Thursday, April 24, 2014

Police quiz Nigeria’s former Senate Leader


Senator Teslim Folam whisked away in a prison van on a previous occasion. Photo: PMNews

Nigeria’s former Senate Leader, Teslim Folarin, was called in by the police for questioning.

A former Senate Leader, Teslim Folarin, was on Thursday subjected to a four-hour interrogation at the Oyo State Police Headquarters over alleged threat to the peace of the state.

Mr. Folarin was invited to respond to allegations in a petition that he was working with the controversial former Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Lateef Akinsola (also known as Tokyo) to disrupt the peace in the state.

But the ex-Senate Leader has described the exercise as politically motivated.

Though the author of the petition is unknown, the police was said to have mobilized scores of personnel to ransack Mr. Folarin’s two houses at Oluyole Estate and Iyaganku GRA, Ibadan at the early hours of the Thursday.

Flanked by his wife, Angela; the Senate Deputy Whip, Hosea Agboola; Lekan Balogun; former Deputy-Governor of the state, Azeem Gbolarumi; and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum, Muraina Ajibola; Mr. Folarin stormed the State Police Headquarters at around 1 p.m. to meet with the State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu.

After the meeting, which lasted about four hours, the two-term Senator alleged foul play on the manner in which his houses was searched, but still praised the police boss for professional conduct.

Addressing reporters on the session with the police, Mr. Folarin said he was on his way to Abeokuta to sympathize with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo over last week’s fire incident in his Hilltop residence when the call from the police boss to seek his attention over the petition came in.

He told journalists that he was stunned that politicians could resort to blackmail just three days in 2013, saying the relationship between him and Tokyo was purely on the basis of their sharing the same ancestry of Ibadan.

“My relationship with Tokyo is just purely of an Ibadan man to another Ibadan man. Let us take it cool as politicians after all, 2015 is still far away. Power comes from God. I know this has political undertone. It could have come from anywhere not only from the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria but also my party; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well.

“I am still bereaved because I am mourning my only elder blood brother. How would I have thought or caused breach of the peace of my darling state?

“Everybody knows I am non-violent person. I am an easy going and my type of politics is always issues-based. And coincidentally, the ACP who quizzed me is my neighbour and I asked him have you ever seen me harbouring thugs or fomenting trouble with anybody in our area?” Mr. Folarin said.

He said he was impressed by the way the police handled the matter, submitting that the cops have established the fact that no one is above the law in Nigeria.

Mr. Folarin then counseled politicians to always “take it easy and allow God’s wish to manifest in our plans and aspirations,” adding that “power comes from God alone.”

Efforts to get further details from the police was unsuccessful as the Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, Ayodele Lanade, was said to have traveled out of town.

It was also gathered that Mr. Folarin and his sympathisers were warned by the state police boss not to discuss the details of the meeting with the press.

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