Posted by News Express | 23 March 2019 | 1,100 times
A prominent Niger Delta group, the Movement Against Election Violence in Nigeria, has hailed the issuance of a Warrant of Arrest against some top Bayelsa All Progressives Congress (APC) politicians over their alleged complicity in the February 23, 2019 attack and abduction of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kola Okunlola, in Brass and the unleashed mayhem in some parts of the state during the last general elections
The group led by Comrade Paul Nimi-Brown, a rights activist, and Perry Jackson, Secretary, in a statement on Friday in Yenagoa, urged the authorities of the Nigeria Police to ensure that the case is pursued to a logical conclusion, stressing that if security agents become targets for elimination during elections, nobody is safe.
Nimi-Brown maintained that unless politicians who incite violence against their own people are brought to book, the South South, especially Bayelsa, will always remain a scene of bloodshed during elections.
A Federal High Court in Abuja had on Wednesday ordered the arrest of Hon. Israel Sunny-Goli, Mr Sam Kojo and 11 others over the February 24 abduction of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Kola Okunlola, who was in charge of the Federal Special Anti- Robbery Squad in Brass and was monitoring elections in the area.
Sunny-Goli, a House of Representatives candidate during the last election, was accused of masterminding the abduction.
Justice Okon Abang also ordered the arrest of Sam Kodjo, Victor Tamarapreye, Azi Newton, Abiye Bob, Kingsley Alex, Clement Ayibatonye, Jonathan Hart, Sammy Newman, Pipi Ogiri and Soldier Akwe, anywhere they are found in the country.
One of the charges read that Sunny-Goli, 47, while acting in concert, detained DCP Kola Okunlola, threatened to kill him, dispossessed him of his beret, belt, shoes, uniform, wristwatch, gadgets and N14,000.00 cash and inflicted injuries on him.
The court also heard that the politician aided and abetted the commission of an act of terrorism when he induced and instigated others on the wanted list to seize and inflict injuries on the senior police officer, an offence contrary to Section 18 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2013.
But the group insisted that if the unnecessary waste of lives during elections must stop and the violence that heralded the last polls in Bayelsa does not reoccur in areas where the polls have been rescheduled, all those who instigated the mayhem must face the law.
It said: “As a movement, we laud the courage of the judge who ordered the arrest of these politicians anywhere they are found in the country. We also want to state unequivocally that all others not mentioned in the charge sheet, but were fingered in one way or the other in those areas must be properly investigated.
“It smacks of utter arrogance and lawlessness which has characterised the political lives of these violence mongers to be summoned by the courts and refuse to appear before it.
“The point must be made that until the laws against election rigging, manipulation and unbridled violence are implemented even if it affects the so-called big men in the Niger Delta and in Bayelsa in particular, the region would continue to reap anarchy and instability.”
The group added that the recent order also vindicates the Bayelsa Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, who had always insisted that there were no elections in some areas in Brass local government and Bassambiri in Nembe, where the ring leaders of the mayhem hail from.
It warned that if the alleged crime committed by the APC chieftains is not punished, it will only emboldened others who have openly boasted of the backing of 'federal might', to wreak more havoc on their people.
“Herein lies the danger in allowing these brigands walk away free without being visited by the full weight of the law. Where crime is not punished, routine violation of the law is inevitable,” the group concluded.
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