Police bias in handling Ife riot case-ARG

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A Yoruba socio-political organisation, The Afenifere Renewal Group on Tuesday expressed doubt in the capacity of the Nigeria Police Force to handle the Ile-Ife riot case without bias.

The group in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kunle Famoriyo, said it was initially looking forward to the outcome of a thorough police investigation establishing the immediate and remote causes of the crisis.

It said, “We are however shocked at the outcome of a purported police investigation which from all indications would now appear one-sided and tending towards a predetermined outcome.

“For instance, the sin of one of those paraded, Obimakinde Samuel, according to police information, was that he was “found with a fresh cut on his head suspected to have been inflicted on him during the crisis.” Mr. Obimakinde, according to police information, is obviously a victim.”

The police had, on Monday, at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, paraded 20 suspects, including a traditional ruler, Oba Ademola Ademiluyi, the Lawarikan of Apojeland, for alleged involvement in the crisis.

But ARG expressed dismay that in a violent clash that recorded deaths, injuries and arson, the Nigeria Police Force labelled the Yoruba as the only culprits who attacked their own people and burnt their houses.

“Who would believe this? We contend that the Ife crisis, no matter how much the police tend to make it an ethnic issue would never stand as one. It disturbingly raised the question of partisanship and cast a doubt on the police institution. But the whole world can now see the joke that the Nigeria Police Force is in the temple of justice and fairness, “it added.

According to the group, what is desired is a thorough and trustworthy investigation but it appears that is impossible to get from the Nigeria police that have failed to produce a single arrest in cases of perpetual marauders and killers in Southern Kaduna, Benue and Enugu states but have within a week found a sudden ‘efficiency’ in the Ile-Ife crisis.

It stated, “Where were the police when similar crisis broke out in Mile 12, Lagos, last year during which Yoruba people were killed and their properties razed and when an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Tajudeen Bakare, was brazenly murdered in the process of enforcing the rule of law?

“Yoruba people are lovers of peace but also haters of injustice in any appearance or form and we would not allow our people to be deliberately made a scapegoat of the inherent failure of Nigeria’s nationality.”

It also called on the Osun State Government to inaugurate a commission of enquiry to establish the remote and immediate causes in a manner capable of engendering truth and reconciliation

Source: Punch

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