The wife of an estate valuer who was shot by police officers in Oyo has opened up about the incident.
Kayode Atanda and Adeyemi Ajayi were shot last Thursday, July 9, 2020, by a police patrol team at Iwo Road area of Ibadan, Oyo State, leading to Adeyemi’s death. Kayode’s wife, Tosin, tells WALE OYEWALE about the incident and her husband’s condition
The police said that they were investigating the incident that led to Adeyemi’s death and your husband’s injury. What is the state of things at the moment?
I did not hear anything. On Tuesday, July 14, 2020, the elder brother to the deceased was at the University College Hospital, Ibadan with my husband where he was receiving treatment. He said the commissioner of police in the state, the deputy commissioner and some top policemen were at the home of the deceased on that morning. He said that they were begging, saying it (the shooting) was accidental. The family insisted that they wanted to see the policeman that shot Yemi Ajayi dead. He said some family members were taken to where the men on patrol were locked up. When the family members asked the men (policemen) what made them shoot at the car in broad daylight, they were crying saying that it was the devil.
From your husband’s account and those of eyewitnesses, how did the incident happen?
My husband was shot in the upper part of his arm. From all indications, he was holding the steering at the time of the incident. It happened in traffic. There were witnesses. People called in during a radio broadcast as witnesses. People called in during a live radio programme and what they said on radio tallied with the account my husband gave me. I went to collect his mobile phone from the police. His car is still at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Iyaganku. The phone got spoilt. My husband fainted at a point after being shot. Before then, he said his phone fell on the ground and he was shouting that his phone was on the ground. Before the phone was given to me they (the police) tried to put it on. They delayed me because they said they had not registered the items that were retrieved from the car. The screen was bad already so I went to repair it. When we eventually put on the phone, we discovered that the deceased called my husband at 11:27am (on July 9, 2020).
Where was your husband going on that day?
My husband was actually travelling that day but he said he would leave after the business of the day. He was supposed to travel to Ile-Ife. He told me that Yemi called him to ask about his whereabouts. My husband told him that he was at Iyana Church, Alakia axis. Yemi’s elder brother has a house that is under construction and my own elder brother is the one handling the Plaster of Paris. According to my elder brother, the deceased called to ask if he had seen the cash (N250,000) that he transferred to him for the POP. My brother called him later in the morning that he was on his way to the site and that he should meet him at the site. He promised to meet him at the site at Egbeda. It was then he called my husband from Monantan that they should meet to go to the site. When they got to Iwo Road, there was traffic. He said there were three vehicles between the Nissan Micra in which the policemen were and his car. But he said the policemen were not in uniform. He said he heard “park!” He saw the Micra from the rear and suddenly a gun was pointed at them and one of the men on board fired the shot. He said Yemi slumped on the dashboard. He was tending Yemi unaware that he (Kayode) had sustained a bullet wound. It was after 12:00pm and people were there. As he was asking them why they shot, he discovered that he was bleeding profusely. He was taken to the University College Hospital on a motorbike and three of his toes were bruised.
How did you learn about his whereabouts?
On that day, I was on the way from my brother’s place and different people were calling me to ask after my husband. They had heard of the incident but I didn’t suspect that something went wrong. He later called to tell me that he was at UCH. He said he was shot and that Yemi has already died. On getting to UCH, I saw a female police officer who said I should take it up from that stage. I asked her what she meant by that, but the doctor then explained that the female police officer was among those who brought him to the hospital. The deputy commissioner of police was said to have paid N15,500 to start the treatment. As I heard, a senior police officer was also in the traffic at Iwo Road area where the incident happened. I called my family and my husband’s family and that is how we have been battling with the matter ever since.
What kind of treatment did your husband receive at UCH?
We were told by some doctors that he was going to undergo a surgery. We thought the surgery would be fast but he has since been subjected to series of tests. According to the results of the tests, he had lost so much blood. The doctors said he had lost the property that makes the blood to clot and therefore it was not advisable to take him to the theatre without being adequately prepared as he would be bleeding so much without that. They explained that they had to stabilise those cells before the session would be carried out. We got three pants of blood on Thursday. They advised us to look for donors with matching blood type.
It was reported that there was a directive from the police headquarter in Abuja that the investigation should be carried out with urgency. Are you aware of that?
I am hearing this for the first time. On Friday last week (July 10, 2020), I took my children to my brother’s place because my house is far away and it would be difficult to cope. Journalists came for interviews. In the reaction to the news, the Police Public Relations Officer in Oyo State said that according to what those policemen said, they heard an alarm that a thief was operating from the other end. He said the policemen said the reason why they shot was because they heard the alarm. Now, since the time the female police officer left UCH, I have not set my eyes on any police officer. There was no one that alleged that my husband and the man who was killed had stolen anything.
On day of the incident while we were talking in front of the Accident and Emergency unit at UCH, the doctor on duty called to advise me to take it easy with the police so that they would not falsely accuse my husband. As I was wondering aloud, a man walked up to me and said he was a deputy commissioner of police. He said, “I am not here because of this incident. I just brought my mother here now.” So, he overheard us as we talked. He assured me that those policemen would not go unpunished. He gave me his number and I saved it. He said if there was anything, I should feel free to call him. Shortly after he left, someone came up to me to say that the man was lying and that he was an undercover agent.
Where was Yemi’s body deposited?
It was taken to Adeoyo Hospital. He was buried on Friday (July 10, 2020). Before being laid to rest, the procedure was that an autopsy would be carried out on his body at Adeoyo Hospital and the second autopsy would be carried out at UCH before his corpse would be laid to rest.
Who owns the car that was driven on the fateful day?
The car belongs to my husband and he was the one who drove it.
Do you suspect that your husband might have been arguing with the police?
He doesn’t argue with people. People who called in on live a radio programme said what they heard was someone shouting, “Park, park!” And the next thing that followed was a gunshot. They (eyewitnesses) said when he (Kayode) came out of the vehicle, he asked the police why they pulled the trigger.
What trade is your husband into?
He is an estate valuer.
What did the late Adeyemi do for a living before he was killed?
Yemi sold clothes. He had a boutique at Gbagi Market. He was not married. My husband was telling me that the house in question belongs to the elder brother to the deceased.
What is the relationship between your husband and the deceased?
They are not blood relatives. They lived in the same neighbourhood for some years and had since been close like brothers. The deceased was a pleasant young man. It was widely reported in the media that they were cousins but they are not.
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