By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has consented to the appeal by well meaning Nigerians to withdraw an alleged murder case against the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Jide Awe, and other members of the party.
To this end, an Ijero Ekiti High Court on Wednesday struck out the case against Awe and others standing trial in the murder of one Ayo Jeje and Mrs Julianah Adewumi at Erinjiyan in Ekiti West Local Government Area of the state in 2013.
Jeje and Mrs Adewumi were defecting to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when some suspected loyalists of Awe invaded the venue and shot them. Awe, his aide, and other members of the APC have been on trial for the alleged murder of Mrs Adewunmi, and Jeje, since 2013.
Mrs Adewunmi was the mother of Mr. Segun Adewunmi, the current Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly. The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Kolapo Kolade, at the High Court 7, Ado Ekiti, before Justice Bamidele Omotosho, filed an application for the withdrawal of the case against Awe on Wednesday.
He said the state was withdrawing the case in order to promote peace and brotherliness among the people of Erinjiyan Ekiti, which is the community where both the complainant and the defendants in the matter hail from.
He also said Governor Fayose consented to the withdrawal of the case in spite of political differences because of his belief in posterity, peace and welfare of the people of the community which was said to have been divided over the court case. Justice Omotosho, while granting the withdrawal, said the court supported the development because it was to promote peace. Speaking with journalists on the development, Kolade said: “What happened in court today is far beyond politics, the governor in his usual characteristic manner of promoting peace and brotherliness in all communities in Ekiti and across party lines has intervened.
“In this matter, so many good people across Nigeria, even the defendants in this matter, has appealed to his Excellency to intervene in this matter, particularly in Erijinran, more so as the defendants and complainant are of same family, the complainant has given the go ahead and said the matter should be withdrawn.
This development equally supports the cause of justice. One of the cardinal principles of justice is promotion of peace. “The major beneficiaries is Chief Jide Awe, the APC chairman in Ekiti State. He, alongside his aide and other party members were alleged to have murdered late Madam Juliana Adewunmi, mother of the Deputy Speaker, Ekiti State and Murphy Jeje, a member of the PDP 2013.The complainant is the Deputy Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.”