The Ogbere Onilanta Police Station along Akanran in Ona-Ara Local Government Area in Ibadan, Oyo State was on Tuesday thrown into pandemonium as some professional hunters, popularly called ‘Agbekoya’ had an encounter with the police over alleged check on their reckless driving.
It was learnt that some members of the association were returning from Lagos to Akanran community where they usually have their monthly meeting on Tuesdays, when they ran into the police.
The ensuing shooting forced passers-by to scamper for safety.
Motorists were barred from passing through the area as the road was barricaded by the Police.
An eyewitness who simply identified himself as Isiaka, said: “The men were coming in some vehicles including a black Pathfinder SUV. Some policemen at the checkpoint in front of their station stopped the hunters and challenged them for driving recklessly.
“One of the Agbekoya hunters stepped down and slapped one of the policemen. Later, we started hearing gunshots. There was shooting from both sides. We learnt that one of the hunters was gunned down. The crisis was so much that everybody started running helter-skelter to avoid being caught in the fire”.
Some workers of the Elekuro High School close to the scene reported that the shooting was so intense that the policemen had to rush into their compounds, removed their clothes and changed into mufti to avoid being identified by the hunters.
One of the teachers said they had to hide under tables and in the stores, covering themselves with any object seen.
Most female students of the Caritas International School, close to the Police station, were crying, just as their teachers were making efforts to safeguard them. The extra lesson that the students and pupils of the school usually have was truncated as many parents were rushing to the school to pick their children. The school authorities willingly allowed them to be taken away for security reason.
When the Agbekoya men ran out of the place, the black vehicle was left behind. A resident of the area said that he saw the corpse of the shot man as it was later carried into a police vehicle and conveyed away from the scene.
Within about an hour the turbulence lasted, more policemen and men of ‘Operation Burst’ were drafted to the area to keep the peace.