A 51-year-old woman, Mrs Funke Ashaolu was last Thursday killed by unknown gunmen in her shop at Elewure area of Sango, Ibadan, Oyo State in the presence of her husband and children at about 9.45p.m. The killing came several days after she received a call from unknown persons who instructed her to drop N20,000 in front of her shop under a small keg that would be partly filled with a liquid substance, with the threat that she would be killed if she refused to act accordingly.
The deceased, who traded in wine and liquor, was said to have reported the threat to the police at a nearby police station where her statement was taken.
Metro gathered from a reliable source who craved anonymity that to the woman’s consternation, a couple of days after she reported the case at the police station, she noticed a keg half-filled with petrol by her shop, which raised her fears that her callers meant business.
This was said to have taken her back to the police station where she reported, for the second time, what she saw at her shop, prompting detectives to follow her to the scene where they took the photograph of the keg.
The police officers on duty were said to have drafted a patrol team to the woman’s shop to be stationed there to prevent anything untoward.
Metro further gathered that this was the situation until last Thursday when the patrol team had to leave the spot after 9.00 p.m. as a result of a distress call it got to move to another troubled spot.
While the patrol team was manning the second spot, Metro learnt that the deceased called the operatives to inform them that she got a call from the unknown people who challenged her for involving the police over the issue of dropping N20,000.
The patrol team was said to have left where it was immediately but before it could get back to the woman’s shop, she had been shot.
Three men who rode on a motorcycle were said to have stopped in front of her shop where she sat with husband and children, when one of the men got down from bike, went into her shop, pulled a gun from his shirt and shot her.
Though she was rushed to Victory Hospital, Sango-Eleyele Road, Ibadan for treatment, Metro learnt that she died while receiving medical attention.
The manner of killing raised the belief of some friends and sympathisers that the woman was a victim of assassination, going by the incidents before her murder and the fact that nothing was taken from her shop by the assailants.
When contacted, the state Police Public relations Officer, Adekunle Ajisebutu confirmed the killing, saying that the police suspected armed robbery.
“Police received information at about 9:50p.m.
The hoodlums probably went there to rob but could not complete their action and then became agitated to escape. They did not take anything away. The deceased’s body was thereafter moved to the morgue at Alafia Hospital, Mokola, Ibadan,” Ajisebutu stated.
He also disclosed that the state Commissioner of Police, Sam Adegbuyi, visited the family on Friday, September 30 to offer his condolences, and had assured that the culprits would be fished out.
The Commissioner of Police has also directed that the case be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) for discreet investigation,” the PPRO concluded.