The Ekiti State government has written to Nigeria’s police boss, Ibrahim Idris, requesting for the immediate arrest of Jide Awe, the state’s All Progressives Congress’ chairman, and Kehinde Boluwade, a former state lawmaker, and thirteen others who are defendants in a trial based on a 2013 murder.
Chief Jide Awe, and Mr. Boluwade and four other members of the APC, Faboro John, Aniramu Basiru, Falayi Busuyi and Owonifari Sefiu are wanted for their alleged involvement in the murder of Ayo Murphy Jeje and Julianah Adewumi. The two victims were killed in Erinjiyan-Ekiti in Ekiti State on March 30, 2013. These men are also wanted in the the case of attempted murder of Chief Clement Awoyelu, Gbenga Ogundana Adewumi and Chief Boluwaji Adewumi (aka Oba Odo).
Mr. Boluwade is also a person of interest, along with eight others – Ilesanmi Peter, Adedayo Kehinde, Afolabi Bayo Isola, Babalola Olomi, Malomo Alaba, Saidi Yinusa, Ayo Famoduro and Olawumi Fagborila are wanted in the murder of Foluso Ogundare. Ogundare was killed on November 3, 2013 at Emure Ekiti in Emure Local
Government Area of the southwestern state.
The murder of Ogundare is the subject of a murder trial in an Ekiti High Court.
The letter to the inspector general of police, which decries the refusal of the Nigeria Police Force to arrest the suspects in the murder cases despite several requests from the state government, is dated July 8, 2016 and is signed by the attorney general of Ekiti State and commissioner of justice, Mr. Owoseni Ajayi.
“I write in respect of the prosecution of series of murder and attempted murder cases pending before the high courts of Ekiti State wherein the non-availability of defendants has almost frustrated the prosecutions of these cases despite several requests by my office to the Ekiti State Command of the Nigeria Police Force.
“The Ekiti State has requested the Nigeria Police Force, Ekiti State Command to effect the arrests of these culprits but instead of effecting the arrests, the police has refused and/or neglected to effect the arrests on the ground that such arrests should not be made except with the approval of the Police Force Headquarters, Abuja.
“The under-listed are among some of the cases: Ekiti State Vs (1) Olajide Awe, (2) Faboro John Ojo, (3) Aniramu Basiru, (4) Falayi Busuyi, (5) Awolope Busuyi, (6) Owonifari Sefiu, and (7) Olusola Adenijo (aka Solar) in Charge Number: HIJ/1C/2015.
“The above case is in respect of the gruesome murder of the following deceased persons (1) Ayodele Jeje and (2) Julianah Adewumi and the attempted murder of (1) Chief Clement Awoyelu, (2) Gbenga Ogundana
Adewumi, (3) Chief Boluwaji Adewumi (aka Oba Odo) by shooting at them with guns at Erijiyan Ekiti on or about 30th day of March, 2013 by the above mentioned accused persons.
“Since the Police has granted the accused persons administrative bails, they have not been present in Court, we have requested the Ekiti State commissioner of police to produce the accused persons before the trial courts through a letter dated 4th September, 2015 with reference number: 10/s/2295/37.
“Up till now, despite the service of the letter above on the Ekiti State Police Command and several visits on the same subject matter, the police is yet to produce them and/or effect their arrest.
“It should be noted that these offences were committed when the All Progressives Congress (APC) was in government in Ekiti State and investigations were conducted even up to the level of your (IGP) office and these defendants/accused persons were charged to court then but they were released on bail by the Police.
“It should also be noted that the defendants are chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State. More importantly, the 1st Accused Person is the state chairman of the APC when the offences were
committed and he is still the state chairman till date.
“It is worrisome that the police that released these accused persons on bail failed to re-arrest them when the trial of the case was expected to commence.
“It is more worrisome when these criminals are parading themselves on the streets of Ekiti State and addressing open rallies of their party and the police failed and/or neglected to effect their arrest.
“We are therefore using this golden opportunity to inform your good offices that professionalism is quite different from politicking; hence, the police is an institution with statutory functions of prevention of crimes, arrest, investigation and prosecution of offenders irrespective of perceived political affiliation and not an arm or extension of a political party and it should be seen as acting as such. The provision of Section 4 of the Police Act is very clear in this respect.
“If the police that is saddled with this great task is playing with same with the covers of politics, there is no doubt, the populace if in a great danger.
“It is on this note that we are soliciting for your assistance to kindly direct appropriate offices with due professionalism in the areas of arresting and timely prosecution of these criminals. The accused persons are available on the streets in Ekiti State and Nigeria in general.”
The federal attorney general, Ekiti State’s commissioner of police, and the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission are copied in the letter.