A students’ pressure group in Osun State, Education Rights Campaign (ERC), has called for the removal of Magistrate Olalekan Ijiyode of Osogbo Magistrate’s Court II, who revoked the bail of the 24 human rights activists that protested against the alleged compromise of Justice Thomas Naron-led Election Petitions Tribunal in July 2007.
Reacting to the revocation of the activists’ bail, the National Coordinator of the ERC, Comrade Taiwo Hassan (Soweto) lambasted the magistrate on what the group described as uncivilized attitude, adding that the reason why he remanded the suspects in prison custody was untenable.
According to Hassan, remanding the activists on a guise of provocative statement has shown that the magistrate himself is as corrupt as Naron and Kalejaiye, stressing that Ijiyode should not have trampled on the liberties of the accused persons as a result of a lawyer’s statement.
Hassan asserted that the action of Ijiyode, has further proved that the magistrate courts in Osogbo are working hand-in-hand with the state government, which he said was anti- masses.
He said; “The current detention of the 24 activists has again shown that Osun State government is anti-human, which uses the judiciary to trample on human rights.
“The statement made by Akano, one of the activists’ lawyers in court, was fair, because it was based on the alleged compromise of Osun judiciary in handling cases. It warned the magistrate against been compromised.
“Whatever Akano might have said, the magistrate should have displayed a good sense of maturity in the court, instead of using the statement as an excuse to revoke the bail of the activists.
“Right from time, the magistrate has been working hand-in-hand with the state government, just like his predecessors, Justice Jide Falola and magistrate Olapoju Akintayo.
“As far as we in the ERC are concerned, Ijiyode should be removed as a magistrate to enable justice to be dispensed fairly on the case.”
However, the group demanded for immediate release of the activists. “Nothing must happen to them. If any of them is reportedly harassed or victimized, we are going to hold the state government responsible, because it was Oyinlola that ordered their arrest. The activists were been victimized without committing any crime.”
“The people of Osun State must rise up and find a way to rescue ourselves from these oppressors in the state.”
“The reason why the 24 activists were remanded was because of the case at the appeal court.
“We should rise against this present government. The Oyinlola administration has failed the masses in every sector. It has not fulfilled any of his promises since 2003.
“Education is nothing to write home about. The roads are bad, while corruption has been legalized in the state.
“We need a government that will give us free education and good health facilities including good roads”
“The Oyinlola-led government will continue to jeopardize the lives of the people of the state. He has nothing to offer. We totally reject it.” the ERC stated.
By ISMAIL USMAN