Ekiti House of Assembly Petitions DSS over Continued Detention of Members

The war of attrition between the Department of State Security (DSS) and members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly continued on Thursday.
In the renewed war members of the state House of Assembly have called on DSS to obey a court order and release their members who they said were “illegally” arrested and detained.
This is contained in a petitioned submitted to the National Human Rights Commission over the continued detention of four of its members .
A three-man delegation of members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly led by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Segun Adewumi, submitted a petition dated March 16, 2016, at the headquarters of the commission in Abuja on Thursday.
The petition which was signed by the Speaker of the state assembly, Kola Oluwawole, was received by Deputy Director, Protection and Investigation, of the commission, Mr. Lambert Okpara, on behalf of the NHRC’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Bem Angwe.
Speaking in Abuja after the submission, House Committee on Health, Hon. Samuel Omotosho said the arrest and detention of members without charging them to court was a breach of their fundamental human rights.
“As it is now, we don’t know their whereabouts. Their family members are worried and they have remained incommunicado. We asked if they are dead and nobody is talking to us. The right to life and human dignity of our colleagues are being threatened,” Omotosho said.
He said the Ekiti State High Court gave an order for the release of the detained members on Friday, March 11 but that the DSS refused to comply.
“Yet this is the 14th day since they were arrested and kept away from everybody.”
In the petition, they accused the Federal Government of plans to arrest and intimidate lawmakers in the state because they were an opposition party.
Omotosho appealed to the Rights Commission to step into the matter and fight for the rights of the detained members as “the issue has left the rest of us in the house traumatised.”
The legislators alleged in the petition that their detained colleagues had been kept incommunicado from them and members of their family since they were arrested 13 days ago.
The petition read in part, “Another plot is now being hatched. The All Progressives Congress led-Federal Government has orchestrated a wave of arrest and intimidation of members of the House of Assembly and cabinet members of the present administration in Ekiti State.
“The intention is to cripple the voice of opposition which Governor Ayodele Fayose is known for and coerced the House of Assembly to impeach him in the manner of 2006 scenario which the Supreme Court had declared illegal, null and void.
“The Department of State Security Service invaded the House of Assembly on March 4, 2016 and ‘carted’ away with four Honourable members. They have been rendered incommunicado. They cannot be reached by their family members and their colleagues. No charge has been preferred against them. They have not been charged to court.
“The National Human Rights Commission is being alerted of the worrisome political situation in Ekiti State. You are being called upon to prevail on the Federal Government to give peace a chance and let the popularly elected Governor Ayodele Fayose fulfill his electioneering promises to the people. Freedom of speech and association are the hallmarks of democratic government. These should not be subverted or trampled upon.”
Representing the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Prof Bem Angwe, Deputy Director of Investigation, Mr Lambert Okpara said the petition would be looked into and proper investigation into the matter would commence hence “we will also invite you further to substantiate the allegation raised in the petition.”

Author: News Editor

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