Unrepentant police officers in Ondo State have allegedly killed Aderonke Eze, a widow who owns a “mini bear parlor joint” close to her residence in Akure, SaharaReporters learned on Monday.
Mrs. Eze, who lived at No. 1, Akinyemi Street, off Ijoka road, Sijuwade close in Akure, was slain with a gun butt by police officers from the Ala unit of the Oda Divisional Police Station of the Ondo State Command.
SaharaReporters gathered that the late widow was killed on Sunday evening by the officers.
After her death, the policemen dumped the remains of the deceased widow, who left behind three little children, at the general hospital’s morgue in Akure.
It was learnt that the killer police officers, seven in number, stormed the streets around 6: 45 PM on Sunday in a Hilux van with a register plate number NPF 4236 B from the Oda Divisional Station.
Witnesses told SaharaReporters’ correspondent that the policemen were carrying out an illegal house check with an aggressive search of all residential apartments on the street.
A sergeant simply identified as “Officer Fabunmi” led the policemen.
Several residents told SaharaReporters that the policemen are in the habit of raiding the street and making arrests of young boys suspected to be smoking marijuana, or “Indian hemp.” The raid was to identify their specific houses in the neighborhood.
A close neighbor and eyewitness, Ibrahim Adegunle, told SaharaReporters’ correspondent on Monday that the rampaging officers, upon invading the three-bedroom flat of Mrs. Eze, ordered the occupants out of the passage of the building.
Mr. Adegunle, an electrician, said the mission of the policemen could not be immediately ascertained as they quickly embarked on a “house check” without any warrant.
“Even the woman was not at that home when they [the policemen] stormed the building. She went for a ceremony in the second street but fortunately, she arrived and met us arguing with the policemen.
Mrs. Eze was not around at the beginning of the raid but arrived while her neighbors were arguing with the police.
“During the process of the argument, she demanded to know what exactly was going on and she was told that some people in the street are selling contraband items, mostly marijuana, to the youths in the street,” Mr. Adegunle said. He said that Mrs. Eze contested that since she doesn’t engage in any contraband business but merely owns a mini-bear parlor, she should not be subjected to the search, but an impatient police officer shouted on her and hit her in the head.
“The woman made several [moves in] resistance but she was again beaten and wounded with [the] gun butt while she fell on the floor of the passage, lying unconscious, and stopped breathing,” Mr Adegunle continued. “The officers immediately fled the street in their van and refused to make any arrest, sensing they [had] killed the woman.”
Following the sad incident the residents and sympathizers in the community on Monday took to the streets of the neighborhood of “Sijuwade Quarters” and protested the killings of the 50-year-old woman.
Another resident who asked to remain anonymous said during the protest that illegal arrests were carried out by the policemen in the evening of every weekend.
“They will just enter the street and start arresting our young boys,” the resident said. “Many of them would be [accused] of being in possession of Indian hemp. Before you know it, they would be asking us to pay N10,000 before we could bail them.”
“This is not the first nor second time, but I do hope it would be their last time because the whole world must here this sad news," a furious resident said.
Meanwhile, Ondo State police are claiming the late woman was harboring young men who deal and smoke marijuana.
Police spokesperson Oluwole Ogodo told SaharaReporters during a phone call that the officers “didn’t killed the woman” but were trying to carry out the arrest of a notorious marijuana dealer on the street.