At 20, young Ayomide Taiwo was already the breadwinner of his family. His father had died a few months after he was born on September 8, 2000 in Iragbiji, Boripe Local Government Area of Osun State. From then, the care of the family fell on the shoulders of his mother, Yemisi Taiwo, a farmer.
Lacking financial resources to continue his education, Ayomide enrolled as an apprentice with a fashion designer in the same town towards the end of 2016. At the end of the training in 2019, he embarked on petty sewing to raise money for his graduation which was billed for September 10 this year. Unfortunately, he was killed by a police officer over a N50 bribe, a month before the day that his mother had been looking forward to.
Late Ayomide had come home from Owena where he was practicing his trade to celebrate the Islamic festival, Eid-el-Kabir, with his mother. Days after the event on August 3, he decided to travel back to his base with his friend, Wasiu Oladimeji. The deceased had bought a motorcycle which they were riding on the fateful trip.
As if she had a premonition, before leaving the house, Mrs Taiwo said she had counselled her son to be careful with bribe-seeking police officers on the road.
“Don’t argue with them on the road ooo. Once they ask for money, give them N50,” the widow recalled telling her son. She also recalled giving him 10 N50 notes (N500) for the bribes.
At Ere Junction in Obokun, Ayomide and his friend were stopped by police officers at a checkpoint; and as usual, they demanded a bribe. Mr Oladimeji said four officers attached to Obokun Divisional Police Headquarters stopped them and in the course of negotiating the bribe, an inspector who appeared drunk, Ago Egharevba, hit Ayomide with butt of his riffle.
“The officer was angry that he offered them N50. After hitting Ayomide’s head, we both fell from the motorcycle and blood was rushing out from his head, nose, mouth and ears. I also suffered injury,” Mr Oladimeji said.
“Immediately that occurred, the officers who were not drunk ran away. As the one who carried out the attack was trying to escape, he was apprehended by passersby. We were later asked to rush Ayomide to hospital.”
“A few minutes after he left, some people ran to my house crying that Ayomide had been attacked by a police officer. I was curious, knowing full well that my son was not a trouble.