The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) has called on the acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to interrogate Mr. Lere Olayinka, Special Assistant on Public Communication and New Media to Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State. The requested interrogation, explained CSNAC, is to make Olayinka throw more light on Fayose’s role in the political killings that took place in the state between 2003 and 2004.
CSNAC’s demand was contained in a petition sent to the IGP and signed by its Chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju. According to CSNAC, Olayinka, in an article, he wrote in 2014, named Fayose as the mastermind of the political killings.
The article, whose authorship Olayinka is yet to deny, was first published by SaharaReporters, on 19 July 2016.
“The writer, Lere Olayinka, narrated how the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, waged war against his perceived political opponents in Ekiti State, which led to the murder of some individuals in cold blood while others sustained injuries,” the petition read.
CSNAC also pointed out that Olayinka, in his article, branded Fayose an adept election rigger and a gender of rules.
“In Fayose’s days as governor, there was nothing like a free and fair election in his electoral dictionary. Elections to him must be won by whatever means possible and that he demonstrated during the 2004 local government elections in the State, May 28, 2005, councilorship bye-election in Ifaki-Ekiti, Ekiti South Federal Constituency II bye-election among others.
“In the case of the local government elections in Ekiti South West Local Government, which was held on April 3, 2004, Senator Olowoporoku, whose wife, Anike was the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) candidate gave the following account; “By the midnight of 2nd April, 2004 we heard that soldiers had invaded Iyin Ekiti, the home of ex-Governor Adeniyi Adebayo and had put former Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos State and Ex-Governors Osoba of Ogun State and Niyi Adebayo of Ekiti State under arrest of no movement in and out of the compound, in a state of incommunicado.
“Thereafter, Mr. Fayose in the company of soldiers and mobile policemen disrupted the elections. Electoral officials who attempted to protect the ballot boxes were either beaten or shot in the legs.
“Furthermore, during the Ifaki Ward II councilorship bye-election, when Mr. Fayose sensed that his preferred candidate was losing the election, he stormed the town with thugs and mobile policemen and in a twinkling of an eye, Tunde Omojola, an in-law to Hon. Labaika Suleiman, the National Conscience Party (NCP) candidate in the election had been killed. His murder was allegedly supervised by Fayose.
“Not done with the Ifaki escapade, Fayose moved to Mugbagba, Ado-Ekiti where the Alliance for Democracy (AD) was inaugurating its Ado Local Government Executives. Fayose was personally involved in the smashing of vehicle windscreens and stealing of property, including raw cash kept in the vehicles,” CSNAC quoted Olayinka as writing in the article.
Also, the group said Olayinka’s article accused Fayose of masterminding a variety of violent activities, notably the killing of Dr. Ayo Daramola, nine protesting students of the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti; one Aseweje, Ben Ogundana, Dapo Osunniyi, Kamoru Folorunso, and Ojo Sunday during the 2004 council polls.
CSNAC noted that Olayinka, who has not denied writing the article, could assist the police in unraveling those behind the killings.
“Our governors and other elected public officers must realize that even though the immunity clause protects them as provided by the Constitution, criminal matters have no expiry date and can be reopened at any time to allow for justice to prevail.
“It is, therefore, important that the Police Force orders that these murder cases are reopened properly investigated, with Mr. Lere Olayinka assisting with information and the culprits punished adequately. The families of the affected victims can have justice on the deaths of their loved ones,” the group concluded.