by Kunle Falayi
As the three-day funeral of Abiodun Ademola, who was allegedly shot by a Divisional Police Officer, Mr. Segun Fabunmi, commenced at Yaya Abatan in Ogba area of Lagos on Monday, policemen stormed the venue of the event.
The policemen, our correspondent learnt, were from the Pen Cinema Police Station, which Fabunmi headed when he shot and killed Ademola.
A policeman, who led the team, said they got a hint that the youth were fomenting trouble in the area because of the incident.
But the Chairman, Ifako-Ijaiye Local Council Development Area, Dr. Oloruntoba Oke, who was at the event, denied the allegation.
Despite this, the policemen remained at the venue till the programme ended.
The programme, which was attended by the executive council members of the LCDA, members of the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association and youths of Yaya Abatan, who were clad in T-shirts bearing Ademola’s picture, was the first of the three-day ceremonies planned for the funeral.
It featured eulogies by various youths and songs rendered in memory of the slain man.
A mournful song by a youth, Doris Abimbola, whipped the crowd into a round of curses on the victim’s killer.
Oke said the programme was organised in concert with the members of the community to give Ademola a hero’s burial.
He said, “We organised this in memory of this young man who was wickedly cut down by that DPO. Ademola has become a hero today and a symbol of peace that all youths should emulate. He merely gathered with other youths peacefully and was shot dead for no just cause.
“We are sad because that young man has been prevented from doing what every young man grows up to be; a family man and a man who would have an impact on his society.”
Oke said as a way of immortalising Ademola, his bust would be unveiled in the area on Wednesday when he would be buried.
He said the decision to immortalise him was to imprint his image on the hearts of the youth as a man who died for his community.
The LG boss added that Governor Babatunde Fashola was interested in the case, maintaining that the delay in charging Fabunmi to court would not jeopardise the course of justice.
“He was not shot as an armed robber but as a victim and hero of an oppressive system. The bust we are erecting is the little we can do to immortalise him,” he said.
Oke said the Director of the Office of the Public Defender, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi, had requested for the case file to commence prosecution, adding that a civil case would be instituted against the DPO.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the autopsy on Ademola was performed by the Vice-Chancellor of the Lagos State University, Prof. John Obafunwa.
The deceased’s elder brother, Adebayo, who was present with other siblings at the event, said their parents could not attend because it was a taboo to do so.
“Right now, I just can’t say much but to thank the people of this community and the local government for their efforts at putting this together,” he said.
It was learnt that there would be a candlelight procession on Tuesday.
Ademola was shot in the crotch by Fabunmi on January 9 during the protest against fuel subsidy removal at Yaya Abatan.
The policeman was said to have shot in the air first and later shot at the victim, who had gathered with other unarmed youths in the area.
Ademola bled to death metres away from where he was shot.
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