PRESS STATEMENT | Attacks on Sule Egele and trial of Opponents of Adams Oshiomhole, Phillip Shuaibu
EDO STATE: THE CREEPING ATTACKS ON BARRISTER SULE EGELE AND THE ORCHESTRATED TRIAL OF OPPONENTS OF FORMER GOVERNOR ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE AND DEPUTY GOVERNOR OF EDO STATE, PHILIP SHUAIBU
Last week we received a copy of the petition written by the law firm of Ibrahim Muhammad and Associates, on behalf of Sule Egele, lawyer and businessman, to the Inspector General of Police. The said petition, which questions the integrity of the Edo State Police Command, reads in part: “we write you this letter to intimate your office of our client’s anxiety and worry about the tardiness and refusal of the police to investigate his petition bothering on serious allegations of crime against the people ( Agbomhere Okpo, aka Holyman, Saliu Udoma, Robot Erakhue, Haruna Salami, Billawu Salami, Muraina Salawu and Charles Momoh – all political thugs of former Governor Adams Oshiomhole and Deputy Governor Philip Shuaibu) mentioned above in the caption of our letter on the altar of what has seemingly appeared to us as “bias” and partisanship on the part of your men and officers of the Edo State Police Command to discharge their constitutional mandate of safeguarding and protecting law abiding citizens of Nigeria irrespective of their beliefs and partisan leanings”.
As stated in the said petition dated the 17the day of February, 2016, Barrister Sule Egele, who, in exercise of his civic duty, turned up on Saturday the 28th day of September, 2016 at his polling unit at Oyagha Primary School, Jattu, Uzairue, Etsako-West Local Government Area, Edo State, a few meters from his country home and the country home of the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shuaibu, to cast his vote, was set upon by a gang of thugs led by a certain Agbomhere Okpo, Billawu Salami and Muraina Salawu. Barrister Sule Egele barely escaped with his life, but not without injuries inflicted on him and his car badly damaged by the rampaging thugs who were intent on committing murder. A formal criminal complaint was immediately lodged by Barrister Sule Egele at the Divisional Police Station, Jattu, Uzairue, Edo State and a petition was soon after submitted by Barrister Sule Egele to the Commissioner of Police, Edo State.
We are informed that no action was taken by the police to apprehend the above-named thugs, neither were steps taken to investigate the said complaint, nor immediate remedial security steps taken by the police to protect Barrister Sule a Egele and supporters from the marauding attacks of former Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Philip Shuaibu and their supporters. Rather, the Edo State Police Command took sides with the principal orchestrators of the attacks, former Governor Adams Oshiomhole and his hireling, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shuaibu, and invited Barrister Sule Egele to appear before it to answer to the petition ostensibly written by Philip Shuaibu alleging attempts on the lives of his thugs, Billawu Salami and Muraina Salawu. While Barrister Sule Egele was briefing his lawyers to legally challenge the incipient and unlawful steps taken by the police in the court of law, officers of the Edo State Police Command arrested two of his supporters, Abdulazeez Momodu and Nasiru Ede and arraigned them before the Magistrate Court sitting in Jattu, Uzairue, Edo State, on trumped up charges of attempted murder of the thugs, Billawu Salami and Muraina Salawu.
In a clear and patent case of the police and the judiciary working in tandem for former Governor Adams Oshiomhole and Philip Shuaibu, Abdulazeez Momodu and Nasiru Ede were immediately remanded in Auchi Prison on the orders of a Magistrate, without any formal plea taken from the accused persons. It is noteworthy to highlight here that the date of the commission of the alleged offence of attempted murder was changed by the police from Wednesday the 28th day of September, 2016 to Monday the 28th day of November, 2016 to mask the criminal irresponsibility of the officers of the Edo State Police Command, who willfully refused and or criminally neglected to investigate the complaint lodged before it by Barrister Sule Egele against the latter complainants, Billawu Salami and Muraina Salawu. Surprisingly, as well, the trumped up charges were brought before an inferior court- Magistrate Court- without jurisdiction to try offences such as attempted murder, let alone make orders of remand in prison custody. And true, as orchestrated by Adams Oshiomhole and Philip Shuaibu who played the law and power against innocent citizens who are opposed to their politics, Abdulazeez Momodu and Nasiru Ede were remanded in prison custody by a Magistrate with no powers of remand.
In the light of the foregoing, therefore, we call on the Inspector General of Police to without further delay take over the criminal investigation of the activities of Agbomhere Okpo, Saliu Udoma, Robot Erakhue, Haruna Salami, Billawu Salami, Muraina Salawu and Charles Momoh to avert a breakdown of law and order in Jattu, Uzairue, Edo State, and withdraw the spurious criminal charges filed by the Commissioner of Police, Edo State against Abdulazeez Momodu and Nasiru Ede.
Self-professed “democrats” like Adams Oshiomhole and Philip Shuaibu who cannot appreciate the essence of dissension have no place in our democracy. We call on citizens of good conscience to call them to order and make them to walk the path of reason great democrats before have walked. Finally, let it be known that the Public Interest Lawyers League ( PILL) shall hold former Governor Adams Oshiomhole and his hireling, Philip Shuaibu, Deputy Governor of Edo State, responsible if anything untoward happens to one of its members, Barrister Sule Egele.
Abdul Mahmud, Esq
Public Interest Lawyers League (PILL)