A 25-year-old man, Anu Yusuf, a newly admitted Mechanical Engineering student, has drowned while attempting to escape from some policemen at Isheri community area of Ogun State.
Incidentally, the police were not after Anu, but rather chasing some hoodlums in the community. But when Anu saw them, fearing the worse, he bolted. He was alleged to have jumped into a river and drowned.
The incident occurred on November 29, about noon.
The policemen allegedly went to the community to collect their usual ‘toll’ from an Indian hemp seller when the tragic incident occurred.
According to residents, just as the policemen were leaving, someone told them that some ‘bad boys’ were gambling in a particular building. The said building is opposite Anu’s home. The deceased’s house is also close to the river.
A witness said: “Anu came out at that precise time to wash his hands. He had just finished eating his meal. He saw the policemen chasing the hoodlums. The policemen mistook him to be one of the hoodlums and threatened to shoot him. While he was explaining that he was not part of the hoodlums, one of the policemen tried to grab him. Anu dived into the river, hoping to swim, but instead drowned.”
His distraught father, Mr. Akeem Yusuf, said: “I was not at home when the incident occurred. I was told that my son stepped outside to wash his hands when he ran into the policemen. The policemen were chasing some hoodlums in the community. My wife told me that the policemen came to meet a man selling Indian hemp in the community. They were done with the hemp seller and were on their way out when someone pointed to the building, where the hoodlums were gambling.
“Immediately the hoodlums saw the policemen, they took to their heels. It was in the process of chasing them that they ran into my son, who was washing his hands. They threatened to shoot him if he tried to escape. To avoid being arrested, he dived into the river. Unfortunately he died in the process. Since then, we have been searching for the remains of my son. My son was supposed to resume at Obafmi Awolowo University, to study Mechanical Engineering, now I will never see my son anymore. He was my best friend.”
A resident of the area, who gave his name simply as Adebayo, said: “The death of Anu was unfortunate. This is not the first time that policemen from Adigboluja Police Station would enter this community, to start chasing young, innocent people into river. The deceased was not among those gambling. It was when Anu feared that they might shoot him that he dived into the river. We waited outside throughout the night hoping that the body would be washed back to the shore and we are still waiting.”
It was learnt that immediately the policemen realised that Anu had drowned, they fled the community, abandoning their operational vehicle.
When news of Anu’s death filtered into the community, some angry youths vandalised the policemen’s operational vehicle.
Another resident, who gave her name as Iya-Ibeji, said: “It’s tragic and painful for a parent to lose his or her child in such a circumstance.”
She, therefore, urged the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Illyasu, to call policemen from Adigboluja Police Station to order.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, promised to find out the fact of the matter and get back to our correspondent. But as at press time, he was yet to do so.

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