The National Human Rights Commission February 16, 2015
In the Matter of State Sponsored Pre -Election Violence in Ekiti State
We write to inform you about the worrying frequency of state sponsored pre- election violence in Ekiti State ahead of the Presidential and other elections rescheduled for March 28 and April 11, 2015. We firmly believe that if urgent steps are not taken by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC} to arrest this trend, the forthcoming elections in Ekiti State will witness high incidence of political violence with attendant loss of lives and destruction of properties.
2. We particularly request the NHRC to investigate the role of Mr. Ayo Fayose, Governor of Ekiti State in sponsoring political violence in Ekiti State including the use of thugs to physically attack and intimidate opposition personalities in the State. We note the pre-election advisory on violence published by the NHRC and in furtherance of its stated commitment to investigate, identify and prosecute perpetrators of electoral violence, we invite the NHRC to take notice of and investigate the following acts of Mr. Fayose and his supporters with a view to determining if these constitute conduct promoting election violence.
(a) On January 19, 2015 Mr. Fayose during one of his campaigns in Emure Local Government of Ekiti State told his supporters repeatedly, “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-o-die affair or a zero sum game” (A copy of the tape is attached for your information) .
(b) On January 21 2015, Mr. Fayoses thugs and members of Odua Peoples Congress dressed in Army and Police uniforms, backed by policemen attached to the Government House ransacked and vandalized APC secretariat on Ajilosun Street, Ado- Ekiti. Messrs. 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 decrees of injuries. These persons had earlier visited several parts of the state shooting and destroying the posters of opposition candidates. (Please see attached Newspaper report of this incident)
(c) On January 24 2015, Mr. Adeleke Samson (a students’ union leader) who attended the APC Presidential rally in Ado- Ekiti with his colleagues was violently attacked by Mr. Fayose’s thugs. He sustained life-threatening injuries on his head. (see attached picture of Mr. Samson and a relevant newspaper publication).
(d) On January 20, 2015, Mr. Ojo Agboola, Mr. Femi Babalola, Mrs Babalola, Mr. Bello Idowu and Mr. 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.
(e) On January 21, 2015, in Otun Ekiti, Moba Local Government Area, Mr. Olasehinde Atolani and Mr. Atolani Segun were physically assaulted for pasting of APC posters on the walls of their House.
(f) On January 23, 2015 Mr. Fayose’s thugs disrupted APC ward meetings in Iyin and Igede- Ekiti. They had previously conducted a house to house raid and assault on APC members. Specifically, the thugs attempted the life of the APC senatorial candidate for Ekiti Central Senatorial District, Mr. Gbenga Olofin, who narrowly escaped. (Please see attached newspaper report of this)
(g) On January 25, 2015, Mr. Omoya Adeniyi, an official of the APC, was physically assaulted by Mr. Fayose’s thugs in his house in Eyio Ekiti. His house was also vandalized. (Picture attached)
(h) On January 26, 2015, Mr. Fayose’s thugs attacked the Chairman of APC in Ilejemeje LGA, Mr. Olabode Ogunyemi. on the road to Ora-Ekiti. He was physically assaulted and his bus vandalized. ( Picture attached)
(i) On January 26, 2015, the PDP thugs invaded the compound of Pa Femi Oyebanjo, an APC sympathizer, shooting sporadically and tearing posters and flags of the APC in his compound.
(j) On January 26, 2015, PDP thugs were in Ido-Ekiti where they inflicted machete cuts on many APC members and destroyed billboards and posters of APC candidates while shooting sporadically.
(k) On January 26, 2015 PDP thugs were in Iloro-Ekiti. They invaded the house of Mr. Dapo Kolawole, immediate past Commissioner for Finance, destroying the APC billboards and posters. They also shot at the house of Pa Kolawole, the octogenarian father of Dapo Kolawole.
(l) On January 25, 2015 PDP thugs disrupted wards meetings in Efon-Alaye and Erijiyan.
(m) On January 27, 2015, PDP thugs disrupted APC meetings in Gbonyin Local Government communities, including Ijan-Ekiti, Iluomoba, Aisegba, Agbado, Imesi, Egbe, Iro and Ode-Ekiti destroying APC billboards, posters, chairs and tables in their meeting.
(n) On January 30, 2015 Mr. Fayose personally led thugs to destroy APC billboards in Ilawe- Ekiti in the full glare of people of that town.
(o) 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. This was also to harass them out of circulation ahead of the general elections so that they would not be able to participate. Those arrested and detained by the police were:
1.Chief Biodun Akin-Fasae
2.Mr. Oluwole Ariyo
3.Mr. Ayodele Jinadu
4.Dr. Adebayo Oriire
(p) 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 Mrs Caroline Egunlusi.
(q) On February 2, 2015, Mr. Fayose led thugs to destroy billboards and tear posters of opposition APC in Ikole Ekiti.
(r) On February 4, 2015, armed thugs working for Mr. Fayose attacked the former Chairman of Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area. They also beat up his 82-year-old mother, Madam Omorinatu Awolokun, who they dragged on the floor while they shot and vandalized household items (see the Punch, Feb 6, 2015 ,page 9. Pictures of these are attached)
(s) On February 4 2015, Mr. Fayose’s thugs visited the home of a Special Adviser to former Governor Kayode Fayemi, Mr. Biodun Omoleye, in Ado Ekiti with many Hilux vans full of armed men and a towing vehicle to forcefully impound his official vehicle after threatening to kill him if he resisted.(Pictures are attached)
(t) On February 12 2015, Mr. Fayose’s thugs unleashed terror on communities in Gbonyin Local Government Area like Ijan and Iluomoba-Ekiti where they disrupted ward meetings of the APC, destroyed billboards and shot sporadically into the air.
(u) On February 12, 2015, PDP thugs disrupted the APC ward meetings in Igbemo Ekiti. They shot at the Houses of APC Ekiti State Publicity Secretary, Hon. Taiwo Olatunbosun, and that of the House of Assembly member representing that constituency who is seeking re-election, Hon. Ayodeji Odu while one Ajayi Temisoro was dealt machete cuts on the head and hand. Four persons were abducted by the thugs. These are:
1. Jide Bello
2. Jimi Ogunade,
3. Chief Peter Akinsola (alias Pitoro)
4. Adedeji Ojo.
(Pictures of this incident and copies of the petition sent to the Commissioner of Police, Director of the SSS and NHRC are attached.)
(v) On February 13, 2015, the State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Hon. Taiwo Olatubosun, received a phone call from one Mr. Ariyo Afolabi, an aide to Governor Fayose and one of the Commanders of his thugs who disguised as signage official. He threatened to assassinate Hon. Olatubosun and his family. (The petition of Olatunbosun to the Commissioner of Police, Director of SSS, National Human Rights Commission and the Nigerian Bar Association, Ekiti State chapter, are attached.)
3. We specifically invite the NHRC to 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 is a matter of concern to us that despite reporting these incidents to the Police, few arrests and virtually no prosecution have been undertaken. We had previously 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. ( Copies of these petitions are attached)
4.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. We also call on the Commission to declare Mr. Fayose as a person of interest in its investigation of election violence in Nigeria. We want to emphasise that these interim measures are necessary to prevent loss of lives and further destruction of property in Ekiti State.
While we look forward to your prompt intervention, please be assured of our highest consideration and esteem always.
Omotosho P. Ayodele (Esq)
European Union Observers Group
Embassy of the United States of America
The British Embassy
The French Embassy
Secretary of States, United States of America/USIS
Nigerian Bar Association
Egbe Igbimo Ure Ekiti
Yoruba Council of Elders
Chief Emeka Anyaoku
Mr. Koffi Annan.