Mrs. Adebayo (not real name), who witnessed how Brig. Gen. Sylvester Iruh (retd.), was killed last Friday on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway by some suspected herdsmen, has said she can recognise the killers.
This is just as the Ogun State Police Command said four suspects had been arrested in connection with the killing.
Adebayo spoke with our correspondent at Akute area of the state on Wednesday.
“Because of where I work and my popularity, I don’t want the animals that killed general Iruh to come looking for me. But I can recognise them if I see them,” she said.
She insisted that her face should not be photographed.
Adebayo, a dentist, said she still finds it difficult to believe that Iruh, who had travelled for about six hours on the road, could be killed less than an hour to his home.
She said, “When we stopped at the spot to change the tyre, a towing van driver came and warned us that the place was dangerous.
“We then decided to move away from there. One of the two other occupants of the vehicle and myself were outside the Hilux van while the general was packing up the tools.
“Before we knew what was happening, two men came from nowhere shouting, ‘money, money!’
“They were clearly Fulani men. One of them had the stick that herdsmen carry about while the other was wielding a long dagger. Before I could bring money from my bag in the vehicle, they had started stabbing the general.”
Adebayo told PUNCH Metro that what was uppermost in her mind was how to get the assailants off Iruh.
She said as Iruh was being attacked with the dagger, she was waving them off, begging them to stop.
Adebayo added that it was in the process that she was stabbed in her arm.
The dentist said, “When I realised that my intervention was not working, I ran towards oncoming vehicles and begged them to help us. But nobody stopped.
“I wish somebody had stopped to help us. The general wouldn’t have died. It was not even dark. It was around 6.30pm. We saw their faces well and people in the vehicles that were passing saw clearly what was happening.
“But suddenly a commercial bus moved towards us and the attackers quickly ran away without robbing us. I can’t even remember how they disappeared.”
She said immediately the men ran away, the driver of the bus that came towards them was afraid when he saw the general in a pool of blood.
Adebayo said, “When I saw him, I told myself he would pull through it, because I wasn’t afraid of blood. I thought he would survive. But it was so sad he died at the Lagos State Emergency Hospital we took him to.
“The trauma has made me forget a lot of details about that night. I cannot remember if the men carried bows and arrows.
“But when we got to the hospital, an okada rider was later brought in, who said he was attacked at the same place by four herdsmen. He said he gave them the money they demanded but still chopped his ear off.”
Adebayo said she believes the men were just out for blood, because they started attacking them immediately.
It was learnt that Iruh’s corpse is still at the morgue of the Military Hospital, Ikoyi.
A close friend of Iruh, Maj.-Gen. Saidu Balogun (retd.), who read about the general’s death in The PUNCH, said, “I am really shocked and devastated. Iruh was a gentleman and a good officer who never hurt anybody. This is really sad.”
Meanwhile, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, confirmed that four suspects had been arrested in connection with the general’s murder.
Adejobi, who said investigations were still ongoing, gave the names of the suspects as Alamin Grema, Mustapha Musa, Yahaya Amodu and Cube Morris.
“The Commissioner for Police, Mr. Ikemefunna Okoye, has mobilised men to the area, which has always been a black spot. We have one KRS vehicle and unmarked vehicles patrolling the area. The Divisional Police Officer of the area has been put on the alert,” he said.