Mystery ‘goat’ auctioned for N300-CONTROVERSY over the "mystery goat" which allegedly turned from a suspected car thief, may have been put to rest, as the Kwara State Police command has auctioned the animal for N300.
It would be recalled that the mysterious incident had last week sparked off controversies in Ilorin, the state capital, over the possibility of a human being turning into an animal
Disclosing this to Daily Champion in Ilorin, State Police Commissioner Mr. Donald Iroham said the law has been followed as prescribed in Section 31 of the Police Act.
Dismissing the story as absurd, impossible and unscientific, he said the Police has followed a court order to sell the sheep as an unclaimed property.
This may have led to rest the argument on the place of voodoo recognition by the Nigerian legal system. While the likes of the leader of the vigilante group that arrested the "goat", Prince Nasirudeen Alebiosu were of the view that voodoo was beyond the understanding of science and technology, the CP said the Police only recognize things that can be scientifically proven and justified.
Prince Alebiosu, in a chat with Daily Champion alleged that it was not new to the state as one Fatai Agbefo of Okelele area of Ilorin turned into a fowl and cat respectively about five years ago before being set ablaze by the people of his community.
The University of Ilorin 1988 Mathematics graduate-turned vigilante group leader cited many instances in the past when they had given useful information to the security operatives in the state to avert crime.
The Police chief explained that the vigilante was useful to the police as the job of policing cannot be left entirely in the hands of the Police as they cannot police everywhere. However, he stressed that the laws did not permit the vigilante to carry arms and urged them to collaborate with the police to rid the society of crime.
However, the CP likened the goat story to the unidentified flying object (UFO) and Bermuda Triangular tales which he said were "unsubstantiated." We are in a modern age when everything has to be empirically substantiated.
The action of the Police would make Ilorin residents to put an end to the strange tale which had in the past one week attracted many people to the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to have a glimpse of the "goat" and ultimately douse controversies on the efficacy as well as veracity of voodoo in the Nigerian society.Many Nigerians believe that magicians can turn themselves into goats written by MICHAEL OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
POLICE HOLD 'ROBBER ' GOAT-BBC-Andrew WAlker
Police in Nigeria are holding a goat handed to them by a vigilante group, which said it was a car thief who had used witchcraft to change shape.
A police spokesman in Kwara State has been quoted as saying that the "armed robbery suspect" would remain in custody until investigations were over.
But another police spokesman told the BBC the goat was being held in case its owner claimed it.
The belief in witchcraft and the power to change shapes is common in Nigeria.
Police reform activists have condemned the "arrest", saying it highlights the low education levels of many Nigerian police officers.
Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper has a picture of the goat and reports that police paraded it in front of journalists in the Kwara state capital Ilorin on Thursday.
But this was denied by national police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu.
"The vigilante group arrested the goat and took it to the police, then they told the media."
The next morning journalists turned up demanding to see the goat, he said.
"But of course goats can't commit crime."
The BBC's Andrew Walker in Abuja says communities often rely on ill-educated and badly prepared vigilante squads to fill the gaps where the police will not patrol at night.
Innocent Chukwuma of the justice reform group the Cleen Foundation, told the BBC that many Nigerian police officers were poorly educated.
"There are officers who don't even have a secondary school education, and the police have a big job to do in finding these people and getting rid of them."
He said in the past political leaders had allowed the police to be filled with incompetent and in some cases criminal officers so they could be easily bought to protect their own criminal activities.
Police have also been unable to stop vigilante squads from lynching suspects before they could investigate, he said.
ORIGINAL Vanguard Story:
Police parade goat as robbery suspect
Written by Demola Akinyemi
*For attempting to ‘steal’ a Mazda car
It was a shocking sight yesterday as men of the Kwara State Police Command paraded a goat as an armed robbery suspect.
The goat "robbery suspect"
The goat "suspect" is being detained over an alleged attempt to snatch a Mazda car. The mysterious goat, according to the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Tunde Mohammed, while briefing bewildered journalists at the Force headquarters, is an armed robber who attempted to snatch the said car, Wednesday night, and later transformed into the goat in a bid to escape arrest.
He explained that men of a vigilance group in Anifowose Ipata/Oloje areas of the state capital had chased two armed robbery suspects who wanted to demobilise the Mazda car with the intention of stealing it, and
"while one of them escaped, the other was about to be apprehended by the team when he turned his back on the wall and turned to this goat. They quickly grabbed the goat and here it is.’’ Mohammed said.
The police spokesman said the goat "armed robbery suspect" will not be left off the hook until investigations into the case are concluded.
He also said that no fewer than five stolen vehicles have been recovered by the state Police Command while some suspects were also arrested. Among those arrested, he said was one Idowu Oni of Araromi area of Akure who escaped from Akure Prison.
He added that the escaped convict was arrested in Ilorin after stealing a Mazda 323 car belonging to Mrs. Henrietta Ayijesu.
He also said another armed robbery and rape suspect was in their custody, assuring that the suspects will soon appear in court.
UPDATED: Tuesday January 27 2009
Police to sell sheep paraded as car thief
Written by Demola Akinyemi
*Vigilante head wants mystery animal prosecuted
The dust raised by the mysterious “sheep” that was paraded last week by the Kwara State Police Command as a suspect in an attempt to steal a Mazda car in Ilorin appeared not to be over as the sheep has refused to eat grass or any other thing but has been feeding only on water since the day it was detained by the police.
The sheep which is still in the custody of the police was said to be a 'robbery suspect' which turned into a sheep to avoid arrest when the suspect met a brick wall as he was being pursued by a vigilance team.
The head of the team, Prince Omoniyi Nasirudeen, however, insisted that the “sheep” should be prosecuted, arguing that it was a human being armed robbery suspect that mysteriously turned to the animal.
He said: “The suspected car thief we wanted to apprehend turned to that sheep, we quickly apprehended it and even alerted the residents who all came out to see it.’’
The sheep suspected to be human
He further explained that the armed robbers who attempted to steal the car were two and that when they beamed torchlight on them with the intention of apprehending them they ran away and they were chased until one of them disappeared while the second suspect turned to sheep.
He added that “the suspect was actually a human being and was still running until he was pursued to a corner where he quickly put his back behind the wall with one of the legs and turned to the sheep which was quickly grabbed.”
He said further that the entire residents were immediately alerted to come and see what happened and that one elderly woman among the crowd called the sheep Saliu and later went away.''
When asked if he can still identify the elderly woman and why she was not arrested based on the revelation, he said he could not identify the woman and that she was not arrested because there was no clear link between her and the suspects.
Efforts to get the update of the development as at press time from the head of the vigilancte group proved abortive as his GSM line was not available.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Donald Iroham, said yesterday that investigation has been concluded in the matter and that the animal will be sold off within the next 24 hours if no one came forward to claim it.
The police boss, who addressed a press conference yesterday at the Police Headquarters in Ilorin, explained that the command was being guided by the Police Act part 4 section 3 (1) which states that if any property comes to the custody of the police, the court of jurisdiction may on application sell the item and pay the proceed to police reward fund account.
“We are expecting the court order, then we will put the sheep on sale for whoever is interested to come and buy, if within the next 24 hours the owner refused to come and claim it,’’ he stressed.
The police commissioner, who suspended his yearly leave to address the press, however, described the incident as an embarrassment to the police authorities because it was not possible for such incident to happen in this 24 th Century.
According to him, ''it is not possible for a man to turn to a sheep, it is not scientific, it is not possible, it should be discarded, we are not happy about it at all.’’
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Government has appealed to the people of the state, especially the residents of Ilorin to disregard the alleged mysterious sheep accused of being a man who had attempted to snatch a car.