Alaafin palace shooting: Ilaka’s travail politically motivated – DG

Director-General of the Ilaka campaign organization, Mr. Bola Akinyemi, last Friday alleged that Ilaka’s travail was politically motivated, believing that the incident that led to the shooting was a trap set for his boss.

Akinyemi who spoke to a group of online journalists at the Agodi prison premises in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital dismissed that there was no conspiracy to kill because Ilaka was not aware that his bodyguard was carrying a gun and was not involved in the shooting.

An Iyaganku Chief Magistrates’ court sitting in Ibadan had earlier ordered that the Oyo Central senatorial district aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Bisi Ilaka, 57, and his bodyguard, Temitayo Alamiyo, 45, be remanded at the Agodi Federal Prison for allegedly causing the death of three persons in Oyo town.

In a related development, the police prosecutor, Mr Matthew Ojeah, had told the court that Ilaka and Alamiyo allegedly conspired to commit felony and attempted murder.

Ojeah further recalled that Alamiyo, on September 8, attempted to cause the death of Toheeb Olanrewaju, 20, Modinat Adeyemi, 55, and Tijani Lateef, 35, by shooting them with pump action gun. The incident occurred at the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo.

“He was attending a meeting at the state headquarters of the PDP in Ibadan. As he was attending the meeting, a call came from one of the chiefs in Oyo town that his attention is needed at the palace, to come and play his role in the Oranmiyan festival that was ongoing. He initially didn’t want to go because he was fully engaged but a senior chief insisted that he heeded the call. So he went.

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“First, he had to take off from his house in Oyo. When he got to Oyo, he didn’t enter the house. In 2011, his house was attacked in Oyo. That was when he got license to obtain a gun just for self protection. Since then I have never seen him with a gun. In fact he doesn’t go out with two cars. So he doesn’t go about with boys. In fact if you see him with two cars, the other one must be my own. He is not the kind of person that moves about with crowd, in fact he doesn’t like it.

“Now, he left. He didn’t know that his bodyguard, who was among those that went into the house to get his things, had taken his gun and kept the gun in his car. He got to the palace of the Alaafin and because he did not meet the other high chiefs there, he did not spend more than 30 minutes before he decided to leave. He didn’t go there for campaign, otherwise I would have been there”, Akinyemi narrated.

He continued, “ordinarily with Ilaka, anywhere he goes, people mill around him. As they were doing that, he was trying to dish out the little he could give to them. He was in the car when he heard there had been a gunshot. He didn’t even know. Someone came to tell him.

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“Verily, I was told that when pandemonium broke out as a result of the gunshot, Ilaka was assisting to rescue one of the injured to the hospital. Within a twinkle of an eye, politics was introduced into it. It is as if a trap had been set and somebody had just fallen into the trap. Before he knew it, the person who shot was caught. The person was his bodyguard. The bodyguard even told the police that his boss did not even know he was carrying the gun. He confessed. He said it was another person that asked him to go and carry the gun. So, it could have been a planned thing. He just fell into the trap.

” As a gentleman, he went to the police station to report the incident. Before we knew it, political dimension had been introduced to it.”

Noting that Ilaka’s travail was political, Akinyemi said that the APC had severally made advances at the PDP chieftain, Ilaka to defect. According to him, he refused in 2014 and most recently when Senator Rashidi Ladoja left the PDP for the African Democratic Congress (ADC).

He also recalled that Ilaka was attacked in 2011 in his house, adding that offers were made to him to join the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which he refused.

“I don’t think opposition should be like this. There was accidental discharge, that is the highest that we could go. The person who shot the gun has been caught. He didn’t deny it. And there is no link between Ilaka and the person who shot the gun other than the fact that he is his employee.”

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The DG, however informed that no damage had been done to Ilaka’s senatorial campaign.

“The Ilaka campaign is still very much on stream. Supporters should keep the light aglow. No retreat, no surrender. No going back. If they feel they can cow us, they can’t. May be they think they can cow him into rescinding his decision to remain in the PDP. But I want to tell you, he remains an aspirant, in fact, virtually a candidate in the PDP.

Akinyemi, however disclosed that Ilaka is still being held in prison and that the case was adjourned till September 18.

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