Five community leaders in Ifo, in the Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State, have been invited to Abuja for allegedly killing a cow belonging to a herdsman identified as Abdullahi.
The invitation is coming less than three months after the failure of the Nigerian police to make any arrest over the murder of the town’s monarch, the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Israel Adeusi who was killed by murderous Fulani herdsmen on November 26, 2020.
The chiefs, however, denied they had any hand in the death of the cow.
In a letter to the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, dated February 19, 2021, and signed by Olowolafe & Co solicitors on their behalf, the invited community leaders – Mr Olaniyi Olotu, the Secretary of the Ifon Council of Chiefs; Chief Olijewu, Saliu Omotosho, Chief Ekon and the Chief Hunter of the community, said they had nothing to do with the killing of cows since it did not happen in their community but a neighbouring town.
They, however, said it was saddening that the police that had not arrested anyone for the murder of their monarch would take the killing of cows more seriously.
The letter read in part, “As a prelude to these invitations, one Fulani herdsman called Abdullahi had on January 6, 2021, reported at the police station in Ifon that the community killed his cow. It was in the course of police investigating this allegation of killing Abdullahi’s cow that our clients’ leaders who are now being invited by the police were first invited.
The community leaders said the invitation is an attempt by herdsmen to get back at the community for exposing their murderous ways.
“These community leaders denied any involvement in the allegation that the man’s cow was killed and also told the police that the place where the alleged killing took place was not part of Ifon land and had nothing to do with them or the community they represent.
“It came as a surprise that on February 4, 2021, these same community leaders were invited again to the police station in Ifon on the same allegations.”
However, in a letter dated February 2, 2020, and signed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Force Intelligence Bureau, Kolo Yusuf, the Ondo chiefs were asked to report to Abuja on March 15, 2021.
The letter of invitation which is marked 3000/FIB/STS/FHQ/ABJ/TA/Vol.5/259 stated that the Ondo chiefs were being probed for attempted kidnapping, mischief and criminal conspiracy.
The letter read in part, “This office is investigating a case of criminal conspiracy, mischief, threat to life and attempted kidnapping that your name featured. You are kindly requested to interview the undersigned officer on March 15, 2021, by 10.00hrs for fact-finding through DSP Ibrahim Magu.”