Saturday, June 10, 2023

Owo Massacre: Police deny arresting killers of Catholic church worshippers

“I can not confirm anything like that. There is no story like that in the state,” the Ondo police spokesperson said.

• June 10, 2022
Oyeyemi Oyediran
Police Commissioner Oyeyemi Oyediran

The police in Ondo have denied arresting the gunmen behind the June 5 massacre of worshippers of the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo.

Forty of the 127 persons in the church were killed, leaving 87 survivors out of which 61 are currently on admission and 26 already discharged.

Rumours filtered into town on Thursday evening that the killers were nabbed by the combined team of the Army, Amotekun and other security agents.

It was gathered that residents of Owo town besieged the palace of the Olowo, Oba Ajibade Ogunoye, to confirm the news on Thursday evening.

Addressing the crowd, Oba Ogunoye said he only heard about the news just the way the residents heard it and asked them to remain calm.

A source within the palace of Olowo, who didn’t want his name mentioned, said the information was only a rumour that was being circulated.

“It was only a rumour. Youths besieged the palace in their thousands when the rumour broke out, but it was discovered to be a false alarm.

“Kabiyesi was only trying to hail their doggedness as he told them that, ‘I heard the rumour like you too’, admonishing them to be patient to authenticate it.

“But it was later discovered that the story was about a group arrested along the Owo/Benin boundary in possession of dangerous weapons,” the source said.

Funmilayo Odunlami, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Ondo, denied the rumour, saying she could not confirm the arrest of the attackers.

“I can not confirm anything like that. There is no story like that in the state,” she said.

Also, an army source from 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure, who didn’t want his name mentioned, said the perpetrators had not been arrested, adding that security agents only arrested people caught with Indian hemp.

“It is a rumour, those arrested are those engaged in Indian hemp business. There were about three or so, they were arrested somewhere around Owo forest,” the source said.


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