident identified simply as Anthonio said SARS operatives are being hired by socialites in the community as security escorts to parties and social gatherings, during which the operatives fired shots indiscriminately to scare people all in the name of protecting their principals.
‘’ It is high time the police authorities did something to stop people from hiring policemen especially SARS operatives to protect them at social functions and recovered their belongings especially landed property.
In this local government area, it is common to find policemen serving as escorts to unscrupulous businessmen and socialites at social gatherings.’’
The late artisan whose house on SS Road near the Ipokia General Hospital, also served as workshop is survived by his aged mother, two wives and children.
Speaking on the ugly incident, the first son of the deceased, Sunday Hodewu a Part 3 student of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye said the killer of his father was heartless.
“My father was the sole breadwinner of the family, all our lives depended on him, now with his death, my siblings and mother seems to have a bleak future”.
He called on the Nigeria Police to urgently bring the culprit to look into the matter and bring all the perpetrators of the dastard acts to book so as to serve as deterrent to others.
Speaking to Our Correspondent on the issue, the Alase of Ilase, Oba Adewale denied having any complicity in the matter, adding that he was just invited to settle the matter.
“It was an Elder in my Church that called me to help in appealing to the Police to release the late Hodewu only for him to be shot by Wasiu who was already under the influence of alcohol”.
He then appealed to the Police authority to launch a proper investigation into the matter, denying that no money changed hands between him and the deceased.
Mr Abimbola Oyeyemi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) could not be reached for comments at press time.

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