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National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has been called upon to probe threat to life and violations of the right to life in Osun State from 2005 to date.Governorship candidate of the Action Congress (AC) in the state, Rauf Aregbesola, made the call at a press conference in Lagos on Sunday.
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has been called upon to probe threat to life and violations of the right to life in Osun State from 2005 to date. Governorship candidate of the Action Congress (AC) in the state, Rauf Aregbesola, made the call at a press conference in Lagos on Sunday.
The conference was held against the background of alleged hounding of members of the leading opposition party in the state, AC, by the Olagunsoye Oyinlola-led Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) administration.
Aregbesola also called on the human rights commission to investigate the latest attempt to criminalize opposition, urging the NHRC to take a position on the side of the people of the state.
Similarly, the AC governorship candidate called “on the National Judicial Council to investigate the extra-ordinary circumstances of the appointment of the Chief Registrar of the Customary Court of Appeal.”
He also challenged the Oyinlola government to deny that it was using the state Ministry of Justice to hound the opposition.
Citing an instance of attempts by the state government to criminalise opposition, Aregbesola explained that an explosion occurred in the premises of the state secretariat in June 2007 and the accused person when the matter was still fresh did not link him to the incident.
According to the AC governorship candidate, the charge against the accused was strangely substituted in January 2008 to include allegations designed to implicate not only himself but also AC leaders in the state.
“Facts available to us indicate that the accused has been doctored to say that he was recruited by the AC leadership and brought to Lagos and was hosted in a lodge and given the explosive materials to go and bomb the secretariat.”
Aregbesola alleged that after the accused person had yielded to the “evil manipulation,” bail was arranged for him in a bizarre manner and he was released without fulfilling the conditions.
Besides, the AC governorship candidate alleged that the magistrate handling the matter was hurriedly appointed chief registrar and permanent secretary of the newly established Customary Court of Appeal in a manner suggestive of compensation for being a willing judicial tool in the hands of a repressive executive.
Aregbesola explained that the opposition hounding was a ploy by the Oyinlola government to demonize him and other AC leaders so that they would not be able to pursue their cases at the tribunal and to criminalize them in the minds of the public.
Maintaining that it was ridiculous to be accused of terrorism, he said that if he did not believe in using constitutional means to resolve the dispute over the governorship race in the state, he would not have committed money, energy and time to fight the case at the tribunal.
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