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Man allegedly stabbed to death by masquerade



LIFE, to say the least, was cruel to him.After seven years of living from hand to mouth and desperately searching for a means of livelihood, Femi Makanjuola, 30, eventually secured a job but he was gruesomely murdered on October 6, two days before he was due to start that job he had longed for on October 8.
A senior secondary school certificate holder who could not immediately further his education because of financial challenges, his life was cut short before his dream of working to earn a living came through.

The victim was reportedly stabbed to death by a masquerade at Olomoyeye Street, Oke-Aro, Akure, Ondo State capital for refusing to part with a token the masquerade and his followers had requested for during a traditional outing.

Basking in the euphoria that he would be starting work at Dangote Cement Company in Edo State and, having informed friends and family members and had taken time to pack his belongings for the journey, the deceased reportedly left home around 7:30pm penultimate Saturday to pick some food items but never returned home.

Instead, he ended up in the mortuary that same night.

Sunday Vanguard was informed that Femi was stabbed by the masquerade, suspected to be one Olu Olowokere, 35, in the stomach because he bluntly refused to give the masquerade and his followers who accosted him money.

A family member of the deceased said, “Femi resided with his mother. He had just secured a job with Dangote Cement Company in Edo State with the hope of assuming office on Monday, October 8, 2018.

“He was preparing to cook beans that night and had gone to a nearby shop to buy ingredients to spice up the food when he met his death”.

The family member went on, “Five young boys were on an outing with one of them acting as a masquerade, and they got to where the victim was. The masquerade and his followers demanded money which the deceased refused to give and this did not go down well with them.

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“An argument led to the stabbing of the deceased after he had been thoroughly beaten by the masquerade and his followers”.

‘I am not the killer’

However, the suspected killer, Olowokere, during an interview, denied the allegation, saying the dastardly act was carried out by one of his followers during their traditional outing in the town.

He said, “l am not the one. It’s one of the people that accompanied me that committed the crime.

“They went back to town after the outing which I didn’t authorize. It’s when the police came to my house that I realized what the boys had done. They are currently on the run”.

Meanwhile, Femi’s mother, Monisola Awosanmi, in an interview at the police station, called for justice.

Monisola said her son had gone out to buy some items in the next street that evening when he met his untimely death.

“l was expecting him to return with the ingredients he had gone to buy only for one of our neighbours to inform me that my son had been rushed to hospital”, the bereaved mother lamented.

She said that by the time she saw his son, it was his lifeless body she met, only to be told what happened between the family house and the next street where he had gone to buy food ingredients.

Also speaking, 76-year-old father of one of the fleeing suspects, Ajoloko Daramola, said, “l never knew what was going on; they said it was my son, Sunday Daramola, who stabbed the young man to death and he is nowhere to be found.

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“I am 76 years old. l don’t want to spend the rest of my life in prison because of murder. My son has to show up and face the music”.

Meanwhile the spokesperson for Ondo State Police Command, Femi Joseph, said “the masquerade and his accomplices stabbed the deceased to death after he refused to yield to their demand for money”.

The suspects, according to him, were arrested at the scene of incident by an angry mob when they were about to flee after the murder of the victim.

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Joseph said two other suspects, Deji Dada, of Jeje Street, Danjuma, and Sunday Daramola, of Olorunsogo Street, Gaga, Akure, were at large.

According to him, the victim had just secured a job before his untimely death.

The police spokesperson said, “All over the world, what we know about masquerade dance is to entertain the people. What happened in Akure was to the contrary”.

He expressed concern over the unruly activities of masquerades in the ancient town.

The police in the state, he threatened, will, henceforth, not fold their hands while people, under the guise of traditional festival, take the law into their hands and rupture peace in the state.

Joseph said the case at hand would be pursued to a logical conclusion and would serve as deterrent to others across Ondo.

He wondered why an innocent life would be wasted just because the victim refused to part with his money.

“Investigation is ongoing towards apprehending the accomplices involved in the crime while the suspects in police custody will soon appear in court”, the spokesperson added.