By Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
A federal lawmaker representing Dekina/Bassa federal constituency in Kogi State, Hon. Benjamin Okolo, has raised the alarm over an alleged threat to his life by the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in his constituent for defecting to opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
Okolo, in his seven page petition addressed to the acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, and the United States of America Ambassador to Nigeria, W. Stuart Symington, affixed ten-page pictorial appendixes showing attacks on his supporters and destruction of his property by assailants.
The House of Representatives member is therefore calling for an urgent and independent investigation of allegations raised in the petition, police protection to secure him from continued attacks and that the perpetrators of the attacks on him and his supporters should be brought to book.
The petition, a copy of which was made available to THISDAY, which was signed by his lawyer, Mr. Jonny Agim, dated Thursday, February 7 and titled: ‘An Appeal for Urgent Attention: Threat to Life, Arrest, Brutalisation and Killing of Political Supporters of Hon. Benjamin Ikani Okolo,’ traced the House of Representatives member’s ordeal to his decision to dump the ruling APC for PDP.
The petition reads: “Our client was elected under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress (APC) until his recent defection to the Peoples’ Democratic Party. In July 2018, before his formal decamping from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) while consulting with his constituents, two of the party (APC) leaders…. threatened to kill and or possibly inflict grievous bodily harm on our client.
“That our client’s formal decamping to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), on November 4, 2018, while enroute the occasion to welcome members of his party at Ajagamu in Kogi State, our client’s convoy was attacked by a group of notorious gangsters…… (who) violently disrupted the rally destroying their canopies, chairs, burning motorcycles and dispersing all the supporters.
“On the same day at Ajakelaga same in Abocho Ward, these hoodlums came shooting sporadically into the crowd where our client was addressing his teeming supporters and in the process eight (8) person namely: Mrs. Kaka Kadiri, Mrs. Alimo Kadiri, Zainab Shaibu, Mrs. Aladi Okwute, Mrs. Lliasu Haruna were shot and sustained different levels of injuries and one Mrs. Salimetu Yakubu who suffered seriously from about eleven (11) bullets gun shots died on January 19, 2019 after battling with her life for weeks at the Good Shepherd Hospital, Kogi State.”
The petitioner said vehicles belonging to the PDP Secretary in Iyale Ward, Mr. Sule, and the Youth Leader, Mr. Joel Abuh, Keke NAPEPs, motorcycles and other vehicles belonging to PDP supporters were burnt on various occasions in the build up to the election.