Peter Dada, Akure
Residents of Akungba Akoko community in the Akoko South-West Local Government Area of Ondo State are still puzzled over what could have made a policeman, identified as Tolulope Saliu, to allegedly kill his wife and also take his own life.
The state police command said it had begun investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of the couple.
Saliu was alleged to have shot his wife in the head and later shot himself too with a gun he brought from the office. The late couple reportedly left behind a two-year-old child and a three-week-old baby.
The incident, which occurred on Tuesday, March 11, 2020, was said to have shaken the town because such an incident was strange in the community. While some people said the deceased might have suffered mental disorder before executing the dastardly act, others were of the opinion that the case might be spiritual and the late cop could have acted under a spell.
It was reported earlier that the late police sergeant attached to the Akungba-Akoko Police Division carried out the murder and also killed himself over allegation of infidelity. The report stated that the policeman accused his wife of adultery and an argument ensued between them which led to their death.
However, a police source close to the couple said the late cop’s wife was the one who accused him of having an affair with another woman in the community while she was away. The source said the woman and her husband didn’t live together and she only visited her husband the day the incident happened.
The source said, “The sergeant was transferred to the station in Akungba Akoko not long ago. For the first time since he came to the town, his wife visited him that day. His wife came to the station to meet her husband. The late sergeant introduced his wife to his boss and other colleagues in the station that day.
“But on getting home, the issue of the infidelity came up between them. There was a shouting match, accusation and counter-accusation between them. Their house was directly opposite the police station where he served. It was the noise of gunshots from their house that drew the attention of the late cop’s co-tenants and colleagues in the station.”
The source further stated that the couple died in the presence of their children. Similarly, a resident in the community who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there was an indication that the woman came to the town on that day to fight her husband as she got information that he was living with another woman in the town. She was also alleged to have gone to a beer parlour in the town to drink some beer upon arrival in the town.
It was believed that her reason for taking the beer was probably to be ready to fight her husband.
The resident said, “When the woman alighted from a commercial vehicle in the town, before heading for her husband’s place, she stopped at a beer parlour in the town, where she drank three bottles of beer.
“While in the beer parlour, she was boasting that she learnt that a lady in the town had snatched her husband. She vowed to deal with her husband that day. I think the lady was informed that her husband was having an affair with another woman. It was a few hours later that we heard of what happened to her and her husband.’’
The late police officer was a native of Idofin quarters in Supare Akoko, a neighbouring community, which is less than a kilometre distance to Akungba Akoko town, where the deceased served before his death.
Meanwhile, the incident has been generating reactions from different quarters as residents of the community described it as unfortunate and sad.
Speaking about the incident, the monarch of Supare Akoko, Oba Kasali Adedeji, said it was embarrassing to him to hear that a Supare indigene committed such crime.
“This should serve as a lesson to all. People should know how to manage their anger and distress. Even though I didn’t know the victim, some of his age mates said he didn’t visit his hometown regularly. It’s a tragic and unfortunate incident to our community, “the monarch said.
Also speaking about the incident, the Chairman, Police Community Relations Committee for Akungba Division, Rasheed Ajimo, described the development as a tragedy, calling on the state police command to conduct a proper investigation into the matter to get to its root.
The boss of the deceased policeman and Divisional Police Officer, Akungba-Akoko Police Division, CSP Sakiru Ajibola, said the state police command had begun investigation into the matter. He said Saliu’s death was a loss to the entire state police command.
“He was one of my hardworking officers. I am in shock because I don’t know what could have come upon him to kill himself and wife. Anyway, we have commenced investigation into the incident, “Ajibola stated.
As the police continued with their investigation into the matter, it was gathered that the two children left behind by the couple had been taken into custody by the family members of the woman.
The state police spokesperson, Mr Tee-Leo Ikoro, said investigation had begun to ascertain the cause of the deaths.
Ikoro said no one was present when the incident happened, saying it could be murder or suicide.
He, however, stated that the police did not “rule out the possibility of an explosion due to the loud noise heard at the time of the incident.”