Angela, wife of the 52-year-old Assistant Superintendent of Police, Ojo Ayeni, crushed to death on a motorbike along Ado–Ijan Road in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, by a van of the Rapid Response Squad of the Nigeria Police says the officers, who drove recklessly, were chasing suspected fraudsters otherwise known as ‘Yahoo boys’ when they hit the deceased.
SaharaReporters had on Tuesday exclusively reported that Ayeni, who was riding on a bike, was crushed by the RRS van chasing suspected internet fraudsters from opposite direction.
“The RRS operatives were in two Hilux vehicles chasing a Benz. I don’t know where they were chasing the guys from, as they were about to overtake the Benz, the deceased who is popularly known as Baba Ada was coming from the other side and one of the vehicles hit him. He died immediately,” a source had told SaharaReporters.
However, spokesperson for the Ekiti Police Command, Sunday Abutu, in a statement on Wednesday shamelessly attacked SaharaReporters over the story.
He had said, “The Ekiti State Police Command implores members of the public to disregard the news as it was not true but falsely fabricated to ridicule and dent the image of the Ekiti State Police Command and the Nigeria Police Force at large.
“Upon the receipt of the report, the RRS Commander deployed three patrol vehicles with adequate operatives to that axis for the operation. Unfortunately, while on their way, one of the three patrol vehicles developed a mechanical fault, went off its lane and hit an oncoming motorcycle ridden by a policeman who had closed from work and was returning home.
“The policeman was rushed to the hospital for medical attention but was confirmed dead by a medical doctor while eight other RRS operatives in the patrol vehicle sustained different degrees of injuries and are currently in the hospital receiving medical attention.
“In view of this, the Ekiti State Police Command is at loss at the mental status of the Sahara Reporters that propagated the fake news. The reporter (from Sahara) did not patiently and professionally confirm the story but shamelessly chose to disrespect the life of the policeman that was lost while on national assignment.
“Sahara Reporters’ action is very disgraceful, unfortunate, ungodly, inhuman and not in line with the practice of good journalism. Members of the public are, therefore, enjoined to disregard and discountenance the news and consider it as one of those fake news on the social media that are aimed at causing unnecessary tension, portraying the Nigeria Police Force in bad unpleasant garb and procreating an uprise against the force.”
Speaking with PUNCH, widow of the deceased and eyewitnesses said the officer was crushed by RRS operatives chasing ‘Yahoo boys’.
Angele said, “That Tuesday morning, he dressed up and went to work. But at about 4:00pm, he took a bike and went to his project site where some people were working for him. When he got there, he paid the workers and rode to my shop nearby. We discussed and he said he would not eat as he was not feeling hungry. He said he was returning to work at his division and I said he should take care of himself. He left not knowing that it was the last time I would see him alive.
“About an hour later, a commercial motorcycle rider came around and said a terrible accident had happened. He stated that some RRS operatives were pursuing some internet fraudsters (Yahoo boys) and in the process hit a policeman riding on a black bike. He said the accident was terrible and that the RRS operatives had put the policeman in their vehicle. I rushed there to confirm because my husband rode on a black bike when he came to my shop.
“When I got there, I saw the bike mangled. The RRS vehicle crossed from its lane to the other lane and hit my husband. I asked which hospital they took him to but nobody could say specifically until much later when I got wind that it was a police clinic. I went there to see him and take him to another hospital if need be for proper medical attention.
“When I got to the police clinic, it was his lifeless body I saw at the back of the van. There was blood everywhere. I went there, cried, prayed, attempted to wake him and held the lifeless body to myself. Later, they said they would take him to the mortuary. I said I would do that, but they said no. I followed them to mortuary.’’
The woman, who said life would never be the same again without her husband, said the love they shared was great.
She also raised the alarm over her husband’s phone, saying, “We have not recovered my husband’s phone and it has since been switched off. The phone was in his pocket when he left my shop. One of the people who carried the body into the van must have taken his phone.”