From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
THE controversy over the reported invasion of the Ekiti State House of Assembly by the men of the Department of State Services [DSS] and subsequent abduction of four lawmakers continued yesterday in Abuja where members of the state Assembly took their protest to the United States and British High Commission. They call on the international community to intervene and save democracy from imminent collapse in Nigeria.
Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Kola Oluwawole, who led 18 other members including the Deputy Speaker; Hon Segun Adewumi and House Leader; Hon Adetunji Akinyele submitted a letter titled: “Re: Political intolerance in Ekiti State,” and the resolution passed at its sitting of Wednesday, March 9, 2016 in which the lawmakers stated expressly that they were solidly behind the Governor Ayodele Fayose and can never be coerced or induced to sign any impeachment notice against him.
Carrying placards with various inscriptions; the lawmakers said; “We want to state here categorically that no amount of intimidation, harassment and oppression will make us impeach our leader and benefactor, Governor Ayodele Fayose. The DSS should therefore know that the 2006 theory they are working on will not work this time around.”
The lawmakers who spoke, through Samuel Omotoso, Gboyega Aribisogan and Adewumi alleged that they were being harassed with some of their houses being visited by men who claimed to be DSS officials.
They contended that the process of abduction of the four assembly men was illegal, crude, uncivilised and barbaric because the DSS neither formally informed the Speaker nor the state governor of their intention to arrest any member of the House of Assembly or Ekiti State government.
The protest letter read in part: “The Federal Government set up an inglorious military panel to probe the level of security involvement in that peaceful governorship election of 21st June, 2014. These were the same security agencies that had been commended for their efficiency in that election. The Federal Government is bent on scuttling the election of Governor Ayodele Fayose through diabolical means.
“After the failure of the military panel to achieve its desired objective, another plot is now being hatched. The APC-led Federal Government has orchestrated a wave of arrest and intimidation of members of the House of Assembly and cabinet members of the present administration in Ekiti State.
“The intention is to cripple the voice of opposition, which Governor Ayodele Fayose has become and coerce the House of Assembly to impeach the governor in the manner of the 2006 scenario which the Supreme Court has declared illegal, null and void.
“In furtherance to this devilish plot, armed men of the Department of State Security invaded the House of Assembly on 4th March 2016 and ‘carted’ away four honourable members. They have been rendered incommunicado. They cannot be reached by their family members, doctors, lawyers and colleagues. As against the Constitution of Nigeria that forbids detention of anyone beyond 24 hours without court order, no charge has been preferred against them.
“The Federal High Court in Ado Ekiti, on Friday ordered the immediate release of one of the lawmakers, Hon Afolabi Akanni, but up till now, the court order has not been obeyed.
“The international community is therefore being alerted of the worrisome political situation in Ekiti State. We are calling on the international community to prevail on the Federal Government to allow peace to continue to reign in Ekiti by allowing our popularly elected Governor, Ayodele Fayose to fulfil his electioneering promises to the people.”