Tue. May 28th, 2024

A legal luminary and human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), has petitioned the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, over the alleged plans by Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, to eliminate the Social Democratic Party (SDP) governorship candidate, Alhaji Murtala Yakubu Ajaka, in the state.


Kogi SDP governorship candidate, Ajaka

Kogi SDP governorship candidate, Ajaka

Falana also raised the alarm over the state government threat to his client’s life
and that of his supporters, saying that the level of intimidation, harassment and blackmail has assumed dangerous dimensions.

The Senior Advocate further alleged that Governor Bello has concluded plans to file treasonable felony and terrorism charges against Ajaka.

Falana stated this in the petition dated July 12 and acknowledged by the office of the IGP on the same date.

In the petition, Falana stated that since the nomination of Murtala Yakubu Ajaka as SDP governorship candidate in Kogi State, Governor Yahaya Bello has denied him and his large political followers of lawful assemblage and peace in the state, which is contrary to their fundamental human rights as guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Gov Yaya Bello

The petitioner also alleged that the Kogi Governor, using the state apparatus, has launched a violent attacks on SDP candidate and its supporters with premeditated intentions to install his cousin brother as the next Kogi Governor.

“The illegality of Kogi Governor was actualised during an attack on the SDP candidate while returning to Lokoja around Banda after a familiarisation visit to the Ohimege Igu of Kotonkarfe, on June 3rd , 2023,” Falana said.

In the petition, Falana accused the Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Command, and other security agencies of refusing to investigate a petition written by the SDP candidate, rather they are acting in cahot with the state government to arrest and hounder Ajaka with terrorism and treasonable felony act and possibly eliminate him.

The legal icon is therefore appealing to the IGP to caution and investigate the state commissioner of police and his men, who are doing the bidding of Kogi Governor for pecuniary gains.

Falana is also asking the IGP to protect Ajaka and his supporters in the state and investigate the reason behind the manhunt for SDP governorship for possible trump up charges.

He also cited an instance where the Kogi Governor described himself as a ‘lion’ returning to his den and was crossed by an ‘antelope ‘ referring to the SDP candidate as an antelope.

The petition reads in part; “Our client as a Nigerian Citizen, an indigene of Kogi State and a Governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party in Kogi State is entitled to the constitutional protection of his right to vote and be voted for.

“And in the exercise of this right, the Kogi State Governor lacks the authority to use state actors and non state actors to harass, intimidate and blackmail our client.

“In view of the foregoing, we urge you to cause an investigation into the allegations of threat to the life of our client, attacks on him and his clients, trumped up charges of terrorism and treasonable felony.

“We further demand that you direct the immediate demobilization of all armed thugs and killer squads set up by the State Government to intimidate the perceived political opponents of Governor Bello.

“Meanwhile, you may wish to direct the Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Command, to caution his men and officers from allowing themselves to be used as tools for political oppression of opposition political parties in the state and in particular our client and his supporters.

“While anxiously awaiting your urgent reply to this letter please accept the assurances of our esteem and professional regards”.

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