Falana Petitions Police over Alleged Threat to Journalist’s Life by NURTW Members

Femi Falana

By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

For allegedly threatening to kill one of his clients, a human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has called on the police to investigate the case of conspiracy and threat to the life of a journalist operating in Ondo and Ekiti States, Mr. Babatunde Bamigboye.

While carrying out an investigation last week, some members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) had beaten Bamigboye and his crew and threatened to kill them for delving into their issues.

Earlier, Bamigboye had petitioned the Info State Police Command before the case was taken over by his lawyers, Falana and Falana’s Chambers.

As part of the rigours of his job, the radio presenter had gone to the motor park to investigate a matter after which the NURTW members, who had acted on the orders of their leaders at the Ajapada Unit of the union in Akure attacked them causing them serious bodily injuries.

Falana said the life of his client and colleagues are being threatened after filing his first petition, urging the police to act fast on the matter.

The petition dated November 16, 2018 was addressed to the Area Commander, NPF Akure Area Command, Police Old Headquarters, Akure, Ondo State, while the Commissioner of Police, Ondo State Command was copied.

The petition was written on Bamigboye’s behalf by his lawyers from Falana & Falana Chambers, Taiwo Olawanle, and titled “Case of Criminal Conspiracy, Assault, Attempted Murder and Threat to Life of Messrs Babatunde Bamigboye, Ezekiel Olorunfemi and Kayode Ajayi.

According to the petition, “We act as solicitors to Mr. Babatunde Bamigboye (A.K.A Omo Edema) (hereinafter refers to him as ‘our client’) and on his instruction we write this letter.

“That our client is a radio presenter and an investigative journalist, registered with the Freelance and Independent Broadcaster Association of Nigeria (FIBAN)

“That on the 8th of November, 2018, one Mrs Oluwatayo Aanuoluwa approached our client and explained the circumstances leading to how she mysteriously found herself at Osogbo, Osun State after boarding an Ilesa bus from Akure, Ondo State capital.

“That our client subsequently advised Mrs Aanuoluwapo to make a formal report at the Special Anti-kidnapping Squad of Ondo Police Command.

“That our client further took steps to verify the story of Mrs Oluwatayo Aanuoluwa by going to the unit of the NURTW concerned. On getting to the unit, the NURTW members were not cooperative and our client decided to leave the park.

“That while our client was about leaving the park, Mr Adisa, Mr Basiru and the branch deputy chairman Olusola Falade ordered members of the unit to deal with our client and Ezekiel Olorunfemi and Kayode Ajayi.
They further maintained that they had the instructions of the Ondo State chairman of the NURTW, Mr Jacob Idaho, to have our client killed.

“Our client, including Ezekiel Olorunfemi and Kayode Ajayi were publicly humiliated and molested by members of the NURTW units. Meanwhile, our client would have been lynched if not for the timely intervention of the men of Nigeria Police Force who came to their rescue.

“That as we present this petition, our client fears for his life as some strange cars have been trailing his movements within and outside Ondo State.

“In this circumstance, we humbly request your revered office to cause a detailed investigation to be done into the facts presented in this petition so as to charge the perpetrators to court, as any attempt to sweep the case under the carpet will be resisted.”