The well earned trial of Gani Oladiran, alleged rape mastermind and Osun Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, should be a lesson to the other criminally minded in that party, who have for too long lived with the illusion that, for being party thugs or thug managers, they are above the law.
Oladiran, a defector from the Action Congress (AC) to the PDP, was fingered as the alleged mastermind in the violent violation of a 17-year old school girl, just to settle partisan scores. Thugs, alleged to be loyal to the PDP, had in Ilesa seized the girl and gang-raped her in the house of Oladiran.
Not only that they, with a broken bottle, shaved her pubic air and forced the screaming, terrified girl to swallow the stuff! The poor victim was thereafter rushed to the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, before being transferred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, for treatment.
She lives now to bear her psychological scars, after the physical trauma of the rape. Aside from the rape victim, however, the same alleged PDP thugs literally hunted down youths they knew to be AC activists and dealt them matchet blows, causing them bodily injuries that could have resulted in death but for timely medical intervention.
This crime was again traced to the alleged PDP thugs, of which Oladiran was the alleged mastermind. But all through the period of the commission of the crime, Oladiran and his thugs acted as though they were above the law. As part of the shameful ensemble, the Police in Osun State went through the motion of arrests and quiet release; to the extent that the suspects openly bragged that no power on earth could bring them to justice for the holy crime in the name of their great party.
Even Oladiran himself clung to the sickening legalese that nobody could pin any rape offence on him since, he claimed, he was not at the scene, even if the offence took place in his house; and he was known to have close connection with the felons that carried out the deed. Not even Olagunsoye Oyinlola, as governor, expressed any outrage at the barbarity. Mum was the word from his end. Mum was the word from his spouse, who parades herself as First Lady and mother. And mum was the word from another mother, Deputy Governor, Erelu Olusola Obada!
It appeared therefore, despite the tomes of petition on this crime to the powers-that-be, that justice would be subverted – until, from a report, President Umaru Yar’adua went abroad, only to be confronted at the mockery of his rule of law policy: the un-apprehended rape of a 17-year old in 21st century Nigeria! That was when the president read the riot act to the inspector-general of Police (IGP), and the IGP read his own riot act to the Osun State Police commissioner, who in turn had no choice, but to arrest and charge the suspects.
That then was the background to the docking of Oladiran at an Osogbo magistrate’s court on Monday, August 18. Osun Defender reported how bewildered and distraught Oladiran was; and how bowed, ruffled and unkempt he was in the dock. That was the making of a fall guy and scapegoat – and, frankly, his ordeal serves him right! His would be a clear example to other rascals who nourish the illusion that because they commit illegality in the name of a sitting government, they are immune from the law.
So, let Oladiran and co stew in their own evil juice! Still, it is not yet time to celebrate. For one, a suspect is held until proven guilty. For another, the Oyinlola government is notorious for always subverting other arms of government in the conduct of their constitutionally stipulated duty. Both the Osun Magistracy and the Police have been serially compromised by this notorious government to miscarry justice, especially in political cases. That is why both the magistrate handling the case and the prosecuting police officer must be wary of the Oyinlola agents of subversion.
This is a case, we must add, that has assumed an international dimension. Let, for once, every public officer involved do his or her duty to the glory of their institutions. That is the only way civility and decency can re-enter the Osun political space. But let us part with this sword of Damocles: should there be any hanky-panky, the forces that compelled this trial in the first case are not about falling asleep. Let justice be done in this horrific rape.
A word is enough for the wise!