LAGOS — Lagos lawyer and human rights activists, Mr. Femi Falana, has called on the Ekiti State governor, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, to ensure that those responsible for the killing of one Mr. Foluso Ogundare at a political rally in Emure Ekiti, on November 4, were brought to book.
He called on the governor to declare zero tolerance for extra-judicial killings, political violence, and thuggery in the state.
Falana in a statement, yesterday, said “On November 4, 2013 a peaceful political rally in Emure Ekiti was violently attacked by some armed thugs. In the mayhem visited on the unarmed people at the rally, one Mr. Foluso Ogundare was attacked and severely wounded.
“He was rushed to the hospital, where he gave up the ghost. Two days later, I sent a petition to the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar to demand for the immediate arrest and prosecution of all the cowards, who snuffed life out of Mr. Ogundare. Since there are eye witnesses, who were present at the scene where the dastardly act was executed in broad daylight, the Police should quickly conclude investigation into the incident and charge the suspects to court for the criminal offences of conspiracy and murder.
“As I did say in my afore-mentioned petition to the Inspector-General of Police, “To stem the tide of political violence in Ekiti State, I am compelled to request you to direct the Ekiti State police command to prosecute all the suspects, as well as the criminals who recently unleashed violence on law abiding citizens at a burial ceremony at Iyin-Ekiti and at a political meeting at Ado-Ekiti. The thugs and their masterminds should not be given the impression that they have immunity from prosecution for unleashing violence on innocent people.
“It is sad to note that since 2003, successive governments in EkitiState have treated indicted murderers like sacred cows. Hence, criminals whose hands are soaked in blood have held Ekiti people hostage. From the information at my disposal, all the suspects responsible for the politically motivated killings in EkitiState for the past 10 years have been identified by the Police and the Department of Security Services. Indeed majority of the suspects were charged to the state High Court in Ado Ekiti. But the cases were deliberately programmed to fail leading to the release of the suspected murderers, including those who had admitted their role and involvement in such heinous crimes.
“A political chieftain of and his police orderly, who were convicted and jailed for killing two students of the Ikere College of Education were granted pardon and set free in 2009. At about the same time, the suspects, who were standing trial for the gruesome murder of Dr Ayo Daramola and Mr Tunde Omojola were granted bail in questionable circumstances.
“Since then the whereabouts of some of the suspects has remained unknown and the cases may soon be struck out for want of diligent prosecution. No government which allows murderers whose hands are soaked with the blood of innocent people to walk free can seriously stop the shedding of the blood of innocent people.”
“In the atmosphere of impunity which has gradually returned to Ekitiland, the state government cannot wash off its hands like Pontius Pilate. As the Chief Security Officer of the state, Governor Kayode Fayemi owes it a duty to guarantee the safety of the life and property of every person living in EkitiState.
“As a matter of urgency, the governor should declare zero tolerance for extra-judicial killings, political violence, thuggery and other criminal activities. In particular, the state government should collaborate with the Police to prosecute the killers of Foluso Ogundare without any further delay. More importantly, there should be a Committee Against Impunity to ensure the arrest and prosecution of all the suspects indicted for murder and attempted murder in EkitiState from 2003-2013.
“It is only by isolating and prosecuting such well known murderers and their sponsors for their iniquitous deeds that politically motivated killings will stop in EkitiState. I, therefore, call on the vigilant people of EkitiState to continue to expose and shame the few murderers and other criminals, who have recently exposed the state to odium, ridicule and embarrassment.”