There was pandemonium at Kajola Community in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State Sunday as youths in their hundreds mobilised to the police station in the area over the death of three persons among them, including a community chief.
They accused the police of killing the people at the police checkpoints in the area, along Lagos-Benin Expressway Saturday evening.
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They dumped the three corpses at the Police Divisional Headquarters, Kajola, chanting a series of protest songs to register their grievances.
The victims, David Olowofeyekun, Gbenga Abayomi, and Kola Akinduro, who was the head of Korede village, were on a motorcycle heading home from their farms.
Sources in the community narrated that the police officers in the community were found of extorting and harassing the residents of the areas at the checkpoint despite the order by the Commissioner of Police to dismantle all checkpoints in the state.
An eyewitness, Funmi Olowogboye, recounted that the police stopped the deceased at the checkpoint Saturday evening and tried to extort them. He said the driver of an oncoming Hilux van while trying to dodge the police rammed into the motorcycle and killed the people on the spot.
He, alongside others who spoke to journalists at the police station yesterday, identified a police officer, popularly called Major, as the ring-leader of the extortion squad.
But the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Mrs Funmilayo Odunlami, said the policemen were not culpable in the death of the people.
“It was not due to the recklessness of the police officers; they took one way and they had an accident. So there was no way the police can be reckless in a situation whereby there is a route to take and they took another one.
“Of course, it was an oncoming vehicle that they collided with and died, it was not police recklessness there,” she said.