Kidnapping has been on the rise in Ekiti state in recent months and Lagos lawyer Femi Falana – a prominent indigene of Ekiti – has apportioned the blame squarely to the incumbent administration of Governor Ayo Fayose.
Falana said the following in a statement on Sunday, May 17, 2015 :
“Last week, Governor Ayo Fayose was reported to have sent a Save our Soul (SOS) to the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, over the spate of kidnapping in the state.
“I’m compelled to point out that the government has itself to blame for deliberately providing official cover for armed gangs and other criminally minded individuals, who have taken over the monopoly of violence in Ekiti State.
“For instance, the House of Assembly complex has been occupied by hoodlums since November with the connivance of the state government.
“In this atmosphere of impunity, the well known armed thugs operating in Ekiti State have been granted immunity by the Federal Government.
“Hence, police officers are under strict instructions not to arrest or prosecute them.
“Recently, a commissioner of police, who was determined to rid the state of crimes, was queried and investigated by the Police Service Commission.
“Even though he was not indicted, the commission ensured that he was posted out of the state.
“Based on such official endorsement of criminality, kidnappers and other criminal elements have been having a field day in the state.
“Indeed, the task of maintaining law and order in the state has been compounded by the six-month old industrial action of judicial workers.
“Thus, in the last six months, no suspect has been charged to court.
“All criminal cases pending in the courts have been adjourned sine die. I have confirmed that the kidnappers, who made the state ungovernable from 2009-2010 and who were on trial before the Kogi State High Court, escaped from prison during a recent jail break.
“Having not been declared wanted, the criminals are alleged to have resumed the nefarious business of kidnapping.
“It is on record that Ekiti has consistently witnessed politically motivated killings since 2003.
“To the credit of the police and the Department for State Service (DSS), all the suspected murderers and their sponsors were nabbed and charged to court at various times.
“But apart from the killers of two students who were convicted in 2005, the suspected killers of Tunde Omojola, Ayo Daramola, Kehinde Fasubaa, a Foluso Ogundare and others are walking free in the society due to political pressure exerted on the security agencies.
“Since the files of all the murder cases are in police custody, the IG ought to re-arrest and prosecute the suspects.
“In addition, the IG should prevail on Governor Fayose to realise that as the chief security officer he has enormous constitutional responsibility to maintain law and order.
“As a matter of urgency, he should be made to distance himself from criminality and allow the police to disband and disarm the armed thugs, who have been linked with kidnapping.
“Finally, the governor should emulate his colleagues who have succeeded in persuading judicial workers to call off their strike.
“A state where judges are beaten up by thugs and courts are locked up indefinitely cannot genuinely guarantee law and order.”