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19.01.2024 Featured INSIDER: Man Behind Ibadan Explosion Was Escorted by Police While Bringing Explosives Into His Home

Published 19th Jan, 2024

By Timileyin Akinmoyeje

Residents of Dejo Oyelese Close had written to the Oyo State Government about Mali, the suspected miner whose dynamite caused a fatal explosion in Ibadan on Tuesday, on several occasions with no arrest or prosecution to show for it, an insider has told FIJ.

On Tuesday, an explosion occurred at the Dejo Oyelese Close, off Adeyi avenue in Ibadan, leaving “serious casualties”. The shockwave of the explosion, according to reports, was felt in communities more than 10 kilometres away from the explosion site.

FIJ earlier reported an eyewitness account of the incident, revealing how the explosion happened and how the government initially understated casualties. FIJ returned to the site of the explosion on Thursday and met a resident who had left home before the explosion happened.

The resident, whose identity is withheld for safety, explained how the Oyo State Government must have been aware of the suspected miner’s identity all along, how the police are culpable in the incident and how an house agent’s irresponsibility cost the entire close.

READ MORE: EYEWITNESS: How ‘Underground Dynamite’ Exploded in Ibadan and Government Understated Casualties

“If the government is saying that it is an illegal miner, then only one guy comes to mind. We all know him as Mali. I don’t know how he got to have that name, but I am aware he is not Nigerian. He has a family, and he has some people that work with him,” the Ibadan resident said.

“Mali lives in a rented apartment in the close. When people noticed the type of business he did, they first reported him to his house agent. I am sure that one did not do anything about it. The money he collected from the guy must have been sufficient for him to shut up.

“It’s not like he cannot even afford his own house, but knowing his type of business and how he is not Nigerian, it is obvious why he lives in a rented apartment.

“The government should stop putting up this front like they didn’t know what was going on. The people on this estate are educated. I am aware that several people have written to the government about this guy. At least more than once, that I know of. No one is doing anything about it. There is a lawyer, a legislator and a former deputy governor on this street.

“Also, whenever that guy brings his things inside the close, he has police escort. Mobile police. Look at this place closely; anyone that is familiar with the area can tell you. You cannot move anyhow here; the police will arrest you.

“So you think that guy has been smuggling those things in without police’s consent? He even said, like I heard from someone, that the people on this street are not connected enough to stop his business.

READ MORE: PHOTO STORY: A Walk Around Ibadan Explosion Scene

“They need to stop insulting our intelligence in this place and take responsibility. I have not heard from my neighbours. My family wasn’t also around. That is the reason you can see me here talking to you. I don’t even want to imagine what casualty figures there are right now.

“I even heard that Mali, his wife and his kid had left the close before the explosion. They had better arrest him and take responsibility if they don’t want God’s punishment.”

FIJ also interviewed a domestic worker in the close about Mali. “I know Mali and his wife,” he said. “I don’t know what he does, but I know police people escort him when he comes with a motor into the close.”

Meanwhile, the Oyo State Government blamed the residents on Wednesday for keeping quiet about the miner’s activities, according to a report by TheCable.

READ MORE:BREAKING: ‘Serious Casualties’ Recorded As Explosion Rocks Ibadan

Seyi Makinde, the Oyo State governor, stated that the residents were aware of illegal mining activities but failed to report them to the state government. He asserted that the government had no reason to hide anything about the incident or its cause.

Although his nationality remains unconfirmed, the Oyo Assembly identified the alleged miner as a foreigner named Sawani Yusuf on Thursday. The assembly also raised questions about why explosives were kept in a residential area and who authorised their storage in houses.

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Published 19th Jan, 2024

By Timileyin Akinmoyeje

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