The Oyo state chapter of the Western Nigeria Security Network, Amotekun, says the student killed by its operatives in Oyo town was an armed robber and a cultist.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) had accused the security outfit of killing Akolade Gbadebo, a 400-level student of the Federal College of Education Special (SPED), Oyo (with affiliation to the University of Ibadan).
Mayowa Opakunle, chairman of NANS joint campus committee in Oyo, had said Gbadebo was shot dead by one of the Amotekun corps, who were invited to clear a road barricade made by students around Sabo area of Oyo town.
He had said Gbadebo was not an armed robber as claimed.
“I was told that Amotekun corps were called that some students barricaded the road in the area. They came and somebody was said to have fired at them and they returned the fire. The bullet hit the student and he died. The incident happened around 10:30pm last Thursday,” he had said.
But narrating the incident in a statement, Olayinka Olayanju, Amotekun commandant, said his men had an encounter with a three-man robbery gang last Sunday when they ran into an illegal roadblock mounted around Sabo area of the town.
Olayanju said in the process, one of the robbers was killed while the two surviving members of the gang were arrested and handed over to police.
He added that investigation revealed the deceased was a student of the the Federal College of Education Special (SPED), Oyo and a known cultist, and that he was also confirmed to be the leader of the robbery gang.
“On Sunday 20th December, 2020, at about 0040hrs ( past 12 midnight), a mobile patrol team of Amotekun operatives from Oyo East and Atiba Local Government Areas ran into an illegal roadblock mounted around Sabo area in Oyo town, at about 4 a.m, “the statement read.
“While the team was attempting to clear the barricade to facilitate a smooth passage for interstate commercial vehicles plying the road, a group of armed men, suspected to be robbers, fired at the Amotekun operatives and a gun duel ensued.
“In the process, one of the robbers, nicknamed Akin Sarz, was neutralised and two other gang members were arrested at the scene with a locally-made pistol with cartridges.
“Men of Nigerian Police from Atiba were called to the scene where Amotekun operatives handed over the two arrested suspected armed robbers along with the corpse of Akin Sarz to them.
“The police later handed over the surviving gang members to the State CID Iyangaku, Ibadan, for further investigation.
“Preliminary investigation conducted at Atiba Police Post revealed the identity of the deceased as a student of the Federal College of Education Special (SPED), Oyo and a known cultist. The gang members confirmed that the deceased was their leader and that they had been terrorising the general area of Afijio and Oyo town for some time.”
Olayanju wondered why NANS “would allow itself to be used as a tool to discredit Amotekun and score cheap political points against the state government”.