From Lateef Dada, Osogbo
A social-political group, Osun Shall Rise Again (OSRA) has called on the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to beam his searchlight on the security development in Osun State, alleging that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is recruiting notorious criminals ahead of November 27 inauguration of Governor-elect, Ademola Adeleke.
The group said the call became imperative with the inclusion of some criminal suspects in the Inauguration Committee of the Governor-Elect, particularly one Olalekan Ajagungbade popularly known as ‘Emir’ who is still a wanted criminal suspect in the State.
It further noted that the said suspect was declared wanted by the Osun State Police Command on July 2, 2022, for various criminal offences including murder and having firearms.
According to the group, it is a dangerous security development in Osun that signifies a reign of terror and thuggery that the State may witness under the leadership of the PDP after November 27, 2022, if necessary steps are not urgently taken to curtail the situation.
In a statement by the Secretary and Chairman of OSRA, Saheed Bakare and Lanre Akeju, respectively, on Sunday, the group accused the State Police Command of not taking the arrest of Ajagungbade seriously which has emboldened him and other criminal elements who are moving around freely and continuously fomenting trouble in the state.
“We are shocked and surprised with the recent security development in Osun which requires the attention of all security agencies especially the Inspector General of Police with an open parade of criminal suspects as members of the Inauguration Committee of Governor-elect, Ademola Adeleke, with specific reference to Olalekan Ajagungbade popularly known as Emir who is at the top of police wanted list in the State.
“Giving a such individual a responsibility suggests that the PDP and Mr Adeleke are recruiting criminals to harass and kill ahead of the November 27 handing over the day, and a confirmation that the party and Governor-elect have been harbouring him for a long to escape the wrath of the law.
“We consider his inclusion in the security committee as a way of conffering on him, a legitimate authority to carry out a sinister motive in the state and at the same time, shield him from security agents. We also doubt if the Osun Police Command can do anything because this development has shown that for a long, they knew his whereabouts and who is hiding him.
“If the Osun Police Command means business, by now, it is expected that they should have invited the PDP leaders and even the Governor-elect as contained in the statement issued when Ajagungbade declared wanted that anyone who harbours him will be treated as an accomplice in the offence he was declared wanted for. If he has not been hobnobbing with PDP, why would the party appoint him as a member of its security committee?
“The IG would also recall that it is the same manner that Osun Command attempted to cover up a gruesome murder case in Ede, involving the Chief Security Officer to the Governor-Elect, CSP Issac Omoyele who allegedly killed Abideen Adekunle and Kafayat Adekunle in Ede, Osun State in a gruesome manner before the intervention of the Force Headquarters that constituted an investigation team which later led to the arrest and investigation of Omoyele.
“It is also a shame on the part of PDP to have contemplated including a wanted criminal suspect in the list of its Inauguration Committee. This is the height of irresponsibility, abuse of power, insensitivity to the security of the state and glorification of crime.
“While we are not casting aspersion on the ability of the newly deployed Commissioner of Police to the state, we consider it necessary to call the attention of the IGP to this ridiculous and embarrassing development in the state before things get out of hand, considering the previous criminal record of Ajagungbade. It will also be a litmus test for the new Police Commissioner on his capacity to protect life and property in the state.
“It is also the highest level of insult to the police authority and security agents for a wanted criminal to be openly rewarded by a political party and nothing is happening, to the extent that he is already sitting with security commanders in the state strategizing on security arrangements for the November 27, inauguration, that can only happen in the Banana Republic and we don’t pray to witness that any longer in Osun.
“We urge the IG to quickly intervene to ensure smooth government transition and protection of life and property in the state,” the group added.
But, the PDP has posited that the alleged suspect is not a criminal but a member of its party.
A statement by the Directorate of Media of the PDP noted that the alleged wanted suspect had approached the court for his fundamental right and the court has ordered a status quo, restraining the police from “arresting, detaining, incarcerating or doing anything capable of bringing threat to the liberty, life and right to freedom of the said Ajagungbade our esteemed member who has been acting responsibly and conducting himself peacefully since he joined our party.”