No fewer than four persons have allegedly been killed while one other was said to have escaped death as unknown persons reportedly abducted five men in Oke Irinja, Owode Yewa, Ogun State.
PUNCH Metro gathered on Sunday that the quartet of Adamu Saliu, 21; Aliu Babuga, 24; Dairu Salihu, 32; and Mohammed Abdulai, 35, were the victims of Saturday’s incident.
According to the information made exclusively available to our correspondent by a police source, the four herders were abducted in a bush in the community.
The police source said the dead bodies of the victims were found with ropes tied around each of their necks inside a bush along Sokoto Road in Ilobi via Owode Yewa.
An eyewitness, identified as Saliu Amodu, who claimed to be the brother of the victims, was said to have told the Owode Yewa Divisional Police Headquarters that the five abductees were in a bush with their cattle when some unknown men brought a vehicle that a certain chief in the community wanted to see them in.
Unknown to them that there was no such call from anybody, PUNCH Metro learnt that Amodu told the police that the five of them were said to have entered the said vehicle, and the man who drove the vehicle to the area and others entered and then drove off.
“They were my brothers. They were with their cows in the bush when some men brought a vehicle that Baale wanted to see them in. The five of them immediately followed the men and entered the vehicle.
“They were taken to Sokoto Road, Ilobi, where the dead bodies of four out of the five that left the bush were found,” Amodu was quoted as having told the police.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Omolola Odutola, confirmed the incident to PUNCH Metro on Sunday, noting that the police had begun an investigation to unravel the circumstances behind the incident.
“The corpses have been taken to the General Hospital in Ilaro for autopsy. We are investigating the incident to unravel the reasons behind it. No cow was stolen. And nothing was taken from them,” the state police spokesperson told PUNCH Metro.
While the state police command had yet to unravel the cause of Saturday’s attack, herders in Ogun West had been reportedly accused by some communities in the region of destroying their farms and water sources through the open grazing of cows.
One of the communities is Aworo in Yewa North Local Government Area which reportedly chased some herdsmen from their village over a similar accusation. Lives and property were reportedly lost during the time of the conflict.
Though the police said the crime could not be connected to suspected rustlers, they told PUNCH Metro that complaints over “poddy dodgers” had increased.
The police added, “More complaints about poddy dodgers. The best thing to do is to call their Sariki to mark their cows, take pictures and videos of their cows, and post on social media that may curb cattle rustling.”