Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Kwara State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the weekend sent a petition to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Abuja, calling for the probe of the alleged use of live ammunitions and tear gas to dispersed aged women during the recent dawn demolition of the house of former Senate Leader, late Dr. Olusola Saraki, popularly called Ile Arugbo along Ilofa Road, GRA in Ilorin.
The party, in the petition dated 8th January, 2020 and titled “Using and Firing Live Ammunitions to Dispel Defenceless Aged Women at Ile Arugbo by Agents of Kwara State Government” and signed by its state Legal Adviser, Mr. O. M. Aborisade, called for a thorough probing of the incident with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book.
PDP, which called for a thorough and unbiased investigation into the allegation of the use of live ammunitions and tear-gassing of the aged women at Ile Arugbo, suggested that Kwara State Governor, AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman, should be reprimanded and cautioned against “future use of arbitrariness on the good people of Kwara State.”
The party alleged that “the unambiguous and clear denials of Kwara State Police Command of their involvement in this dastardly and barbaric act, either covertly or overtly, call for proper investigation as to the identity of the armed uniformed men in police uniform used by the governor on the fateful day.”
It added: “We humbly present this petition to your office to cause an immediate enquiry to be conducted and carried out on the unfortunate, crude, and barbaric use of live ammunitions and tear-gassing of defenceless aged women on the property known, called and referred to as Ile Arugbo in the G.R.A area of Ilorin in the early hours of Thursday, January 2, 2020.
“The focus of our petition is precipitated upon the use of maximum force on those aged and very old women which is now a thing of common and general knowledge by yet to be identified uniformed men that have been denied to be members of the Nigeria Police by Kwara State Police Public Relations Officer, Ajayi Okasanmi, and not on the proprietary or otherwise as regard the title and ownership of the parcel of land in dispute.
“It is a fact in the public domain that the aged women referred to above had gathered that night on the premises of the said Ile Arugbo, having gotten information of the impending illegal and unjustifiable demolition of the property, especially the haste at which the unconstitutional and unlawful demolition was to be carried out.
“The uncontroverted and admitted fact by the agent of Kwara State Government in the person of the Commissioner for Information is to the effect that the bulldozer and the armed men that were used for this dastardly and uncivilised act of demolition came at about 3.00 a.m., the incomprehensive defence of the commissioner is to prevent open confrontation with the aged women.”
PDP also argued that “the denial of Kwara State Police Command calls for inquest as to whether Kwara State governor harbours and keeps armed militia in Government House for the purpose of unleashing fear and terror on the opposition party in the state and such other individuals that are opposed to his government or his style of governance.
“If that is the case, there is also the need to compel and make it imperative on the governor of Kwara State to disband all the unauthorised and illegal armed men that were used for this generally acclaimed shameful demolition exercise as police have denied their involvement.”