Human rights activist, Femi Falana, 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, Murtala Yakubu Ajaka.
Falana also raised the alarm over the level of intimidation, harassment and blackmail of his client’s life which has assumed dangerous dimensions.
The legal luminary, further alleged that Governor Bello has concluded plans to file treasonable felony and terrorism charges against Ajaka.
In a letter dated July 12 and addressed to the IGP, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Abuja, Falana asked the Police boss to direct the immediate demobilisation of all armed thugs and killer squads set up by the Kogi State Government to intimidate political opponents of Governor Bello.
He also said the Police boss may wish to direct Kogi’s Commissioner of Police, to caution his men and officers from allowing themselves to be used as tools for political oppression of opposition political parties, the SDP governorship candidate and his supporters.
Falana stated in his letter to the IGP that Ajaka’s brief is that since he was nominated by his Party for the forthcoming governorship election, Bello has taken it upon himself to ensure that Ajaka, SDP and his supporters would not enjoy peace in Kogi State or be allowed to exercise their fundamental rights of peaceful assembly and association.
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“Thus, without any legal justification, our client has become a victim of unwarranted harassment, intimidation and cheap blackmail. For instance, while on a thank you tour of the state on the 3rd day of June 2023, our client was attacked along with his team of supporters at about 12.30 pm after visiting the palace of His Royal Highness, the Ohimege of Koton-Karfi,” he explained.
The Senior Advocate alleged in the letter that Ajaka’s convoy was attacked by armed gunmen who were dressed in police uniform in official vehicles of the Kogi State Government and that life bullets were sporadically fired directly at his client with the sole intent to assassinate him.
“It is worthy to note that shortly after this incident, the Governor of Kogi State addressed his supporters on this incident wherein he referred to himself as a Lion returning to his jungle and our client as an antelope that crossed the part of the lion and threatened to deal with our client the next time he crosses his part,” Falana added.
As a follow-up to this incident, Ajaka petitioned the Commissioner of Police in Kogi State and requested that the matter be investigated.
He furthered that, rather than carry out an investigation of the said incident, he is now allegedly being hunted around Abuja by the State Governor.
“He has dispatched a team of police officers to arrest our client and forcefully take him to Lokoja on trumped-up charges of terrorism and treasonable felony,” Falana continued.