By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
A suspected leader of a gang of robbers said to have been terrorising residents of Ilare-Ijesa in Obokun East Local Council Development Area of Osun State was on Monday arrested by local hunters and handed over to the Esa-Oke Divisional Police Station.
The suspect, Fatai Odedele who was said to specialised in stealing goats, had raided the community with a vehicle with registration number LAGOS KSF 916 EQ, alongside other fleeing suspects numbering about six.
It was gathered that the apprehended ring leader was handed over to the Police for further investigation and prosecution after he had confessed to the allegation.
It was, however, gathered that on Tuesday evening, the suspect escaped from the police custody in Esa-Oke, but was later re-apprehended in Esa-Odo on Wednesday morning and handed over to the police.
The people of the two communities however accused the Police of complicity in the alleged escape of Oladele from their custody.
The Head of the Local Hunters and Vigilante Group in the community, Chief Aderemi Adeniji accused the DPO of complacency, complicity, negligence of duty, and compromise with the suspect.
He said: “In fact, the people believe that the police have compromised, but we would not allow them to sweep the matter under the carpet. We shall monitor it to a logical conclusion.
“We are calling on the state Commissioner of Police to call the DPO to order, otherwise, we shall take further steps to the higher authorities.”
When contacted on Wednesday, the Divisional Police Officer in Esa-Oke, Babalola Kazeem, denied that the suspect escaped.
He said that three suspects, including the alleged buyer of stolen goats were arrested after Oladele confessed to the crime.
Kazeem explained that Oladele, a native of Ilare-Ijesa, is a mechanic who was given an ambulance to repair before he allegedly drove it for the failed mission to steal goats.
He added that no goat was caught with the suspects.
Reacting to the allegation that Oladele escaped, the DPO said: “The suspect did not escape. He is in the Police custody as I speak with you. We have even apprehended three additional suspects.
“I just reported here about three weeks or thereabouts, and before now, they complained to me that some people use to come and steal their goats. So, on Tuesday, the people of the community brought one suspect with one hospital ambulance vehicle and that they suspected him of being the one stealing their goats.
“We interrogated the suspect and he confessed to the fact that he came for that purpose. Although, he was not found with any goat.
“Unfortunately, he is a mechanic and the ambulance was given to him to repair by the Ambulance Service. We have invited them and they have made a statement.
“He confessed that they normally sell the goats to one Hausa man in Store area of Ilesa. We arrested the man on Wednesday morning around 5am.
“We will take them to court soonest to avoid a further claim that they escaped from our custody.”