Crime and Metro

Confusion over alleged killing of man by One Million Boys

The father of one Junaid Adewale, identified simply as Mr Owenco, allegedly lost his life when suspected members of the One Million Boys terrorised residents of Ijesha in the Surulere area of Lagos State on Saturday.

However, the alleged killing is shrouded in confusion as the state police command denied knowledge of the incident.

The suspected gang members created tension in the area around 7pm and allegedly used weapons to attack the residents they encountered on their way.

Owenco, who was said to be elderly, was reported to be on his way to a destination, when the crisis suddenly started, but while he was attempting to escape with other residents, he was said to have stumbled and fell to the ground in the process.

While trying to get back on his feet, it was learnt that the rampaging hoodlums caught up with Owenco and allegedly dealt several machete blows on him and left him for dead.

Afterwards, some good Samaritans reportedly rushed Owenco to a nearby hospital for treatment, but he, however, died on Sunday due to the extent of the injuries he sustained during the attack.

In a Facebook post that chronicled the circumstances surrounding Owenco’s death, Adewale’s friend, Samuel Salami, explained that the One Million Boys were responsible for the death, adding that the victim’s remains had been buried.

Salami wrote on his Facebook page, “While the nation is bereaved of President’s Chief of Staff Abba Kyari, my bosom friend Adewale Junaid lost his Dad in the hands of the notorious 1 Million Boys at Ijesha, Surulere, Lagos.

“The nefarious gang was on rampage on the street at about 7pm yesterday evening, machete anyone on their way, my friend Dad stumbled and fell to the ground due to old age and before he could stand up, he was caught and machete all over his body.

“He was rushed to the Funto Hospital along Ijesha Road but unfortunately gave up the ghost early this morning due to the multiple machetes cuts all over his body and head.

“1 million boys’ nefarious activity is real, in case anyone is still in doubt and believe the news are speculations or false information as concluded by the Nigeria Police Lagos CP Hakeem Odunosu and many others.

“The remains of my bosom friend Dad is hereby laid to rest, we wish him eternal rest, Lagosians be on RED ALERT, protect and guide yourself with all that you can and you have, those boys are real, mean and heartless bloodthirsty gang. R.I.P Owenco.”

Attached to the post was a picture that showed Owenco’s remains wrapped in a black body bag in the boot of a hearse.

No fewer than six persons were seen in the picture attached to the post that had as of the time this report garnered over 2,658 comments.

Reacting to Salami’s post, one Emem Moses, condemned the events surrounding Owenco’s death and blamed the gang members for attacking the poor masses.

“This is very sad. I know ijesha very well.. I know funto hospital too. Its so painful! What did the poor man do to them? Instead of them to go to Aso Rock and go and rob them there, they are disturbing poor, innocent citizens!” Moses wrote.

Oluremi Awojinrin commiserated with the bereaved family and described Owenco’s death as a big loss.

She wrote, “What kind of country is this? big loss to the family and a painful death to the old man. I don’t know him but I am sadden for the painful death may your soul rest in peace sir.”

In his reaction, Suleiman Iwalaka, however, said the activities of the gang preceded the current police administration, adding that most of the suspects were members of the affected communities.

Iwalaka wrote, “Rest in peace Papa. Ijesha, Itire and Aguda axis has been known as Hot spot before CP Odumosu came on board and these boys are members of that community. If there’s anything like one million boys and they’re untouchable by the police why are they not in places like Ikoyi, lekki and Ikeja?

“Itire and Ijesha boys have been engaging themselves in a street fight for a while, many have been arrested and charged to court, while the stakeholders in the community sit down, fold their arms and left the fight for the police alone. Always contribute your quota to the security of your environment.”

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said there was a clash between hoodlums from three areas, but insisted that no death was recorded and confirmed that nine suspects had been arrested.

Elkana stated, “We have Ijesha, Aguda and Itire boys, who had been clashing among themselves. They took advantage of the rumour about the One Million Boys and youths coming out in the name of protecting their areas to attack themselves again, because they share boundaries. When they clashed, we quickly responded and arrested nine suspects.

“We don’t have the report of anybody killed and I can’t speak on what I cannot substantiate. I cannot respond to an online post, because I speak for an organisation and if there is a death recorded and we are aware of it, I will speak on it.

“Yes, there was a clash and we brought it under control and made some arrests; the suspects all confessed to the crime.”

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