President Jonathan is yet to demand for the report on Olaitan Oyerinde’s murder 9 months after.
A Benin City-based human rights activist, David Ugolor, arrested last year in connection with the killing of Olaitan Oyerinde, a former aide to Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has said that President Goodluck Jonathan’s silence over police bungling of investigations into the murder highlights one of the reasons Nigerians do not trust him.
After the murder of Mr. Oyerinde on May 4, 2012, the president ordered the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to institute a high-powered panel to investigate the murder and submit a report to him within three weeks.
Mr. Ugolor, the Executive Director, African Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, said the refusal of the president to demand the report of the panel eight months after, highlights his lack of concern on issues affecting the citizenry.
“If President Jonathan wants to be taken seriously by Nigerians, he should call for the report of investigation into the killing of Olaitan Oyerinde,” Mr. Ugolor said during a visit to PREMIUM TIMES on Monday.
He said though the investigation was concluded more than seven months ago, the police boss has refused to make the panel’s findings public, as the report indicted the police.
In the wake of the killing of Olaitan Oyerinde the police chief had declared that the police had arrested the perpetrators of the crime, including his (Ugolor’s) arrest as the sponsor.
However, a few days after Mr. Ugolor’s arrest by the police on July 21, the State Security Service, SSS, addressed the media where they paraded a different set of suspects, not connected with those the police had in their custody, along with all the recovered stolen items they took from the deceased.
Following the conflict between the police and the SSS, the rights activist demanded his release from detention, insisting he was innocent of the charges, a request rejected by the police.
He said he was kept in prison custody, where he stayed with “hardened criminals” for 41 days, till the court granted his application to secure his freedom after declaring his arrest and detention illegal and awarding him N5 million compensation, which the police has since appealed.
Since his release from detention, Mr. Ugolor said he has sent several pleas to the President for his intervention. He said the police tried to frame him up, pointing out that all attempts to do so failed.
“It is clear the IGP had lied. Since I was granted bail, I have been pleading with the President for intervention. The IGP cannot be a judge in his own case. We sent petitions to the National Assembly, which was read on the floor.
“When I was granted bail by the court after 41 days in prison, the IGP of police disobeyed the court order. That shows that there was a superior power behind the IGP. He could not have acted on his own. Oshiomhole has cried to the President without any concrete response.
Governor Oshiomhole last week accused the police of complicity to find the killers of his personal aide almost nine months later. He said the police report showed several inconsistencies that could only mean the police were culpable in the murder.
“I challenge the IGP to publish the police the report. If the report indicts the IG, I hope he would be courageous enough to resign honourably? I want to appeal to Mr. President. It is not David Ugolor or Olaitan Oyerinde that is on trial, but Nigeria,” Mr. Ugolor said.
“What kind of transformation are we talking about that would make an IGP to tell the people lies over the killing of a citizen? President Jonathan ordered the IGP to institute a high powered investigation into the killing and report back within three weeks. Till today has he asked the IGP about the report?
“If the president cannot order the IGP to reconcile its report with that of the State Security Service, SSS, what transformation are we talking about? When you have a president who is busy setting up different committees and the reports are not coming out, he is cultivating the perception of no trust around him. Jonathan has the responsibility to behave in a way that Nigerians would take him serious,” the rights activist said.