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Nigerian Police Petitioned Over Death Threats To Labour Party Chieftain In Lagos For Campaigning For Peter Obi

January 24, 2023

Okoli, Founder, Mobility, Aid and Appliances Research and Development Centre (MAARDEC), had earlier raised the alarm in a petition to the Inspector General of Police, over alleged plans to kill him and wipe out his family by Anifowoshe.  

A civic group, the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) has called on the Nigeria's Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba to investigate the alleged threats to life of one Chief Cosmas Okoli by one Mr. Oluomo Alade Anifowoshe.

Okoli, Founder, Mobility, Aid and Appliances Research and Development Centre (MAARDEC), had earlier raised the alarm in a petition to the Inspector General of Police, over alleged plans to kill him and wipe out his family by Anifowoshe.

Mr. Okoli, said his travail started when he made a post on the social media, urging members of the public to support Labour Party Presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi for the next month General Elections.

He said he didn’t know that exercising his political right was a crime; Okoli said that shortly after his post, he started receiving threats from an All Progressive Congress (APC) stalwart, who allegedly vowed to eliminate him and run him out of Lagos.

Okoli narrated in the petition that “I am constrained to inform the general public that I have received a threat from a well-placed APC member, in response to my support for Peter Obi’s bid to be the president of Nigeria. I merely circulated a small write up urging support for Peter Obi as shown below.

“Fellow compatriots, history beckons on us all. Let us eschew personal interest,and join hands together to install a man who we (the people) can jointly hold accountable to our commonwealth. Peter Obi, is the hope we have in times like this! The people yearn for him. Let us bring him on.

“In response to this harmless message, a well placed Nigerian, now reacted with venom.

“His text to me is as follows, “why don’t you hold him accountable for what he did when he was Anambra State Governor? When he invested State money in his family’s business. Please, if you continue like this, we will ensure we send you out of Lagos State come June.”

However, RULAAC in statement issued on Tuesday which was signed by its Executive Director, Okechukwu Nwanguma, urged the Inspector General of Police to ensure the safety of Okoli and protect him any political motivated harm.

The statement was titled: "Urgent alert on political violence threat in the light of the prevailing atmosphere of political intolerance and killings in Nigeria: RULAAC calls on the Inspector General of police to take urgent action to guarantee the safety and liberty of Chief Cosmas Okoli and protect him from imminent threat by one Oluomo Alade Anifowoshe on account of his political leaning and opinion."

According to the statement, "Chief Okoli informed us (RULAAC) as follows: That he is a Nigerian, of Igbo extraction, who resides and does business in Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos State and had lived in Lagos for over thirty years, contributing to the development and prosperity of Lagos.

“That one Mr. Oluomo Alade Anifowoshe has threatened his life simply because he expressed his political opinion, which did not go down well with Mr. Oluomo.

"That he received credible information from reliable sources that there is an underground plot to kill or grievously harm him and anyone else like him who reside in Lagos, but fails to support Mr. Anifowoshe’s political party and Presidential candidate.

"That he believes that this is a very unfortunate and worrying development. Section 42 of the Constitution provides that no one should be discriminated against, not to talk of kill or even harm, on account of his political opinion. And section 39 gives every citizen the freedom to express his or her opinion, including political opinion.

"That what makes him even more vulnerable is the fact that he is a person living with disability as he is on a wheel chair and his addresses are well known by Mr. Anifowoshe and his cohorts who have in the past approached him to abandon his political party and join and support their own political party and candidate but he told them his conscience does not support that.

"That his area of residence is prone to political violence and attacks by agents and thugs of Mr. Anifowoshe’s political party who often harass residents for not supporting their political party and are known to have also violently disrupted elections in the area because election results were not likely to go in favour of their political party.

"That he is seriously concerned because this is a season of political killings with reports of politically motivated attacks and killings across the county dominating daily news reports."

It added, "RULAAC brings this complaint to the attention of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and requests the IGP to use his good offices to take proactive action to restrain Mr. Anifowoshe and his cohorts and nip in the bud any plot to kill or maim Chief Cosmos and any other person who may knowingly or unknowingly be in similar danger as the 2023 General Elections approach.

"RULAAC calls on the IGP to guarantee the safety and liberty of Chief Cosmos and to investigate the threat to his life by Mr. Anifowoshe with a view to bringing him to book if found culpable."