Confusion erupted on Sunday in Ijebu Igbo in Ijebu North Local Government Area of Ogun State when gunmen invaded St. John Anglican Church, Oke Sopein, and shot dead a 70 year old man, Otunba Tola Okuneye, A.K.A. Ajagajigi.
Sources said that about 10 gunmen arrived in two vehicles, entered the church and shot the man on the head.
An eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, said: “When the Pastor started his sermon around 11am, about 10 boys came in and went straight to where Ajagajigi sat and shot him on the head.
“We were shocked and everybody was jittery as the service ended abruptly. Some people, especially, the elderly people, are still in shock as I am talking to you now.
“No one can say anything about his death. He is not a politician. If he were one, we would have thought that his political opponents carried out the act. The church has been deserted, except some few people who were with the Pastor.”
A resident of the area said the death of the man may likely be traced to some of those he has legal matters with in court.
He said that “Otunba is not a politician. But he had issues to settle with some people. I know that he has a lot of cases in various courts and from my little observation, we cannot rule out a connection between those cases and this incident,” the source said.
The remains of the deceased, who is survived by six wives and over 20 children, has been deposited at Ijebu-Igbo General Hospital’s mortuary.
Ogun State Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi confirmed the tragic incident, saying investigation had commenced to unravel the reason behind the assassination.
Oyeyemi explained that it would be too early to link the incident to politics, adding that an autopsy would be carried out on the body.
Meanwhile, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State has assured that government will do its best to get the killers Okuneye.
Governor Amosun who gave the assurance during a condolence visit to the family of the deceased and the scene of the incident said that “The heinous manner with which the life of a good citizen, who had invested in security, was terminated is uncalled for.
“I don’t know why men of the underworld will terminate the life of a man who will not hurt a fly. They even went as far as carrying out the dastardly act in the sacred house of God.
The governor was accompanied by the state Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye; Director, Department of State Services, S. Charanchi, and members of his cabinet.
A son of the deceased, Gbenga Okuneye and Presiding Bishop, St John’s Anglican Church, Oke Sopein, Ijebu Igbo, Rt. Rev. Gbetogo Kuponu, thanked the governor for the visit and concern.