The soldiers who brutalised Shooting Stars striker Ebenezer Odeyemi on Tuesday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, have reportedly tendered an apology to the victim and the club management, The PUNCH has learnt.
The media officer of 3SC, Tosin Omojola, made this known in a statement on Thursday.
The soldiers swooped on four 3SC players Odeyemi, Adekunle Adeniyi, Sochima Elum and Chimamkpa Onwubuchie while they were having dinner at a canteen at Idishin – near the club’s camp at Jericho Road, Ibadan after their training session.
While Elum, Onwubuchie and Adeniyi escaped being lynched, Odeyemi could not and was assaulted and beaten to a pulp by the four officers, who were on patrol, despite pleas that he was a player with 3SC and not a cultist.
“The action from the soldiers was not a deliberate one and they have apologised,” the statement read.
“The soldiers involved were drafted to the area (Idishin) as a security measure to put under check the activities of some notorious gangs who have been perpetrating evil deeds around the area for a while now and it was one of their routine checks that led to the incident.
“They (soldiers) saw the four players at the spot and having initially passed, they decided to turn back, to find out who they were and what their mission at that spot was.
They took to their heels out of fear when the soldiers approached them, giving the soldiers the impression that they (the players) were up to something.”
Meanwhile, Odeyemi, who suffered deep cuts on his chin and hallux (big toe), will miss 3SC’s match-day 17 clash against Kano Pillars on Sunday.
“I’m getting better now,” Odeyemi said.
“But the injury is unbearable, I feel pains though I examined myself Thursday morning at a hospital, with the club management.
“We have to thank God because I’m still alive. I won’t be available for the Kano Pillars match this weekend, my focus is to get back on the pitch as soon as possible and support the team with prayers.”