By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA—No fewer than four persons reportedly lost their lives, yesterday, in Ibara Housing Estate area of Abeokuta, Ogun State, after excessive consumption of local liquor, known as Ogogoro.
The seller, one Salako Taloju, a security man that has his kiosk in front of the house of a prominent Abeokuta man, has been arrested.
It took four policemen about 15 minutes to drag Taloju, who appeared drunk, into their vehicle. He resisted arrest, claiming innocence, saying only three people died and that they lived around the area. He gave their names as Baba Imeko, Baba Onwenue and Easy.
He had reportedly been selling the liquor for over 20 years.
Vanguard gathered that the incident involved four persons: three of them died on Monday, while the fourth died later at the night.
Taloju, who spoke incoherently to newsmen, said: “We have been drinking together for a long time. I do not know why they have to accuse me now of killing them. I even took the same drink and nothing happened to me.”
Asked if he had reported the matter to his boss, Taloju said: “Do you want to kill me? My boss has warned me on several occasions not to drink again, but I refused to listen.”
One of the neighbours, Mrs. Kemi Adepitan, confirmed that the victims died after consuming the liquor, saying “it is true that they died. We were at the house of one of the victims this morning (yesterday) to console his family.”
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, described the report as a rumour, saying the command did not receive any report of death of anyone. He added that police had arrested the suspect, although they could not confirm the report.
He said: “As far as we are concerned, it is a rumour. If anybody comes to complain that a family member died, then we can confirm.
“We have not seen any dead body and nobody has complained of a dead family member. Even the suspect has been arrested, but he was drunk and we cannot rely on his statement.”