By Ahmed Ajikobi
A 32-yr-old automobile Mechanic, Deji Alao, has allegedly been shot by a member of the Vigilante Group, simply identified as Fatai.
The incident occurred around 10. 30pm on Sunday at Ayetoro area off Asa Dam road in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, National Pilot gathered.
This medium was also reliably informed that the victim, before being shot that fateful night, received about 16 strokes of ‘fortified cane’ from Fatai and his cohort, while returning to his Gaa-Odota home.
The victim was said to have been left writhing in his pool of blood for about six hours before taken to Asa Dam Hospital by his parents and police patrol team from Adewole Division for medical attention.
When this medium visited the hospital, the Chief Medical Director, Alade Fatai informed our reporter that, the victim was rushed to the facility around 4am on Monday, adding that “We almost lost him because he had lost so much blood from the gun shot injury. We were however able to stabilise him after administering two pints of blood and as you can see, he is still receiving treatment.”
Recounting his ordeal on his hospital bed, Alao said, he was on his way home on his motorcycle that night before running into his boss at Gerin-Alimi waiting for a taxi to Lao with his daughter.
“He (my boss) asked me to help him that, his daughter was eager to see her grandmother. I decided to assist by taking the shortcut along Ayetoro area to Lao checking point.
“As I was going, I met two vigilante men at Ayetoro area and I told them that I wanted to drop my boss and his daughter and would pass through the same route on my way back and they obliged me.
“I later decided to follow another route at the back of Asa Dam Hospital to avoid seizure of my motorcycle by the police if I opted for the main road. As I was returning, the vigilante stopped me again accusing me wrongly of running away when they stopped me, a week ago.
“I told them, it was a case of mistaken identity, adding that I don’t ride motorcycle into late hours of the day. I informed them that I decided to follow the easy access route to Gaa-Odota to evade police arrest,” he stated, adding that after being flagged down he obeyed and came down from his motorcycle.
“They asked me to kneel down which I did and I was beaten black and blue as they accused me of being a criminal.
“When I could not resist the beating anymore, I fought back shouting for help and it was in the process of holding the ‘fortified cane’ that one of the vigilantes called Fatai, his colleague. The next thing I heard was gunshot and I found myself in a pool of blood.”
Speaking further, the victim said they continued beating him even as he claimed that the N25,000 salary given to him by his boss at the workshop got missing at the spot.
“I put calls through to my co-workers and parents to come to my rescue but surprisingly, the vigilante and the Magaji of Ayetoro, Ibrahim Yusuf insisted that I was a thief.
“I was left there in the pool of my blood and they did not allow my parents and colleagues to take me to hospital. I became weak and helpless.
“Even when the police officers arrived and queried them for shooting me, the vigilantes claimed I tried to escape when stopped.”
Alao added that he has been abandoned at the hospital by the vigilantes with no money to pay bills.
When our reporter visited the Magaji at his Tipper Garage office, he initially denied knowledge of the incident.
But when confronted with evidence, he admitted being at the scene, adding that he was informed by the vigilante and he immediately called the police to rescue the situation.
Meanwhile, mother of the victim, Mrs Grace Alao, has called for justice from the Kwara State Police Commissioner, Lawan Ado and human right activists.
“My son is not a criminal but a breadwinner, who usually helps the family with the little he makes from the workshop”
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ajayi Okasanmi, said he is yet to be briefed on the incident, adding that he would contact the DPO within that jurisdiction and get back to our reporter later.
Meanwhile, this medium gathered last night that the concerned vigilantes were arrested following directive from the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Adewole Division.