BY AKINWALE ABOLUWADE, IBADAN
Some aggrieved members of the Oodua Redemption Alliance in the South West have decried what they described as the unlawful arrest and detention of the National President of Soludero Hunters’ Association, Oba Nureni Akintola Lasisi, over allegation of false charges brought against him by some officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Oyo State command.
Despite being discharged and acquitted by the Chief Judge of Oyo State, the security agency was reported to have detained him for 44 days at the Abolongo Correctional Centre in Oyo town.
Victor Taiwo, leader of the Oodua Redemption Alliance, in a recent interview with journalists, expressed disappointment over what he called ‘gross abuse of power’ by the NSCDC.
Taiwo expressed worries that the victim, despite working tirelessly for the security of the state, was treated with disdain over the alleged frivolous charge.
“In recognition of Soludero Hunters Association, the Oyo State Government employed the service of this security outfit which is performing very inspiringly to the satisfaction of the government in checkmating crimes in the state,” he noted.
He said that upon receiving information that the leader of the hunters’ association under his control had been detained, he investigated and discovered that the charge brought against him was “a ploy and gross abuse of official authority to victimize the man in order to unlawfully take possession of his landed property by a particular NSCDC officer in Oyo.”
He raised questions on how a duly registered security outfit with the Federal Government with license to carry firearms could be prosecuted for possessing a rifle.
He described Lasisi’s experience in the last 50 days as unfortunate, saying that it left a wrong impression in the minds of many people in the public.
Lasisi said, “When the court gave the order that I should be remanded at the Abolongo Correctional Centre, the NSCDC officers clashed with the (prisons) Abolongo officials saying that I should be released to them. They intended to kill me but God protected me from their evil intention.
“A security source told me that they wanted to create a riotous scene during which they would kill me.”
Taiwo said, “Aside that somebody was harassed, victimized and imprisoned unlawfully for good six days and 44 other days with untold physical and psychological trauma, this man, Nureni was subjected to terrible shame of unfounded denigrating rumour by mongers who tagged him a ‘ritual killer.’
“You can imagine, while he was being detained for the offence he never committed, people in his neighbourhood were peddling rumours that he was a ritual killer. They now treat him as an outcast who must be avoided.
“Having been convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the matter on ground was a gross violation of the fundamental human rights of the accused and exhibition of official recklessness, the Chief Judge discharged and acquitted him.”
The Oodua Redemption Alliance has indicated its resolve to file a suit against the NSCDC for the breach of Nureni’s fundamental rights.