Ile-Ife mayhem: Eyewitnesses refuse to show up, as panel rounds off investigation

The panel of enquiry on disturbance of public peace, constituted  by the Osun State governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, to unravel the circumstances that led to the March 8, 2017 communal clash between Hausa and Yoruba on Friday, lamented throughout the its sitting that lasted 27 days, no eyewitness showed up to testify on the incident.
It would be recalled that violent clash, which culminated in the death of over 40 people caused tension and fear in the historical city of Ile-Ife, just as properties worth millions of naira were destroyed.
Tribune Online authoritatively gathered that since the panel began its sitting on April 19, 2017, there had been no eyewitness account from those that testified before it as majority of those that submitted memoranda were demanding compensation from the government.
While many claimed that their shops were looted during the fracas, many claimed that their houses were burnt and appealed to government to assist them.
Meanwhile, during a chat with journalists, after its sitting on Friday, in Ile-Ife, the secretary of the panel, Mr. Bisi Babalola, said that the panel had treated 289 of the 406 memoranda received.
Babalola who admitted that majority of those that submitted memoranda were not at the scene of the crisis, promised that the panel would address their individual matter in its final recommendation.
According to him, “we received 406 memoranda and with the four we have taken today (Friday), we have treated 289. I can assure the public that the panel will soon make recommendation to the government in due course.
“We started sitting on April 19 and we sat for 27 days. Many of those that submitted memoranda refused to show up before the panel despite announcement and several invitation,” Babalola said.
Earlier, the chairman of the panel, Justice Moshood Adeigbe, appreciated the people of Ile-Ife for the cooperation and support given to the panel during its sitting in the town.