Police distance self from Ibadan mall killing

Segun Showunmi in Ibadan

The Oyo State Police Command on Tuesday denied killing of 21 year  old student of The Polytechnic, Ibadan Husma Akinola Babatunde, saying that the deceased was shot dead by suspected cultists before police arrived to the scene of the incident.

Penpushing reports that this was contained in a statement by the Public Relations Officers of the Command, Adewale Osifeso, exonerated the police from the alleged killing in a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan, the State capital.

The police stated that the incident, which occurred on Sunday at Palms Mall, Ring road, was purely cult related issue, adding that Tunde was shot dead by suspected cultists who invaded the building premises of the mall in pursuit of their target.

Penpushing further reports that the fresh graduate was killed while many others  wounded when Shoprite Mall, along Ring Road, Ibadan was attacked on Sunday night, and  the police was alleged to have carried out the shooting.

The police noted that preliminary investigation through CCTV footages and crime scene analysis, shows that residents and customers scampering for safety at the time the shootings were carried out by the hoodlums and not the police.

“The attention of Oyo State Police Command has been drawn to series of fake and misleading news making rounds particularly on social media spaces, suggesting the murder of one Husma Akinola Babatunde ‘m’ aged 21yrs an ND2 student of Banking and Finance, The Polytechnic Ibadan who was allegedly shot while trying to evade arrest’.

“To set the record straight, on the strength of a distress call received at about 2100hrs on Sunday, 25th of July, 2021 from Palms Mall, Ring Road Ibadan that some suspected cultists/hoodlums invaded the building premises in pursuit of their target who was shot and later confirmed dead at the hospital. In swift response, several police patrol teams were immediately drafted to the scene but the perpetrators had escaped before arrival.

Penpushing also reports that Osifeso however said that comprehensive investigations is ongoing to unravel cause of the incident, adding that allegation against the police was aimed at promoting panic and instigating violence against them.

The police spokesman therefore said that perpetrators of the dastardly act would soon be tracked and made to face law,adding that  the shopping mall has been closed down to avoid further breakdown of law and order, and security operatives has taken over.

Penpushing reports that, as at the time of filing this report, three police Hilux vehicles were  sighted barricading entrance of the mall, while business activities inside the mall has been suspended.

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