A Lagos-based lawyer and activist, Dele Farotimi, said he has petitioned the State Security Service (SSS) and the Lagos State Police Command over threats to assassinate him by top officials in the government.
Mr Farotimi disclosed this while addressing the press at a briefing at Lekki, Lagos, on Tuesday.
“I have told the law enforcement officers, I have sent them my petition clearly and I have requested protection from the Nigerian state,” he said.
Mr Farotimi said “someone” who was privy to the plan to assassinate him disclosed the plan. He said he would not reveal his identity to the media but has named him in the petition submitted to the authorities.
He said the person “was privy to certain discussions at certain levels warned me that the threat was not an empty one. The threat was specific and names were mentioned.”
A lawyer and critic
Mr Farotimi did not disclose the names of those who are allegedly threatening his life.
“On Monday last week, I have been hearing hint that a lot of powerful people are pissed off with me particularly because of what I have been saying about the #EndSARS protests, the killings at the Lekki Toll Gate and the planned reopening of the tollgate plaza.
“I was aware that I had offended a lot of powerful people but by Tuesday last week, I got a phone call giving a specific and clear warning. We will all die, that is the only thing that is certain for all who draw breath,” the lawyer said, adding that he will be 53 years at his next birthday.
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Mr Farotimi is known to be very critical of government policies, often calling out the politicians he deems corrupt and not fit for office.
The activist said he belongs to the Radical Agenda Movement in the Nigerian Bar Association (RAMINBA), headed by Adeshina Ogunlana, another lawyer.
“My activism did not start yesterday; the threats did not start yesterday. But this particular threat is coming as a function of my role in questioning the rationale behind the rush to reopen the tollgate. Not just open, I am diametrically opposed to the existence of that toll gate, I have always been, but the events of 20th of October hardened my position.”
“Left to me, I would not have raised this, but my friends encouraged me to speak up,” making reference to Bola Ige, who was murdered in his bedroom, and the assassination of former Editor and Founder of Newswatch Magazine, Dele Giwa, who was said to have briefed his lawyer on a Friday and was bombed on a Sunday.
Mr Farotimi said his firm objection to the recent directives to reopen the Lekki toll plaza and the information he has about the shooting incident of October 20, 2020 at the Lekki toll gate has made him a threat to the government.
“I have never for once sought anything from my public advocacy, I do not desire political office, I am not looking money and I am not chasing clouts. This is about the future, when I open my mouth and I am speaking, I am speaking for those who do not have a voice,” he said.
Mr Farotimi said if should happen to him, the public should look no farther than the persons he had mentioned in my petition to the DSS and Nigerian Police.
“Certain persons amongst my friends, key members of my family and associates from way back are fully aware of the facts, I have shared the facts with them so that should anything happen, they know who to allocate the guilt to,” he said.
“In Lagos state, there is a fusion between the criminal elements and the ruling class, I say that without any equivocation. Let people not look further than the hegemony ruling this state and the persons I have specifically mentioned in my petition if anything should happen to me.”
When PREMIUM TIMES contacted, Muyiwa Adejobi, the Lagos Police spokesperson, said he has not seen Mr Farotimi’s petition.
“I will have to find out, because the command receives a lot of petitions every day,” Mr Adejobi, a chief superintendent of police, said.
“We will need to trace his own petition to know if action has been taken on it,” the police spokesperson said.
In 2019, Mr Farotimi published a book titled “Do Not Die in Their Wars” to highlight the political trajectories of Nigeria and how the state powers are corrupt on their own and also running in a corrupt system.
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