By News Express on 22/11/2013
The sleepy town of Ilase-Ijesa in Obokun local government area of Osun State was, on Wednesday night, thrown into mourning, when the ruler of the community, the Alase of Ilase-Ijesa, Oba Adesina Anibijuwon, was burnt to death inside his palace.
The 80-year old monarch, who became blind shortly after he ascended the throne, was allegedly attacked by some hoodlums at about 8.00pm inside his palace and eventually died when his room was razed by suspected arsonists.
The embattled monarch, who had been embroiled in a chieftaincy tussle upon his ascendance to the throne, was said to have mended fences with his rivals before the dastardly act was perpetrated.
It was learnt that unknown hoodlums claiming to be members of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) allegedly strangled Oba Anibijuwon before setting his residence ablaze around 8pm.
The monarch, who lost his sight about eight years ago, lived in the palace with a maid, having lost his wife many years ago.
The maid and two of her sons, who also live in the palace, escaped unhurt.
A chief, Oluwagbemiga Oke, said the palace was donated by a prominent indigene of the town.
He said the late monarch received five unidentified guests, who drove to the palace in a pink Mazda 323 saloon car, before the fire.
Oke said: “We were told the palace got burnt shortly after the unknown guests left.”
It was learnt that the “guests” removed their car’s number plate and burnt it when the vehicle broke down.
The maid has been arrested by the police.
An officer of the State Fire Service, Mr. Michael Ogundipe, said the incident was an arson case.
Taking officials of the state government, including Commissioner for Information and Strategy Sunday Akere, Commissioner for Culture and Tourism Sikiru Ayedun and Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters Amos Adekunle, round the palace, Ogundipe said nothing suggested that the fire was caused by power surge.
A businesswoman from the town, Chief Jumoke Ogunkeyede (a.k.a. JMK), said the monarch’s remains were evacuated by officials of the Osun Ambulance Services and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and deposited at the mortuary of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Teaching Hospital in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.
A chief, Adejumo Operinde, said necessary rituals would be conducted in accordance with the town’s tradition.
Akere assured the community of the government’s assistance.
He urged residents to be vigilant and report strange movements to security operatives.
•Story based on reports in Leadership, Nation and Punch. Photo courtesy The Nation shows the burnt palace.
Source News Express
Posted 22/11/2013 06:31:19 AM
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