BY: SAYO AKINTOLA
The Governor-elect of Ekiti State has denied sending thugs to disrupt proceeding at the High Court in Ado-Ekiti, the state Capital which led to commotion in the court- room which necessitated the trial judge, lawyers and court officials to run for cover in the ensuing melee.
The Governor-Elect dissociated himself from acts of hooliganism in any shade in the state, stressing that those who stormed the court on Monday were not sent by him. Speaking with The Street Journal today (September 24, 2014) on phone on behalf of his principal, the spokesman of Fayose, Idowu Adeusi, pointed out that it would be wrong for anybody to link the Governor-elect to the sad incident of Monday in Ado Ekiti.
According to him, the alleged thugs stormed the court-room on their own volition and were not sent by Fayose, adding that Fayose would never engage in such an illegal act in his capacity as the Governor-Elect of the state. He however, commiserated with victims of the attack, stressing that the law should take its full course to ensure justice.
It would be recalled that hoodlums believed to be loyal to the Ekiti State Governor-elect, Ayodele Fayose, on Monday stormed the state High court, beat up litigants and chased away the trial judge in the case challenging the eligibility of the Governor-elect in the June 21 election. The case was brought by E-11, a group opposed to the emergence of Mr. Fayose as governor. Pandemonium started when the trial judge, Justice Olusegun Ogunyemi, ruled earlier in the day that the court had jurisdiction to hear the matter and subsequently ordered the two parties to prepare for hearing in the case by 1pm.
As soon as the court resumed by 1p.m, the hoodlums descended on the court, unleashing terror on the judge, lawyers and workers of the court. The hoodlums swooped on the complex in their numbers and beat everybody in sight. Witnesses said police officers at the scene of the incident failed to check the invaders and restore order. In the process, some lawyers, litigants and workers in the complex received serious beating which led to serious injuries.
The hoodlums, witnesses said, laid siege on the court premises and dared any judge to hear the case. Journalists covering the case were also attacked and chased away. Some of the injured litigants and members of the anti-Fayose group, the E-eleven, were rushed to a nearby hospital where they are receiving treatment. Reacting to the incident, the Interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Jide Awe, said “We are back to the Idi Amin era in Ekiti where judges and lawyers are attacked in court. This is terrible.
“But the APC has no case in the court and we were not there to witness the attack.” In his own reaction, the PDP Publicity Secretary, Kola Oluwawole, accused Justice Ogunyemi of bias and asked him disqualify himself from the case. “The judge openly demonstrated in his ruling that he has jurisdiction on the matter and simultaneously commenced hearing of the matter without giving the respondent the opportunity to signify an appeal,” Mr. Oluwawole said. “The PDP also condemns the barbaric action of the APC thugs who attacked voters that voluntarily voted for Ayo Fayose in the last governorship election. On Tuesday, the litigant, E-Eleven, issued a statement describing the incident as representing another low for Ekiti State. “This ugly episode represents another low in the image of Ekiti in the eyes of the world. Gradually Ekiti is once again becoming a laughing stock while our claim to honour, integrity and intellectual sophistication is being thrown to the dogs,” the group said through its chairman, Femi Ajiniran. “To us, this is a big shame! Our long cherished values were once debased and nearly destroyed. It has taken some effort thus far to redeem those values. Another era of value wreckage is again at hand.”