Alhaji Waheed Adeleke is the father of Kehinde Adeleke, who died from the gunshot he received during an argument at the Trans Amusement Park, Ibadan, Oyo State, where he went for relaxation at a bar with his twin brother, Taiwo and two other relations. In this interview with Crime Editor, OLUWATOYIN MALIK, the father speaks of his son’s death and his determination to pursue justice for the deceased. Excerpts:
How did you receive the news of your son’s death?
I received a call from the twin brother of the deceased, Taiwo, telling me that Kehinde, my son, Kehinde has been killed. I was perturbed and baffled. What could have caused his being killed? We were together the previous day. We discussed a lot of things. So, when I was called, I was disturbed.
I decided to go out to check what was happening. I traced my children to Adeoyo Hospital, Yemetu, before moving to that at Ring Road.
We left there for Sango police station to be able to know what happened. And from what I heard, it was just a mild disagreement over parking space. The person who drove the car brought by the twins was Damola, their younger brother. He was waiting for a vehicle to leave a space at the parking lot for him to park, within the Trans Amusement Park.
I learnt that the Operation Burst’s van came in and questioned Damola on why he allowed the rear of his vehicle to obstruct the way. Damola responded by saying he was waiting for a vehicle to leave a space.
The Operation Burst’s operatives reportedly started beating Damola with a stick until he fainted. It was at that point that Taiwo and Kehinde came out of the bar and expressed displeasure at the way their younger brother was treated, asking the bar owner why he could not call them instead of setting security operatives on their brother.
That was when they said the bar owner, flared up, saying that they addressed him rudely. He was said to have grabbed the gun from one of the operatives, a soldier, and shot Kehinde.
Immediately the operatives saw what happened, they lifted the bar owner’s hands so that his shots would not hit others. In the process, a bullet was said to have grazed the neck of another soldier.
When people heard gunshots, they ran, including the security operatives.
Though Taiwo said he and others were able to prevent the bar owner and his friend from escaping, the security operatives locked the gates of the Park and said they would not allow them out with the bleeding Kehinde except the bar owner was released.
Taiwo said this went on for about 30 minutes, with Kehinde fast losing blood in the car, before he and other sympathizers released so that they could take Kehinde out.
But it was surprising that they still encountered the Operation Burst’s operatives at the University college Hospital, where my injured son was taken, as the operatives barricaded the gates of the emergency entry of the hospital. We have the video clips of all that happened.
That was when we started thinking: ‘Were these people sent to kill my son? Has there not been conspiracy somewhere?’
This makes us believe that the other side is trying to wield much influence to overturn issues.
Let me give you an example: The pathologist, who is a Consultant Pathologist with the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, told us he would be at Adeoyo State Hospital, Ring Road at 4p.m., but to our surprise, he went there between 7a.m. and 10a.m., opened the neck and stitched it back without the presence of any family member of the deceased.
He told us he saw the spot where the bullet entered my son’s body, but could not see the exit point. He closed it up and called us to carry the corpse to Yemetu State Hospital for X-ray, as he could not find any bullet.
It was after this we took the corpse and the X-ray result to him at the UCH for autopsy, but he did not allow any member of the family to see what was going on. After the autopsy, he didn’t tell us what he saw. He just told us he had concluded his work on the body.
We now felt there is a kind of conspiracy; it is as if they want to overturn the case. That is why we are calling fellow Nigerians to be at alert; to be on the lookout. We know that Kehinde has died but the way the case is treated should be made to serve as a deterrence to others. We are living in a community of sane men, not ruffians.
Well-meaning Nigerians should help us out. We want to prevent such happening to another person.
There have been talks that the deceased was a cultist and that he was struggling with a soldier when the gun went off
I think that is a lie. It is a lie because the boy who drove the car had been beaten till he passed out. Is he also a cultist? Did what happened have any link with cultism? Kehinde was not at the scene of the incident when it started. Forget about cultism; they are just trying to overturn the case.
That is why we are pleading with Nigerians. My children are not cultists; they are responsible children. Some people are only trying to weave the story of cultism to get out of the trouble they have fomented. It is illogical.
What type of a son was Kehinde to you? Where you close to him?
He was a reliable son and sociable. He didn’t engage himself in any anti-social behavior. He was also very religious.
How has his mother received the news of his death?
Definitely, as a mother, she will be down with such an occurrence. Family and friends have been supportive to make her put herself together. She is currently resting.
What are the steps being taken to get the justice you desired over your son’s death?
We know there have been moves to explore all avenues to upturn the case and we have made this known to all relevant people, including the Commissioner of Police in the state. He has said that the case is receiving police’s attention and that investigation is ongoing.
We delayed the burial for the autopsy to be done, because we want to know the type of bullet that was extracted to know the type of gun that was used to shoot my son. That is why we are suspicious of the autopsy process.
The Commissioner of Police also told us that his command was waiting for the outcome of investigation being done by the Operation Burst on the case. But we want to plead that the investigation be fast-tracked. We smell something but the case is very clean and clear.
But the bar owner has refuted the allegation that he was the one who shot Kehinde.
Ok. Let the soldier tell us that he (the soldier) was the one who shot my son. No two guns were used, so if the man is denying shooting my son, let the soldier admit being the one.
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