"To the hearing of the Commissioner, 'Idajo' and his men threatened that they would go to the home of each of the members and kill them and their family members. As we speak, most of us have our families in Akure, unsafe and unsecured, and those of us who are not in hospitals have taken ourselves to a remote village in our state," the statement read.
Lawmakers of the Ondo State House of Assembly have petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, over threats to their lives and families as a result of the impeachment saga in the parliamentary house.
According to the 18 lawmakers, they no longer feel secure as the claim that members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) led by their Chairman, Jacob Adebo, popularly known as ‘Idajo’, have threatened to deal with them and their families if they return to the state Assembly complex.
The lawmakers alleged that although some of them have taken refuge in villages and remote areas of the state, while some injured during the attack on the state assembly were still in the hospital, their families are now being trailed by members of the NURTW in the state.
They claim in the petition that the Ondo State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ade Adetimehin, stormed the complex and supported the actions of the NURTW members, while policemen and other security agents drafted to the house looked away.
SaharaReporters exclusively obtained the copies of the petition, dated November 10, 2018, which copied the office of the President, Vice-President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations), Assistant Inspector General of Police and the Director General, Directorate of State Services.
Olamide George, the new Speaker; Fajolu Abimbola, Deputy Speaker, and Araoyinbo Olugbenga Joseph, Majority Leader of the Ondo State House of Assembly jointly signed the copies of the petition, which was also addressed to the State Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Chairman of the APC National Working Committee.
The lawmakers also demanded the immediate redeployment of the State Commissioner of Police, Gbenga Adeyanju, whom they claimed is always on the side of the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.
THE PETITION IN FULL:
ASSAULT, THREAT TO LIFE AND ABUSE OF AUTHORITY BY THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, ONDO STATE COMMAND, GBENGA ADEYANJU, GOVERNOR OLUWAROTIMI AKEREDOLU (SAN) AND THE APC ONDO STATE CHAIRMAN ADE ADETIMEHIN
We the undersigned being the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Majority Leader on behalf of members of the Ondo State House of Assembly present this petition of Assault, Threat to Life, and Abuse of Authority by the above mentioned persons.
We sat in the House of Assembly of Ondo State on Friday 9th November 2018 for the purpose of conducting House business, among which was the removal of Rt (Hon) Oleyeloogun Bamidele and Iroju Ogundeji, erstwhile Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively.
After a new Speaker and Deputy Speaker had emerged, the former Speaker stormed the Chamber along with thugs and proceeded to disrupt the proceedings by physically assaulting Hon. Mrs. Jumoke Akindele, whom he had apparently learnt was the pro tem Speaker as well as some other members.
The House adjourned to the Speaker’s office after the new Speaker and Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Olamide George and Rt. Hon. Abimbola Fajolu had taken the oath of office.
We suddenly saw the Chairman of APC in the state; Ade Adetimehin who came threatening that he has the authority of the Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, to deal with anyone who would not heed his plea to return the erstwhile Speaker Hon Oleyeloogun to office.
Following closely after this was the Commissioner of Police, Ondo State Command, Mr. Gbenga Adeyanju, who stated clearly that he had express instructions of Governor Akeredolu to “evacuate and flush out" every member from the House by all means possible.
It is instructive at this point that we had, among ourselves, restored peace and the presence of the Police was definitely not necessary.
Mr. Adeyanju came in with not less than fifty battle-ready, fatigue-wearing men of the Police to physically assault honourable members by slapping, pushing and hitting them. This to us is embarrassing as men of the Police force are meant to be enforcers of the law and not law breakers.
He and his men came into the office of the Speaker without any just cause or invitation, stayed in and assumed command. He personally initiated the move of forcefully pushing out the journalists, aides and assembly staff, gave instructions for the seizure of the gadgets and cameras, and forbade them from any further coverage, threatening to lock and detain anybody who goes against his directive. This is the height of assault in a democratic setting.
Naturally, we did explain to him that the impeachment exercise was carried out based upon the constitutionally demanded signature of not less than 18 members of the House and offered him a copy of the proceedings, which he collected and tore into shreds in our presence.
The Chairman of the APC, the former Speaker and the CP had a 60-second discussion at the Speaker’s conference room, as subsequent events would show, they have invited and summoned via telephone calls the Chairman of the Ondo State Chapter of the NURTW, Mr. Jacob Adebo, A.K.A. Idajo who came into the House of Assembly with not less than two hundred thugs who came with different sizes of guns, axes, machetes, charms, cudgels, broken bottles and other dangerous weapons, and immediately started shooting uncontrollably, sporadically inside the assembly complex, attacking everybody violently.
They destroyed several vehicles and even structures worth millions of Naira, beat up mercilessly hundreds of people. As we speak, honourable members, staff, and visitors to the assembly complex are hospitalised in different hospitals across the state receiving treatment as they battle for survival.
It is instructive that in spite of the heavy presence of the Police officers, the CP who had showed his disaffection and unsatisfactory conduct stood arms akimbo supervising the thugs as the violent acts were playing out without lifting a finger to stop or even attempt to control them.
All the policemen and officers simply looked on. Those we turned to inform us that they had instructions from the CP who in turn had instructions from the Governor not to intervene as the NURTW thugs had a field day.
When a few conscientious officers attempted to rescue one of us, even the clothing of a DSS officer who offered help to stop the ravaging thugs was torn, the CP was heard to the hearing of many of us to encourage the demonic acts displayed by the thugs as he affirmed plainly that whatever happens here is as a result of the trouble she (female Honourable) initiated and caused for herself.
It would interest you, Sir that in the entire operation, the CP merely stood on the balcony and put his arm on the balustrade laughing and “gisting” with another female officer while all this was going on. This is shameful and uncomplimentary of a senior police officer who remains the cause of the public disgrace that enveloped the assembly.
It was obvious even to the blind that the NURTW Chairman, Idajo and his goons came with intent to kill and maim, destroy and disrupt, make the assembly complex unsafe for humans, yet the Commissioner of Police looked on while they had a field day.
Sir, to the hearing of the Commissioner, 'Idajo' and his men threatened that they would go to the home of each of the members and kill them and their family members. As we speak, most of us have our families in Akure, unsafe and unsecured, and those of us who are not in hospitals have taken ourselves to a remote village in our state. Even now, our lives and those of our family members are in great danger as 'Idajo' and his men are still on the prowl looking for whom they would destroy.
Understandably sir, we can no longer entrust our safety into the hands of the Police in Ondo State as Commissioner Adeyanju has shown without any doubt that he would always dance to the tune of Governor Akeredolu.
We humbly appeal to you to please save our souls from destruction being peddled by the men of the NURTW in Ondo State under the evil leadership of 'Idajo' who seems to also have the police as his backing and shield.
Furthermore, we also appeal to you to cause investigation into CP Adeyanju’s actions in the circumstance and immediately redeploy him outside of Ondo State as his activities in the state have shown that he will always be a destructive willing tool in the hands of the Governor to pillage our budding democracy.
The House of Assembly is an arm of government and the Police of Ondo State particularly under CP Adeyanju have always lent themselves to the Executive as instrument of oppression against this arm upon which the baby of democracy lays. As such, we hereby request for police protection for the 18 members of the House of Assembly. We also demanded that the duo of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and Chairman of APC, Ade Adetimehin be investigated and unfortunate saga be exposed.
We demand for the arrest and full prosecution of 'Idajo' and his henchmen whom we are sure are close friends and allies of the Commissioner of Police Adeyanju in their unjustified belief that the only person they came to serve is the Governor of Ondo State and his wishes.
Do accept our profound appreciation for a quick response to this petition, as our lives have been unjustifiable disrupted and put on hold since the unwarranted assault on us.
We attached herewith pictorial evidence of this unfortunate incident and thank for your anticipated quick intervention.
Also, attached sir, is the Notice of impeachment duly signed by the 18 members of the House being two-third member of our 26-member House.
Do accept the assurance of our utmost loyalty. Warmest regards
Hon. Araoyinbo Olugbenga Joseph, Majority Leader, Ondo State House of Assembly
Rt. Hon. Fajolu Abimbola, Deputy Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly
Rt. Hon. Olamide George, Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly