BUJA – Ahead of the impending general elections, the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, yesterday, urged President Goodluck Jonathan and Major General Muhammadu Buhari, rtd, to restrain their supporters from killing innocent Nigerians and Policemen.
The Chairman of the governing council of the Commission, Dr. Chidi Anselem Odinkalu, regretted that in February alone, over 28 policemen have been killed by politicians.
Odinkalu spoke shortly after the Ekiti State Government and the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, came to the NHRC to drop their response to allegations by the All Progressives Congress, APC, that the State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, was sponsoring the killings of opposition members in the State.
He assured the PDP that the commission will dispassionately look into the petition.
Receiving the PDP response, the Executive Secretary the Commission Prof. Bem Angwe, said the NHRC would not spare anyone found to be sponsoring political violence or encouraging hate speeches capable of inciting violence before and after the elections.
“We are happy that you have chosen to come to respond to the allegations against Dr. Ayodele Fayose, upon the receipt of the petition we had dispatched an invitation to the Governor and the PDP Chairman in Ekiti State. We are happy that you are here to represent the Governor and that the PDP Chairman in Ekiti is here in person.
“On the receipt of that petition we had said that the Commission would invoke its powers to ensure that justice is done and that whoever is found guilty of these abuses irrespective of position as there are no immunity when it comes to the abuse of the rights of Nigerians. We would invoke our powers and involve international human rights bodies to ensure that justice is done.
“We had also said if the petition is found not to be true we would not hesitate to punish the conveyors of the false allegation. We would in due course invite all the parties including Fayose to appear before it to state their sides of the story. I want to restate that we would be fair but firm and there is immunity for any person that infringes on the rights of any Nigerian.
He implored all the parties to abide by the provisions of the peace accord that was signed by all the Presidential candidates.
Meanwhile, the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice of Ekiti, Owuseyi Ajayi, who presented the state government’s response to the petition, described the petition as further attempt to distract the Ekiti State government under governor Fayose.
He said, “We have respect for the Human Rights Commission as a statutory body for the protection of human rights, we as a government cannot fold our hands when we are being accused of abuse of human rights abuses, we therefore wish to respond to the allegation that there are serious human rights abuses in Ekiti, if the opposition is sincere they would have attested to the fact the Ekiti State has been one of the most peaceful states in the federation.
“Barely had the new government of Dr. Fayose settled down, when petitions started pouring in concerning flagrant infractions of fundamental rights, abuse of office and injustice meted out to people in Ekiti state while the Government of Kayode Fayemi held sway.
“Notable among these incidents is the case of the alleged murder of one Ayodele Ogudu Jeje by the State Chairman of the APC, Chief Jide Awe and his cohorts on March 30th,2013 at Erijiyan Ekiti. The Police investigated the matter and indicted the suspect and four others and charged them to court for prosecution.
Ajayi said that “surprisingly the government of Kayode Fayemi using his Attorney-General and Commission of Justice, Wale Fapohunda frusted the ends of justice by filling a nolle prosequi against all the suspects on February 11th, 2014″