Pandemonium broke out in Ikire, Irewole local government area of Osun State, on Monday, October 26, as hoodlums engaged soldiers in a gun duel.
Reporters At Large gathered that no fewer than seven persons have lost their lives in battle.
It was gathered that the hoodlums who had wanted to attack the palace of Akire of Ikire, Oba Olatunde Falabi, were initially repelled by the soldiers before they finally forced their way into the palace.
The hoodlums, it was gathered, started hurling stones at the soldiers and later ambushed and snatched their rifles.
According to the report, the hoodlums collected four guns from the soldiers and injured them in the process.
It was gathered that the injured soldiers were later rushed to the nearby hospital for treatment, adding that the hoodlums were asked to return the rifles with thirty minutes.
The failure of the hoodlums to return the stolen rifles made the soldiers call for reinforcement and this led to serious shootings between the soldiers and the hoodlums.
The rampaging youths besieged the place at around 10 o’ clock in the morning insisting that the monarch was occupying the throne illegally.
Reporters At Large gathered that the youth’s action was based on the non-implementation of the Supreme Court judgment which declared the continued stay of Oba Olatunde Falabi on the throne as illegal.
The development brought panic to the town as residents left the palace vicinity for safety.
In a telephone interview with newsmen, the Police Public Relations Officer, Osun State command, Mrs. Yemisi Opalola confirmed the incident.
Mrs. Opalola said security operatives had been deployed to the town to forestall further breakdown of law and order.
The Supreme Court had in 2014 ruled it was not the turn of Oba Olatunde Falabi to be on the throne.
The Osun State High Court, sitting in Ikire recently affirmed the Apex Court judgment in another application by the Akire.
An eyewitness who spoke to Reporters At Large on condition of anonymity said that the hoodlums were reportedly working for a prince of the town who wanted to use the #EndSARS protests to cause trouble in the town and take over the palace from the incumbent monarch, Oba Olatunde Falabi.
He said the gunbattle led to the death of many residents of the town including some family members of the prince who is purportedly causing chaos in the ancient town.
Another resident who also pleaded anonymity said some armed hoodlums sacked the palace, beat several chiefs and their drivers to stupor and ransacked the whole building.
He said: “Around 10am today, October 26, 2020, some armed hoodlums sacked the palace, beat several chiefs and their drivers to stupor and ransacked the whole building. It took frantic efforts of the security personnel to whisk the royal father away.”
A young man who simply identified himself as Baba Ayo said: “No fewer than seven people have been killed including a soldier. When those hoodlums sacked the palace, six soldiers were sent from the nearby Ede barracks to placate the tensed situation and appeal to the miscreants.
“On getting there, the hoodlums attacked the soldiers, stoned and beat them. Two of them managed to escape but luck ran out of the remaining.
“Their rifles were snatched, their uniforms were taken off and their vehicle was totally destroyed. One of them was later reportedly killed.”