What was supposed to be a period of enjoyment ended up tragically at the weekend when two bosom police officers, who had gone out for a drink, resorted to violence while settling a difference.
Inspector Adelakun Lawal of the Yaba Police Division, Ondo and his senior colleague, Mr. Kazeem Shehu, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), serving at Ajagba, near Irele in Irele Local Government Area of Ondo State, had gone to a relaxation spot in Ondo town, as they were wont to do, for a drink when suddenly a heated argument ensued between them.
It was gathered that all entreaties made by other people at the beer parlour for them to shift ground proved abortive. It is suspected that the heat and tenor of the argument must have increased because of the influence of alcohol, which both men were quaffing down at the spot.
According to an eyewitness account, the duo went to the relaxation spot at Ejankole street in Okerowo area of Ondo town at about 5pm.
He said, "They were actually enjoying themselves when a hot argument ensued between them. The argument resulted in Lawal’s death."
Shehu became infuriated by the behaviour of Lawal, who was a junior officer, and threatened to kill him. Shehu was said to have been peeved by the audacity of Lawal to engage him in an argument not minding his rank as a superior officer.
True to his threat, the witness said, Shehu pulled out his service pistol from his pocket and without blinking an eyelid, pulled the trigger after aiming at his friend at a close range. Expectedly, Lawal immediately slumped down, bleeding profusely from the gunshot wound.
The sound of the gun caused pandemonium, which made many other people at the drinking spot to scamper to safety.
However, some other people demonstrated courage in confronting Shehu and apprehended him, after he had attempted to flee the scene when he saw Lawal on the ground with blood gushing out of his body.
The victim, according to the source, was rushed to the Ondo State Specialist Hospital, in Ondo town in a police van while the trigger-happy ASP also sustained injuries while trying to escape. The doctors confirmed that Lawal had died even before he got to the hospital.
The Yaba Divisional Police Officer, Mr. Adegoke Alani, a Chief Superintendent of Police, was not available for comment as he was said to have gone out for surveillance.
The officer in charge of Ondo Area Command, Mr. Hamzat Ameyi, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, was not also available for comment as he was said to have travelled out of town for an official matter.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the state command, Mr. Wole Ogodo, confirmed the incident Sunday.
Ogodo said: "The unfortunate incident happened at about 1700hrs on Saturday when one Johnson Gbamila reported the case at the Enu-Owa Police Station.
"Johnson reportedly quoted the suspect to have threatened to kill the victim and that he immediately followed the threat by action when he drew out his pistol and shot the Lawal to death."
The PPRO said the corpse of the deceased had been removed from the scene and deposited at the General Hospital mortuary, Ondo.
He also said the culprit had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Akure for further "discreet" investigation.