By Ariwodola Idowu
Ado Ekiti – A senior traditional chief in Ijero Ekiti Local Government Area of Ekiti, Adewole Ajayi was murdered on his farm on Friday, the police say.
Ajayi, a high chief, popularly known as Iroko Ekiti, was believed to have been murdered inside the farm, located at a neighbouring town, Oke-Oro, also in Ijero Ekiti Local Government Area.
The Police Command in Ekiti confirmed the incident, saying a suspect, Dele Ojo-Aro, had been arrested in connection with the incident.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, said preliminary reports indicated that the suspect had been a long time notorious thief, terrorising farms in recent times.
“I can confirm to you that the suspect had earlier been reported for stealing from farms.
” We were reliably informed that he indeed went to the farm to steal the deceased’s yam and in an attempt to get him apprehended, he shot him in the hips with the dane gun he was carrying,” Ikechukwu said.
The traditional ruler of Iroko Ekiti, Oba Sunday Ekundayo, also confirmed the incident.
The suspect is a native of a neighouring town of Odo Oro Ekiti.
His alleged involvement in the matter has, however, caused ill feelings between the two neighouring communities, a source said..
The latest incident occurred barely two weeks after the traditional ruler of Odo Oro Ekiti, Oba Gbadebo Ogunsakin, was murdered in his palace.
News Agency Nigeria (NAN) learnt that Ajayi had gone to the farm early in the day and allegedly found his assailant on his farm stealing yams.
A source said both the victim and the suspected assailant had their farms along the same route but that Ajayi went to the farm at about 6a.m. and found his killer on the farm.
“It was in an attempt to arrest him that the suspect shot him with a dane gun in the hips and disappeared.
“But when the chief did not return home in normal time and the news of his death began to filter out, people started probing into those that went to farm early and that was how some people testified that the suspect was seen going to the farm.
“People started suspecting him from there,” the source said.