The family members of late Jesse Onaniba, who was killed during an attack on Okoya Street, Ajegunle, Lagos State, are demanding the release of the remains of their son for burial.
PUNCH Metro had reported that Onaniba was killed on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, during an attack on the community.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Onaniba was a member of the vigilance group contracted by residents of Okoya Street to secure them against incessant attacks by armed robbers.
Our correspondent also learnt that the group had engaged the robbers and managed to prevent the attackers from robbing residents.
The residents alleged that the robberies were organised by Cemetery Boys, who rob the residents in the guise of supremacy battle against youths of the area.
Our correspondent learnt that the remains of Onaniba were taken away by the police and efforts by the family members to get the corpse of their son had proved abortive.
Late Onaniba’s uncle, Boniface Obileri, said the family wanted justice for its son, adding that he was targeted for being a member of the vigilance group that had been defending the community.
He also said the family needed the corpse of their son for burial.
He said, “When I heard the news, I went to his house but he wasn’t there. The residents said the attack was as a result of the incessant clash between Cemetery Boys and residents of Okoya Street.
“I was told that someone gave Jesse’s (Onaniba) address to Cemetery Boys. The boys went there while he was sleeping, woke him up, took him outside and killed him.
“We have yet to get his corpse even though people said policemen took it away. All the members of our family are worried and all we want from the government is for it to direct the police to release the remains of our son. We don’t bury our own outside;let us bury our son in peace.”
Late Onaniba’s elder brother, Christain Chukwunedu, and sister, Ifeoma Ubochi, said the Cemetery Boys killed Onaniba for ritual, adding that the way his remains were mutilated made it difficult for the police to release them.
Ubochi, while crying, said, “They told me that they plucked out his eyes, cut his tongue and private parts. I think that is why the police don’t want to give us his corpse.”
Chukwunedu also stated that some of the residents of the community had refused to release the name of the man that led the killer gang.
He said, “People are afraid of giving me the real name of Kaka who killed my brother because they fear him; the police are unwilling to give us his corpse for burial, but we will not rest until we get justice.
Our correspondent also gathered that Okoya Street and other neighboring streets had written a letter to the Layeni Police Station about the attacks.
The letter read in part, “The above named community writes to inform you on the ongoing attack on our area in Okoya… the vigilance group that the community employed has been chasing them away; but the robbers always reinforced to launch a counter-attack.
“We request that you protect our guards from being harassed by this criminal gang who uses its influence and connection with people of authority to threaten us.”
However, many residents told our correspondent that they no longer place trust in the Layeni and Ajeromi police divisions, adding that the stations had been compromised.
One of the residents, Evelyn Henshaw, said the vigilance group had apprehended and handed over one of the alleged hoodlums, named Jedi, to the Layeni Police Station, adding that the policemen at the station said Jedi escaped.
The 66-year-old Delta indigene said, “It was three day days after he escaped that the latest attack took place.
The Lagos State command’s Police Public Relation Officer, CSP Chike Oti, said the incident was a territorial battle for supremacy.
He said, “The record is of area boys engaging themselves in a territorial battle. One set is called Cemetery Boys and the other set is called Mosalasi Boys. The boys from both sides are in battle over who owns the area. The police intervened and brought the situation under control.
“However, before the fight ended, they have injured one another. The police took the injured to the hospital, but one of the injured died.
“More than 20 people have been arrested in connection with the incident. The situation is under control and investigation is ongoing.”