The Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has dispatched a petition to the International Criminal Court, the United States government, the National Human Rights Commission, and other foreign authorities, complaining about series of violence allegedly sponsored by the state government against its members in the build up to the general elections.
The party specifically requested the Nigerian Human Rights Commission to investigate the role of the state governor, Ayo Fayose, in the violence, which it said includes the physical attack and intimidation of opposition personalities.
The petition, dated February 16, was signed by the APC Secretary in the state, Omotosho Ayodele.
Copies of the petition with accompanying photographs, newspapers clips and tape were sent to the European Commission, United States Embassy in Nigeria, British High Commission, French Embassy, the US Secretary of States and the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
It was also sent to the Nigerian Bar Association, a former Secretary to the Commonwealth of Nations, Emeka Anyaoku,a former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, the Yoruba Council of Elders and Egbe Igbimo Ure Ekiti.
Mr. Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, defeated the APC’s Kayode Fayemi in the now controversial June 21, 2014 governorship election in the state. He assumed office on October 16.
In the petition presented to the NHRC on Friday, the APC invited the Commission to take note of and investigate the acts of Mr. Fayose and his supporters with a view to determining if they constitute conduct promoting election violence.
Among the 22 acts of the governor listed by the opposition include the governor’s alleged outburst during one of his campaigns in Emure local government area where he reportedly said “We are in power! I am not one of those who have power and don’t know how to use it. PDP will not lose any seat in this state. It is going to be a do-or-die affair or a zero sum game”.
It also said that on January 21, Mr. Fayose’s “thugs” and members of the Odua Peoples Congress, dressed in army and police uniforms, backed by police officers attached to the Government House, ransacked and vandalized APC secretariat on Ajilosun Street, Ado- Ekiti.
It said Alaba Ojo and Adedokun Dare, the night guards on duty at the secretariat at the time of the incident, were physically assaulted and sustained varying degrees of injuries and that the thugs had earlier visited several parts of the state shooting and destroying the posters of opposition candidates.
The APC also alleged that on January 24, one Adeleke Samson, a students’ union leader, who attended its presidential rally in Ado- Ekiti with his colleagues, was violently attacked by the governor’s thugs, during which he sustained life-threatening injuries on his head.
The party also said on January 20, Ojo Agboola, Femi Babalola, Babalola, Bello Idowu and Tope Oguntoyinbo were physically assaulted by Mr. Fayose’s thugs at various locations in Ado-Ekiti for either wearing APC T-Shirts and pasting APC posters in their houses.
It also alleged that on January 21, in Otun Ekiti, Moba Local Government Area, Olasehinde Atolani and Atolani Segun were physically assaulted for pasting of APC posters on the walls of their houses.
The governor’s thug, the party further said, on January 23, 2015, disrupted its ward meetings in Iyin and Igede- Ekiti.
It said the thugs had previously conducted a house to house raid and assault on APC members, adding “specifically, the thugs attempted the life of the APC senatorial candidate for Ekiti Central Senatorial District, Mr. Gbenga Olofin, who narrowly escaped.”
The APC said on January 30, Mr. Fayose, in the bid to make good his earlier threat to collect the monetised Camry cars from members of the immediate past state executive council (Commissioners and Special Advisers), sent policemen, soldiers and thugs to ransack the residences of former Commissioners in the state.
It listed those affected as Biodun, Akin-Fasae, Oluwole Ariyo, Ayodele Jinadu and Adebayo Orire, The party said the aim was to harass them out of circulation ahead of the general elections so that they would not be able to participate.
The party further alleged that on January 30, 2015, Mr. Fayose’s thugs, unleashed terror on the people of Esure Ekiti, as his thugs shot sporadically in the air, vandalized homes and shops of APC members, including that of Caroline Egunlusi while on February 2, 2015, the governor also led thugs to destroy billboards and tear posters of opposition APC in Ikole Ekiti.
The APC stated that 10 days later the PDP thugs disrupted the APC ward meetings in Igbemo Ekiti.
According to the party, the thugs shot at the houses of APC Ekiti State Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, and that of the House of Assembly member representing that constituency but seeking re-election, Ayodeji Odu while one Ajayi Temisoro was dealt machete cuts on the head and hand.
The thugs subsequently abducted four persons,namely Jide Bello, Jimi Ogunade, Peter Akinsola (alias Pitoro) and Adedeji Ojo.
“It is for these reasons that we urge the National Human Rights Commission to investigate these cases of pre-election violence in Ekiti State and publish its preliminary findings before the presidential elections on March 28, 2015,” the APC said.
The party also called on the Commission “to declare Mr. Fayose as a person of interest in its investigation of election violence in Nigeria,” adding “We want to emphasise that these interim measures are necessary to prevent loss of lives and further destruction of property in Ekiti State.”
It asked the NHRC to also investigate the conduct of security agencies in Ekiti State with a view to determining their professionalism, even- handedness and non- partisanship.
“More worrisome is our finding that Police officers are actively involved in committing these acts of violence,” it said.
“It is a matter of concern to us that despite reporting these incidents to the Police, few arrests and virtually no prosecution have been undertaken.
The APC stated that it had expressed concern that several of the policemen who formed the nucleus of what was severally described as Fayose’s killer squad in Ekiti State between 2003 and 2006 when he was first elected the governor, are back in his employ.