Femi Makinde, Osogbo
The Commissioner of Police in Osun State, Mr. Fimihan Adeoye, has accused the traditional ruler of Itapa Ijesa, Dr Olapade Agoro, of concocting lies against the command to escape being taken to court for some alleged criminal and traffic offences.
Agoro had accused some policemen from the Osun State Police Command of handcuffing a bus passenger to a police patrol van in Itapa and extorting money from him following the escape of the driver of the bus from a police checkpoint.
But the police commissioner on Tuesday said he was sure that the Hilux patrol van, which the passenger was allegedly handcuffed to, did not belong to the Osun State Police Command.
He said Agoro was earlier charged to court by the police command for using an unauthorised number plate, which he said was a traffic offence.
The CP, who said that he inherited petitions written by the people of Erinmo against Agoro, said charges had been prepared by the police against the monarch, but the magistrate had risen before the policemen got to court on the day he was to be arraigned.
The CP said, “We don’t treat petitions and complaints against any policeman with levity. We will not sweep any allegation against our men under the carpet; we will probe the allegation.
“All vehicles used on highways in Osun State are Nissan products. We don’t have a Toyota Hilux and I can say that the picture he circulated was not taken in Osun State, if he took the picture at all.
“I am not defending any policeman, but there is mischief in the photo and his allegations. He is doing this to attack the police in order to escape being prosecuted.
“The charges against him include conduct likely to cause breach of public peace by firing gunshot. He will be prosecuted by the grace of God.”
But Agoro said it was not the first time the bribe-collecting police team would mount a checkpoint at the place and extort money from motorists.
He said, “I stand by the entire story published on Tuesday. To debunk the false story of Mr. Fimihan Adeoye, the Commissioner of Police, I will like him to be informed that I have at my disposal too many witnesses to confirm the story, but at a neutral venue than the headquarters of the Osun State Police Command. A neutral venue like the NUJ Iyanganku, Ibadan, Oyo State, or Abuja will be okay.
“There was never a time that I was indicted and charged by the Osun State Police Command for any offence, either illegal possession of firearms or shooting or any other offence. Mr. Fimihan Adeoye is hereby challenged to come out with evidence of who I shot and when.
“Let it be on record that I have been a licensed gun owner since 1972 and with unblemished record.”
Agoro also said that he was the traditional ruler of Itapa Ijesa by the judgment of an Ilesa High Court, adding that the appeal over the case was pending before the Court of Appeal, Akure.
“As far as I am concerned, they have nothing against me and if they do, let them prove it. Let them also deny that they didn’t try to extort N1m from me.
“We just left church that day when I saw what they did (the torture). That was not the first time policemen would come to that spot to extort money from motorists,” he added.