By Kayode Adeoti
A principal witness, Habibat Abdulkareem has indicted the Oloota of Odo-Owa, Oba Joshua Adimula in the crisis that erupted between the community and Ilofa, both in Oke-Ero Local Government Area of Kwara State, last month, leading to death and wanton destruction of property.
Testifying on Friday before the Judicial Commission of Enquiry set up by the state government; she accused the monarch of orchestrating the fracas which engulfed the two neighbouring communities.
Abdulkareem further testified that she was in the market on the fateful day and witnessed the scenario that led to the crisis.
“On the 29th July, I was at the market to buy food stuff when Oloota suddenly appeared in the market, wearing white cloth. He tied palm frond round his head and body. He also used the palm frond to tie the entrances of the market, this implies, nobody should enter the market. Out of annoyance, he scattered the yam of Iyaloja of Iloffa, this led to a pandemonium in the market,” she alleged.
According to her, in the melee, two members of Odo-Owa community, Jimoh Elemere and Tunde Agoro shot dead one Gabriel Adewumi and one other person simply identified as old soldier.
Abdulkareem, a native of Ekan Meje in Oke-Ero area of the state claimed in her memorandum number 49, submitted to the commission that she had lived in Odo-Owa for two years before relocating to Iloffa where she resided till the crisis broke out.
She claimed that indigenes of Odo-Owa community perpetrated the heinous act, saying “I was able to confirm this by their accent because I lived in the two communities and can differentiate between their intonations.”
The witness intimated the panel that one of the accused who shot the two members of Iloffa community have been arrested upon the petition she wrote to the Commissioner of Police.
She said, “When Elemere and his cohorts were threatening my life on phone, I wrote a petition to the Commissioner of Police and steps were taken which led to arrest of one of them while the other two are seated right here in this court this morning.”
Also testifying before the commission in a memorandum submitted by the Iloffa community, Dosu Folaranmi premised his argument on supremacy tussle of the monarchs of Odo-Owa and Iloffa.
According to him, there was no time Oloota of Odo-Owa was made District Head of Owa, adding that he wasn’t aware of any district called Owa in 1963.
However, the commission has been able to attend to all the memoranda submitted by the Iloffa community as the chairman of the Panel adjourned hearing to Monday, (today) for the presentation of Odo-Owa community’s memoranda.