Another chapter in the diary of fascism was opened yesterday in Nigeria’s South Western State of Osun, as an Osogbo Magistrate Court revoked the bail granted the 24 members of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) who were arraigned in July 2008 for protesting against the alleged illegal communing between Otunba Kunle Kalejaye (SAN) and members of the Justice Thomas Naron-led Osun State Election Petition’s Tribunal.
As soon as the Magistrate Olalekan Ijiyode revoked their bail and remanded the CACOL members in Ilesa Maximum Security Prisons on Monday, one of the Human Rights activists, Comrade Shuaib Adeoye collapsed in the dock and fainted.
Adeoye was left unattended to by the heavily armed police team led by the controversial DSP Adekunle Ayuba who came for prosecution.
When the accused persons were called into the dock, Ayuba requested that their names be called again and opposed their bail.
The CACOL members have been present at their trial on every adjourned date since last year when they were first arraigned after an unduly prolonged period of remand in Ilesa Prisons custody.
Objecting to the application for bail moved by Mr. Alfred Adegoke for the accused persons who were charged to court for conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace, DSP Ayuba cited an innocuous security report which claimed that the men were in the midst of another alleged plans to carry out what he described as another more grievous protest.
The Magistrate then ordered that the accused persons that included the chairman of the Osun State chapter of National Conscience Party (NCP), Comrade Waheed Lawal be remanded in Prison till April 14, 2009 when he would deliver his ruling.
We call this development an unnecessary misuse of the judiciary to intimidate, harass, hound and silence those who are opposed to Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
When, following national and diplomatic outcry, chieftains of the PDP led by Chief Gani Oladiran were reluctantly arraigned in court raping a member of the opposition Action Congress (AC), Miss Tosin Ajakaye, the accused persons were summarily granted bail without suffering prolonged period of remand like members of the opposition.
Comrade Shuaib Adeoye, who is now in coma at the emergency unit of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital Complex (LAUTECH) was, before his arrest, physically slapped, kicked severally in his groin and battered on the head, chest and stomach by the Osun State Police Commissioner, Mr. John Moronike in the presence of journalists who covered the peaceful protest. Since then, Adeoye has not been in good health.
The Police under Mr. Moronike curiously provided cover for dismissed chairmen and councilors of the PDP who were armed with guns and machetes as they protested round Osogbo, the state capital against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Ibadan which sacked them and voided their elections as illegal.
Many innocent members of the public were injured but the Police turned the other eye as if nothing happened. Several members of the opposition have been gunned down and killed by known PDP chieftains with no arrests or prosecution. The former chairman of Ilesa East Local Government, Mr. Isaac Makinwa who shot and killed four members of AC in Ilesa on April 14, 2007 with his riffle was ordered to be released by Governor Oyinlola from Police custody.
Mr. Dokun Adeniji and one Mr. Wasiu embedded into the convoy of Senator Iyiola Omisore who were alleged to have killed Mr. Samson Olanrewaju on April 14, 2007 elections day have remained untouchable till today just as the Abayomi Ogundeji, son of the member representing Boripe/Boluwaduro State Constituency, Mr Akanmu Ogundeji are walking their streets free with the blood of innocent opposition members staining their hands.
The change of Magistrates was merely exploited by the Police acting under the influence of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola to haul these human rights campaigners into detention.
There is no threat to the peace of Osun State. Since they were arraigned in court last year, the Police have not opened trial while the CACOL members have always been present in court.
We take serious exception to this unrelenting assault and violation of the rights of our people and warn that if the Osun State Police Command should continue this way, victims of lawlessness and state-sponsored aggression may resort to self-help.
We call on the Inspector-General of Police, Sir Mike Okiro to step into the matter today and prevent the duo of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Mr. John Moronike from turning Osun State into a battle field where innocent people will be turned to guinea fowls under a pacification exercise.
Comrade Adeoye must not die because he has done nothing to warrant this ordeal. We call for immediate halt to this regime of fascism and totalitarian aggression on the rights of our people who patience is already growing thin with every passing day under the jackboot democracy patented and foisted by retired Brigadier-General Olagunsoye Oyinlola in Osun State.
SIGNED BY: Gbenga Fayemiwo
Media Director to Action Congress (AC) Gubernatorial Candidate for Osun State, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola