When 23-year-old Rasheed Oyebola left his parent’s house on July 17, little did his aged father, Mr. Mojeed Oyebola, know that it was the last time he would be seeing his young son alive.
The old man was just recovering from the shock arising from the death of his wife and Rasheed’s mother a couple of months earlier.
He never anticipated that another tragedy was waiting in the wings. On that day, Rasheed had gone, as was his practice, to the computer institute on Ibaragu Road, Abule Lemode,a village in Ogun State, where he was receiving training in computer studies.
He was expected to be computer-literate as part of the requirements for his recent admission into the Accountancy Department of the Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. His father said he had paid the sum of N85, 000 as part of the young man’s tuition into the university’s accounts, with the hope that by next month, his son would join the league of ambitious young undergraduates in the country.
That lofty dream has become shattered, replaced with nightmares and an unending sorrow. Oyebola’s hope of a bright future for his now late son has been dashed. The boy was discovered missing, and his body later found floating on the surface of a river in the area.
The bereaved dad is suspicious of some men he claimed had been battling him over a piece of land. “At about 2am on that fateful morning, I got a strange call that informed me that my son, Rasheed, had been kidnapped by men I later suspected to be my rivals in a recent land tussle. He was said to have been drugged by his assailants, who tricked him to leave the place where he was receiving computer training.
Then, after taking him far into the outskirts of a village, called Igbo-Iloro, Ogun State, the men drowned my boy in a river,” the man informed this reporter. A young lady that was allegedly kidnapped with Oyebola’s son called the old man to narrate the fate that befell the late Rasheed. She also told the old man that she narrowly escaped being killed by the assailants.
The reporter obtained photographs of Oyebola’s lifeless body floating atop the river. The horrific sight of Rasheed’s dead body stared at you from the photograph. His left leg was tied with a very thick twain. Save for the short pants left on him by his assailants, the young man would have been stark unclad. It also appeared that the deceased was actually dead before his body hit the water. He appeared to be in a deep sleep before he was dumped into the river, obviously to create an impression that he drowned by accident.
To further confirm the old man’s belief that his son was dead before being dumped in the river, Rasheed’s body had not started bloating at the time the photograph was taken at the scene. Asked if he made any efforts to find out the culprits, Oyebola said when he reported the matter to the police at the Oja-Odan Police Post close to the area, he was told that some men were arrested by the police in connection with the killing following a tip-off from residents of the village. He regretted, however, that the police released them shortly after without even allowing him or any of his people to see the suspects.
The distraught old man said further efforts to get residents of the area to give more information on the suspects was met with hostility, as the said residents became violent soon after. “I went there with a retired police officer friend and we took two cars to the village. You can imagine that they almost burnt the vehicles that we took there.
We were told the police arrested some men as suspects but when we went to the nearest police station to report and find out who the men arrested were, we were told they had been released.” Did he suspect anyone? Of course, the old man said. He actually mentioned the names of some members of an opposition party with whom he claimed to be having land issues.
He said he had earlier been attacked by the same set of people, even as he claimed that they wanted him dead. “They did it because of the land tussle I have with them. They have even attacked me on several occasions. They went for my son because they couldn’t get me. They have attempted to take my life on several occasions. One of such was the day I was sitting somewhere in front of the court where we went for a case.
I just saw some men pointing towards my direction as if they were showing me to some people. “Suddenly some tough looking men swooped on me and began beating me. They took my phones and dragged me to a corner, attempting to bind my hands and legs. But luckily, I struggled to free myself from their hold and ran away. “I was hospitalized for more than a week.
Before my wife’s death, they were always calling her, telling her that she should forget about me. They told her that they were going to kill me. They also attacked my assistant and destroyed his car with their weapons.” Revealing that the people he suspected are very close to him, Pa Oyebola said: “I am more pained because the people are those you would never be suspicious of as a result of our closeness.
I want the government and human rights activists to help me fight these evil people. My son’s killers must not go unpunished. The Inspector-General of Police should please help mandate the police in that area to conduct proper investigation on the killing of my son. “My life too is now in danger. I know those who could kill my son could come after me. My son was supposed to complete his computer studies next week and resume at the university next month.”