WHEN Daramola Omoshalewa left home in the afternoon of Thursday last week, little did he know that it was the last time he was setting foot on his Festac Town home in Lagos.
The 45-year-old Assistant Treasurer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area lost his life after he was shot four times at the 3rd Avenue, K Close party secretariat where he was to attend a meeting. He was shot on his right armpit, on the chest and below the abdomen.
He later passed on, leaving behind his wife and three kids – two boys and a girl.
Tare Daramola, the slain APC chieftain’s wife, who narrated the story to the reporter, stated: “It is painful that there were people in the neighbourhood who should have helped, but nobody came to his aid.
“I don’t know why this country is like this. When we see our fellow citizens being tortured, humiliated or killed, no one would raise the alarm in defence of the victim.
“We have had similar killings in the past without government fishing out the perpetrators and punishing then as a deterrent to others who might be planning to commit similar crime. This is a national challenge.
“I want this to be a test case for the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Solomon Arase, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and President Mohammadu Buhari who has vowed to deal with cases of extra judicial killings in the country.
“I have been reading and hearing about such incidences in the past, but I didn’t know it would be my turn. My plea is to the state and federal government as well as the general public to assist in fishing out the killers of my husband so that punishment would be meted out to them. I need justice,” she said.
On whether there was any premonition that something wrong was about to happen on that fateful day, she replied: “His major plan was to attend his son’ s graduation ceremony. He left home sometimes past 12pm for the market to buy some materials for the event holding at 7th avenue. Whether he had in mind to attend the meeting at the APC secretariat, he didn’t disclose it to the children.
“What happened was astonishing to me because my husband was very quiet and friendly to everyone. But if he had any misunderstanding with anyone, I was not aware. I think they might have been after him for long.”
She alleged that it was a hatchet job, noting that every member of the APC executive was at the meeting when the incident took place. But when reminded that there was an allegation of the existence of factions in the political alignment of the council, she retorted: “Of course, but I’m not a follower of the politics of the area. He would come home and tell me those he felt I should know. The rest he kept to himself.”
An eyewitness, Mr. Adetansi Adekunsi explained what happened to the reporter: “We were at the Secretariat to prepare for the last Sallah festival. The party had donated some gifts for the celebration, and on getting there, he was there. I got there first, and we spoke because we belong to the same caucus.
“When I called him, it was for him and other members of the party to come and collect their own gifts. In the process, I went to discuss with the party secretary. While we were discussing, there were gunshots. Shots were fired four times. We asked someone to lock the entrance of the party secretariat, while we continued our discussion. Then we heard somebody was dead.
“I peeped through the window, and found out it was Daramola. We all rushed out and took him to the local government secretariat to get a doctor’s permit so as to take him to the General Hospital, because they wouldn’t treat him without the doctor’s permit. “While I was calling the attention of the Executive Secretary of the local government, Daramola’s body had already been taken to the General Hospital on 21 Road. I took a motorcycle to the hospital and by the time I got there, it was confirmed that he was dead. He was taken back to the council before his corpse was moved to the mortuary where he is lying until his family meets to announce plans for his burial.”
Adekunsi, who is the Assistant Financial Secretary of the party, alleged that Daramola’s killing was politically motivated. He noted that in politics, there were always quarrels and arguments.
He added that he had, on many occasions, personally reported to the police and the Department of State Service (DSS) that the venue the party was using for its executive meetings was not secured enough.
He claimed: “During our meetings, some thugs had burst into the secretariat to assault me. The same thing has happened to Mr. Okereke. There is a group believed to be opposed to the immediate past chairman who believes that governance is for service, and it is the same group that the late Daramola and I support. But members of the other group are of the view that public funds should be squandered.”
He claimed that the activities of the other group led to the woeful performance of the APC in the area during the last general elections.
“With the death of Daramola, our lives are no longer safe,” he noted.
He described the deceased as a peaceful man. “He was not a troublemaker. In fact, he was everybody’s friend. It could have been me if I had come out during the time the incident took place.”
Reacting to the incident, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Festac, Ifeanyi Owo, a superintendent of police (SP) disclosed that such matters were not handled at the divisional level since it was a murder case.
Owo said, “The matter has been passed on to the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and two persons have been arrested. They are; the party chairman and the guy who was with the deceased before he was shot.”