Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
A member of the seventh House of Representatives, Hon Bamidele Faparusi, has called on the National Judicial Council (NJC) to investigate prolonged imprisonment of accused persons linked with the murder of former Chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Ekiti State, Mr. Omolafe Aderiye.
Faparusi said those being trie d by the state High Court over their complicity in the gruesome murder of the NURTW’s boss were allegedly being victimised by the state Governor, Ayodele Fayose, for their political belief, using the instrumentality of the judiciary.
Aderiye was murdered in 2014 by unknown gunmen in Ado Ekiti and eight persons, who are known All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains are being incarcerated in court on the order of Justice Lekan Ogunmoye since December 2014.
Those being tried included two former Chairmen Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria, Mr Rotimi Olabiwonnu (aka Mentilo), and Bayo Adeyiye (aka Ojuigo), Mr. Sola Durodola, Oso Farotimi , Ajayi Kayode, Sola Adenijo and Chief Niyi Adedipe(aka Apase).
The APC chieftain, who said this in Ado Ekiti monday while presenting gifts to the families of the suspects, pointed out that the NJC as regulatory body on judicial officers in Nigeria must probe the reason the accused persons were being imprisoned without justifiable reasons.
He said he decided to reach out to the families of the accused persons as a way of identifying with them at this ‘trying time’ when their breadwinners were being imprisoned over allegation that cannot be proved.
“It is very unfortunate that Fayose is using the judiciary to take a pound of flesh against political foes. It was clear that these accused persons were being prosecuted over trumped-up charges. As we speak now, no veracious evidence has been linked to them with the murder of Aderiye.
“Any country where justice is not being served stands the risk of violence, so NJC must do the needful in this matter. The court has been hiding under technicality to prolong their stay in the prison.
“The plaintiff, which is now the state government, has been frustrating attempt to bail them out of the prison. These accused persons are notable people who cannot jump bail. For two times now, the families had lost the opportunities of celebrating the Christmas and new year with their breadwinners and this is a great injustice which must be corrected,” he stated.
Speaking on behalf of the affected families, Mrs. Seun Adenijo and Mrs. Sola Durodola said the time has come for the accused persons to be granted bail for Nigeria to prove that it is still operating an egalitarian society.