Journalist Petitions DSS, Police over Alleged Threat to Life

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By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The correspondent of The Nation Newspapers in Ekiti State, Mr. Odunayo
Ogunmola, has petitioned the Department of State Services (DSS) and
the police over alleged threat to his life by Governor Ayodele
Fayose’s aide.
Ogunmola specifically accused the Special Assistant on Public
Communications and New Media to Fayose, Mr. Lere Olayinka, of posting
injurious photograph about him on facebook and social media platforms
with the intention to expose him to attacks and endanger his life.
The reporter, in the petition dated May 2, 2018 and addressed to
the Director of DSS in Ekiti State, Mrs Promise Ihenacho, and the police
Commissioner, Ekiti Command, Mr Abdullahi Chafe, requested that the
matter should be thoroughly investigated .
He accused Olayinka of threatening him over a report he published in
The Nation edition of May 2, where he reported that the 2018
Workers’ Day was marred by low turnout of workers, which he said
provoked the governor’s aide.
Sequel to the report, he said Olayinka had downloaded his photographs
on facebook with his mobile number, inciting the members of the
public to start harassing him on the strength that he was an enemy of
Fayose’s government.
Ogunmola clarified that the report he wrote about the May Day event
reflected the truth about what transpired at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium
where the event was held and that he harboured no hatred against the
present Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government in the state.
He said he had received several threat calls and messages from
anonymous sources, threatening to kill him and members of his family
since his photographs and number were published by Olayinka.
The petition reads: “After covering the event, I filed in my report
which appeared online and newspaper edition with a caption ‘Ekiti
Workers Shun May Day Rally’ with the following rider: ‘Labour Leader:
Workers Are Hungry’ and ‘Fayose Promotes 40,000 workers’.
“Since the report came out, I have been a subject of attacks by
Olayinka on his facebook page and Whatsapp platform alleging that I
am an enemy of the Ekiti State government, in which he holds the
position of Special Assistant.
“Earlier today at about 11.25hr, I received  phone calls from
anonymous  persons threatening my life on the May Day story with the
following numbers: 07037352506 and 08032110982.
“Olayinka had in recent past personally called me on my phone to issue
threats on stories he and his co-travellers in government are not
comfortable with.
“I want this matter investigated  for immediate action and should
anything evil or sinister happens to me, Lere Olayinka, and indeed,
Ekiti State, should be held responsible.”
However, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has
called for the immediate sack of the governor’s aide, describing his
conduct as capable of threatening the peace of the state.
Speaking with journalists in Ado Ekiti, CNPP Chairman, Tunji
Ogunlola, said it constituted a grave criminal offence for a reporter
to be so threatened for performing his official duty.
“With this conduct, Olayinka was giving Ekiti a bad image. There was
a particular time he threatened some opposition figures and they
reported to the police commissioner but nothing was done. He was not
called for questioning.
“We are appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to deploy soldiers to
Ekiti, because lives of innocent people are no longer safe under this
government,” Ogunlola stated.