Some members of the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, in Ekiti State yesterday protested the continued detention of seven members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, members in prison custody for alleged murder.
The protesters who stage the protest at the state APC secretariat in Ajilosun, demanded for the release of the accused persons.
They alleged, they were linked to the murder of the former state Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Omolafe Aderiye, on September 25, 2014, which they knew nothing about.
Those facing trial and detained in prison custody are two former RTEAN chairmen, Adebayo Aderiye a.k.a. Ojugo and Rotimi Olanbiwonnu a.k.a. Mentilo; state OPC leader, Adeniyi Adedipe a.k.a Apase; Sola Durodola, Ajayi Kayode, Oso Farotimi and Sola Adenijo a.k.a. Solar.
The protesters alleged that the detainees were arrested on trumped-up charges and slammed into prison because of their membership of the APC calling on senior party leaders to intervene and save them from death in custody.
They appealed to former governors who are members of the party, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Chief Segun Oni
and Dr. Kayode Fayemi and other leaders like presidential aide, Babafemi Ojudu, state party chairman, Olajide Awe to intervene and save their party men.
The protesters also called on Governor Ayo Fayose to act like a statesman, rise above partisan interests and facilitate the release of the detainees whom have been unjustly punished for what they knew nothing about.
Some of their songs include “E tu won sile o, awon to wa l’atimole, e tu won sile (release them, release those who are in custody, set them free), “solidarity forever, solidarity forever.”
Protest leader, Tunde Makanjujaye, described the APC members as “political prisoners”, saying the prosecution has failed to establish a case of murder against them now resort to what he called “frivolous applications” at the Appeal Court to stall the case.
Makanjujaye lamented that their incarceration has affected their health and ruined their businesses. He regretted that the vehicles of the detained transport union members have grounded while OPC boss’ auto business has collapsed.
The wife of one of the detainees, Mrs. Blessing Durodola, said it has been very tough for the family since her husband was held calling on the state government to have mercy on the children.
“My husband did not know anything about the murder, we have lost everything since he was detained and taking care of our children and sending them to school has become a huge burden.
“I want APC leaders at the national level to save their members unjustly detained, it has been very tough and difficult for us. Life has not been easy for us.”
Personal Assistant to OPC leader, Kamaru Lateef, said the protest was to draw the attention of APC leaders at national and state levels to the plight of the detainees who, according to him, are suffering because of their party affiliation.
Lateef said: “We want the APC Federal Government to intervene; we want these people to be free. We have made representations to party leaders and we want them to use everything at their disposal to ensure their freedom.”
Sikiru Eyebiokin said: “We want Governor Fayose to have mercy on these people, they were not the ones responsible for the killing of Omolafe.
We want them to be released unconditionally.
“Their houses have been burnt, their businesses ruined and the governor must know that they are all Ekiti sons and what goes around comes around.”
Another member, Akin Enikanolaye said: “We want our bosses in prison to be set free because the case in the court has been stalled.
Everybody in Ekiti knows that they are innocent that is why government is using all tactics in the book to delay the case.”


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