Monday, 14 July 2014

Tolani Ajayi Speaks Again: "My Dad Was Really A Good Father, He Never Beat Me''

Tolani Ajayi was cool and his mien was exceptionally calm. One could have mistaken him for a young man who had just rolled out of bed to answer a knock at the door. But what brought him to the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ogun State Police Command, Eleweran, Abeokuta was an unimaginable crime.

The 21-year-old hacked his 64-year-old father, Mr. Charles Ajayi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria to death in the middle of the night last week Thursday. And in a new chat with Punch, Tolani got to talk about how he killed his father, a story that seems to come straight from a Hollywood movie script.

Reports about the murder had dwelled on Tolani’s drug problem but he took time to clarify the issue.
He said he indeed had problem with the management of the Redeemer University as a result of his drug using habit, even though he would not reveal what kind of drug it was.
He said:

     “I was not introduced to drug by my friends. Of course, they may have told me about drugs but it was my choice to get drugs and use them. I can’t tell you where I got the drugs either.

    Drugs did not push me to kill my father, I was just angry because he was hitting me and also bit me in my shoulder. I had to rush to the kitchen and took a knife that I used to stab him. It was after that I went to take a cutlass that I used to hack him into pieces.”

The young man said it was his father’s choice for him to attend the RUN, stating that his university of choice was the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Asked how that made him feel, Tolani simply shrugged and smiled.

Saturday PUNCH learnt that Tolani’s wayward behaviour was the reason the father left his Abuja base for the RCCG Camp for a prayer intercession for his first son. In the middle of the night, around 1.30am, the father woke up for a prayer and urged the son to take part, it was learnt.

The police said as the father prayed, the son kept mute. But when the infuriated father urged him to say ‘Amen’ to each word of prayer, Tolani reportedly told him:

    “You are praying to God, not me. Why is it important that I should say ‘Amen?”

He was said to have willingly and calmly explained to the police what transpired between him and his father. Punch correspondent asked if his father was in the habit of beating him and whether that was why he felt he had had enough, Tolani firmly said that his father never beat him and that that was the only time he would bite him.

    He was a good father and actually took care of us well. I never lacked anything. I was just angry that day.”

The young man told Punch correspondent that he regularly attended church programmes but said:

     “I am not a spiritual person. I have prayed since I killed my dad and asked God for forgiveness because I actually regret that I killed him. What can anybody do for me? I am ready to face the consequences of my crime.”

Asked if he had spoken to his mother who was at home in Abuja when he was killing his dad in Lagos, Tolani shook his head.
He said:

    “I expect that she would be devastated right now and would still be mourning. I would tell her I am sorry when I speak with her. But I have spoken to my sister on the phone since after the incident. She was devastated too.”

Tolani, a 300-level student of History and International Relations, said he even has a girlfriend and other friends in school, who would obviously still be in shock at the moment.

When Punch correspondent spoke with the spokesperson for RUN, Mr. Tunji Adeleye, on the phone on Wednesday, he expressed the university’s displeasure about reports that had attached the name of the institution to crime.
He said:

     “We are strict and enforce scriptural value, any misconduct or plan for misconduct can earn summary dismissal. RUN is not a rehabilitation centre, parents cannot transfer their responsibilities to institutions. But we don’t have information from the parents about how he was raised. So, we cannot assume anything. People should not add to the family’s agony.

    “The case did not happen under our jurisdiction. The boy has even said he was on holiday. We don’t have much information more than what is already reported in newspapers.

    Only God can remedy the damage that reports about this case has done to the image of RUN. People should focus on the investigation by the police because it has nothing to do with us.

    In any case, the Vice-Chancellor is not available now. We will reach out to you when he is available to give any information we may have on the boy.”

The Police Public Relations Officer of the Ogun State Police Command, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, said investigation would reveal every hidden truth about the crime committed by Tolani.
He said:

     “The boy did not deny anything. He did not attempt to run away when our men got to the house. It is quite unfortunate. Something propelled him to kill his father in such a gruesome manner but we will leave that to the court because he would be arraigned soon.

    The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikemefuna Okoye, commiserates with the family for this unfortunate incident and we will liaise with the management of RUN on the matter

    But we want to use this opportunity to advise schools, individuals and families to learn from this incident. Even, we as police have a lot to learn from this.”

It is good that he is taking full responsibility for his actions, not blaming his father, friends or drugs

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