Father of 12-year-old Sulaiman Adebesin, one of the six youths allegedly set ablaze by one Tunde Balogun in Ago-Oko, Abeokuta, said the suspect called the victims hemp smokers to justify his action.
It was also learnt that Mr. Mukaila Adebesin, whose name was initially given by the police as the suspect in the incident, only went to report the incident. The police had also confirmed that Balogun, rather than Adebesin, was the suspect.
Sulaiman and five others – Tunde Adesanya, Saburi Seteolu, Raheem Bello, Azeez Alabi and Kola Sodeinde, were set ablaze while they were allegedly gambling and smoking Indian hemp.
Mukaila said, “I am the complainant. I was the one who went to the Oke-Itoku Police Station to report the matter. The suspect is popularly known as Agba, but his real name is Tunde Balogun.
“While I was at the station, I saw the suspect walk in. He told the police that he saw some people selling Indian hemp near his house and decided to drive them away, but in the process he poured petrol on them to scare them, but they caught fire.”
He claimed that his son, who is an apprentice barber, had only gone to a cobbler’s shop to collect the pair of shoes he earlier gave out for repairs when Balogun attacked the unsuspecting youths.
“He only went to a cobbler’s shop around the area to collect his shoes when suddenly from behind he and the others inside the shop felt some liquid substance being poured on them. Within seconds, they all went up in flames.
“They were not smoking Indian hemp and they were not gambling. The suspect has only lied against those boys to justify his action. I can vouch for my own son, he does not smoke Indian hemp and he does not gamble. My son is an apprentice barber,” Mukaila said.
The state command’s Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said, “The Ogun State Police Command wishes to clarify that the man, Mukaila Adebesin, whose name was penciled down as the suspect in the case of the six young men that were sprayed with PMS in Ago-Oko, Abeokuta on Wednesday was not the actual suspect but a father to one of the victims.
“This was detected in the course of our investigations. One Tunde Balogun, aka Agba, was the actual suspect in the case and he’s in our custody.
“The command will update the general public on any development on the matter.”