Ataoja’s CSO kills 15-year-old Osun devotee’s son

Imole Idowu 
The son of a former votary maid of the Osun goddess, Imole Idowu, was on Monday allegedly killed by the Chief Security Officer to the Ataoja of Osogbo, Abubakar Suleiman.

Palace sources narrated how what initially started as a prank between the CSO to Oba Jimoh Olanipekun and Idowu led to the death of the latter.

There were, however, controversies regarding the identity of the suspect, as some people in the palace said Suleiman is a policeman.
But checks by our correspondent revealed that Suleiman, an indigene of Kogi State, was a private security personnel and had previously served as a security guard to the former Osun State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, late Alhaji Rasak Ademola.

Idowu, a student of a private secondary school located in Iludun area of Osogbo, was fell by a bullet allegedly fired from the rifle of Suleiman inside the palace, which hit him in the chest.
It was gathered that the security man had before firing the shot asked the deceased if he had a bulletproof charm, with Idowu reportedly said no.

But Suleiman, according to sources in the palace, insisted on shooting the deceased to confirm if he had the charm or not. While Idowu tried to run away, the security man allegedly shot him in the chest.
It was learnt that the deceased was the son of one Mrs Abimbola Adeyemi, a former votary maid of Osun overseeing the day-to-day activities inside the house dedicated to the deity’s devotees within the Ataoja’s palace.

An ex-Osun votary maid, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity during a visit to Ataoja’s palace on Tuesday, said about seven people were with Suleiman when the incident happened.
She said, “The deceased was the son of a former votary maid (arugba) and he would have been in school yesterday (Monday) but for the midterm break, which was observed in the state between last week Friday and Monday.

“The kingmakers and other chiefs were in the palace for their weekly meeting and the CSO ushered them into the palace court. After the meeting, he also opened the gate for them to leave.
“When he was done with the kingmakers and chiefs, he retired to his usual spot inside the palace and about seven boys were with him. Few minutes after that, we suddenly heard gunshots and we all rushed to the scene. Imole was in a pool of blood. The bullet hit him in the chest.”

The source added, “Those boys who were with Suleiman told us that he just looked in the direction of Imole and asked if he had any bulletproof charm and the deceased said no.
“Despite that, Suleiman insisted on shooting the boy to confirm that he did not have the bulletproof charm. The boy ran away from him, but Suleiman pursued him and eventually shot him near that fence (pointing to the fence separating the inner part of the palace from the house occupied by the Osun devotees).”

Other sources said more deaths would have been recorded if not for the timely arrival of policemen at the scene, as hoodlums laid siege to the palace and demanded that the suspect be handed over to them.

It was gathered that the remains of the deceased had been deposited in the morgue of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.
Reacting on behalf of the Ataoja, the Public Relations Officer, Osogbo Progressives Union, Home branch, Mr Bosun Oyedele, said the monarch was saddened by the incident.

He described the suspect as “level-headed and responsible,” adding that the incident was a case of accidental discharge.
When contacted, the Osun State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fimihan Adeoye, confirmed the death of the victim, adding that the suspect was already in custody.

He said Suleiman was not a policeman but a private security guard hired by the palace.