Masquerade shots and kills Islamic cleric in Abeaokuta

Tragedy struck on Monday in Ijaye, Abeokuta, as reprisal attacks were carried out by the sect of a Muslim cleric, one Lateef Amusa, 30, who was allegedly shot and killed by a masquerader on Sunday.

Sources say Amusa was shot dead by a masquerader popularly known as Leyin Aponle, during the celebrations of the annual Egungun Festival in Ijaye, at the weekend.

He had been riding on a motorcycle, in continued defiance of an earlier warning from the masquerade to disembark.

This infuriated the masquerade who shot at the cleric, who immediately fell and died on the spot.

Angered by the killing, members of his sect on Monday morning invaded Ijaye, armed with kegs of petrol and other dangerous weapons and attacked the family house of the masquerader which they set ablaze.

The sect members were said to have also removed the masquerader’s costume which they dragged to the street entrance before setting it ablaze, along with other paraphernalia.

Meanwhile, a detachment of heavily armed regular and anti-riot policemen drawn from the different divisions in the state, have been sent to ensure peace in at Ijaye.

The Balogun of Ijaye, Chief Ganiu Babayeju-Alemo, told journalists that the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, had placed a ban on the continuation of the 17-day annual Egungun Festival.

Also, the police command in the state said it arrested four suspects, including a masquerader, for the killing.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, who confirmed the arrests, said the Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye, had ordered a thorough investigation into the matter.

The masquerader and the other suspects are to be charged to court as soon as investigations into the matter are concluded.

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