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Ayomide Was Our Beacon Of Hope – Mother Of Fashion Designer Killed By Cop

Ayomide Was Our Beacon Of Hope – Mother Of Fashion Designer Killed By Cop
  • PublishedAugust 16, 2020

48-year-old Kehinde Taiwo is the mother of Ayomide Taiwo, a 20-year-old fashion designer allegedly killed on Tuesday, August 5, 2020 by a bribe-seeking police officer attached to Ibokun Divisional Headquarters of the State of Osun Police Command, Inspector Ago Egharepbe. In this interview with SOLOMON ODENIYI, the grieving mother speaks on sorrow and anguish brought to the family by Ayomide’s death and the dissatisfying manner in which police authorities are handling the case. Excerpts:

How would you describe your slain son?

He was very cool and he tried as much
possible to stay out of trouble, always.
He was very generous, not only to me, but to people in my neighborhood. Since his elder brothers are far away, he made himself available to me and checked after my well-being every now and then, despite the fact that he was not residing in Osun. He was my go-to person either financially or in other sundry areas I needed assistance. He was focused and very hardworking. I wished you (the reporter) knew him, you would pray to have him as a son.

How did you get to hear of your son’s death?

He had earlier told me that he would return to his base 10 days after Sallah. He stayed back to assist his boss who stays in Iragbiji. But exactly 9 pm on Tuesday, I was called by one of his friends, who was on the journey with them, that a policeman hit Ayomide with his rifle butt. Later, his younger brother Bashir, who was on the same motorcycle with him, recounted what happened to them. He sustained injuries too. He is 18 years old; and we can’t say he is too young to recall what happened.

The late Ayomide
The killer cop

How did you feel when you were informed of his passage eventually?

I was shocked and could not utter a word. It was as if the world had ended for me. That was a son who had been fending for me. He was nice to a hilt. He was the star of the family and as young as he was, everyone was always seeking his assistance. He was a true reflection of his name; always giving the family joy, and me in particular. I have been in pain since I was informed of his death and I am yet to recover. The most painful aspect to me is that, my source joy, Ayomide was murdered by the men of the Nigeria Police Force on his way to see me. While he was still in the hospital, everyone in the neighbourhood and my family ensured that we paid and provided everything needed at every point of call. Like I said earlier, he was nice and generous to everyone.

Did you receive any assistance from the police during his treatment?

The Nigeria Police Force did not do well at all. Despite the fact that it was clear that one of its officers caused the incident, the amount contributed towards the treatment was not up to N50, 000, and we had already incurred debts. Aside the paltry sum realized from people around through contributions from family members and relations, I rented my farm out to raise money. His elder brother sold a portion of the land he was farming on. People were not willing to give us money, they said the pandemic and festive period had made them broke. What we were after was for him to get back to consciousness, because he was in a state of coma for six days before dying on Sunday (August 9) morning. I spent all I had on him and I am now indebted. I don’t know if I would survive this trying period because it is now a double loss. My son is gone and how do I pay back the debt? The police was unfair to us. They still remain unfair.

I am not happy with the way police are handling the matter. The killer police officer was supposed to be arraigned on Monday but he was not. They said they had dismissed him from the force; that is not enough. I want him prosecuted. I want justice. He cut short the life of my source of joy. I slaved to raise him and my other children after their father died while they were still very young. Ayomide had been the one giving me money which I have been living on hitherto. I do not know how I am going to cope with his death. The thought of his death alone is a source of sorrow in my life. I want people to help me prevail on the police to release the remains of my son to me for burial.

It was said that a huge sum of money was found on your son; this was reportedly said to be the reason the cop allegedly hit him in the head with the gun butt. Did he by chance tell you what he wanted to do with the money?

Yes, I know about the money. He was learning fashion designing and would be granted freedom on September 10 this year. He wanted to purchase his sewing machine for start-out on vocation around here with the money the police saw him with. But he later decided otherwise, after he reliably gathered that sewing machines are quite cheaper in Akure than here in Osun. The cop killed my son because of the money. The said money and some other belongings of his could not be found as I am talking to you.

Did you or your late son have premonitions that something of this nature would happen?

I did not have any premonitions. He was his usual self. He was neither sick nor nursing any ailments. What topped the discussions we both had was about his freedom from apprenticeship. But I had the nudging to hear from him about that time {i.e. about the time the incident occurred); unknown to me that something terrible had happened. I had no phone. He had repaired my faulty phone, but the battery was no longer functioning. He promised to help me buy another one the next time he was coming. I received his friend’s call on my neighbour’s phone, informing me of the incident. Who is going to help me out of this grief? I want justice to be dispensed rightly and accordingly over the death of my son.

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