The family of Jamiu Ayoade, the apprentice tailor killed by a Divisional Police Officer in Lagos State has succumbed to pressure from “prominent Nigerians” to forgive the suspect.
The DPO, CSP Mohammed Yakubu, who used to supervise the Ijesha Police Division, killed Ayoade on Sunday, May 7, 2017.
News learnt that the family had agreed to restitution in “accordance with Qur’anic dictates,” while the DPO’s family promised to “take care” of the deceased’s mother.
It was gathered that the DPO had been told to fast for 60 days uninterrupted as part of the restitution for the murder of the 23-year-old.
Yakubu had, around 7.30pm on the day, led some policemen to raid Wosilatu Daudu Street, Ijeshatedo, where Ayoade had joined others to celebrate his friend’s birthday.
The operatives reportedly shot into the air to disperse the gathering.
The DPO had reportedly chased Ayoade and other fun seekers into a building and shot him in the head at a close range, while one Akeem also sustained a gunshot injury in the hand.
The apprentice died while he was being taken to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba.
The command subsequently detained the DPO and commenced investigations into the incident.
During a meeting with senior officers at POWA Secretariat on Tuesday, May 16, the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said Yakubu had violated the rules of engagement during the raid on the area.
He had said, “He would be arraigned in court; no doubt about that. I feel the pain of the family of that boy. Why should I defend anybody that kills?”
On June 13, the victim’s body was exhumed for autopsy at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, and the postmortem indicated that Ayoade died from “severe craniocerebral injury and penetrating missile injury to the skull.”
One of the relatives of the deceased, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Thursday, said “prominent persons” in the state have been begging us on behalf of the DPO.
He said the family gave in to the pressure from the personalities, adding that they had not heard from the police since the autopsy report was out.
He said, “Eminent people in the society, whose names I don’t want to mention, have been begging us. You can imagine somebody talking to you for two hours on the telephone. The pressure is too much.
“The DPO’s family wrote a letter to us, apologising on his behalf. The letter was signed by the head of Kanuri, Ijoraland. Eventually, the mother of the deceased agreed to a restitution. We replied to the letter and a meeting was held last week.”
A sister of the deceased, who did not want her name in print, stated that the two families agreed to resolve the matter from the Islamic perspective.
She said, “We have agreed to an amicable resolution. We know that they (the DPO’s family) cannot completely afford what is stated as restitution in the Holy Qur’an, but it was agreed that they would take care of the mother and the DPO would fast for 60 days. According to some Islamic authorities, the monetary value of the restitution is over N50m.
“Later, the mother would depose to an affidavit that she has withdrawn the case, but that does not stop the government from doing whatever they want to do. The police have not told us anything about the investigation since the report of the autopsy came out.”
The sister explained that the DPO’s elder brother was at the meeting, adding that another one would be convened to finalise the agreement.
However, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, denied that the police was buying time for the DPO, adding that due process was being followed.
He said, “If an officer is facing a criminal allegation, there is a way we handle it departmentally. If such offence will lead to him (the DPO) getting out of the force, we are going to follow that process.
“It is a bureaucratic process. We have to inform the Inspector-General of Police after a disciplinary committee must have sat and found him guilty or otherwise.
“Regardless of any resolution between the families, there is a criminal allegation and we are investigating. If he is found culpable, he will be charged to court.”