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Date Published: 12/06/09

HURIWA wants Senator Gbenga Ogunniya prosecuted


A democracy inclined and development focused non-governmental organization- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA, HURIWA, has tasked the Inspector General of Police Ogbonna Onovo to ensure that the serving senator representing Ondo central district and Chairman, senate committee on police affairs Gbenga Ogunniya and three other People’s Democratic Party members of the Federal House of representatives- Gbenga Alegbeleye, representing Akoko North East/North West, Dr. Tayo Fawehinmi, representing Ondo East/West Federal Constituency and Emmanuel Adedeji, representing Odigbo/Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Federal Constituency are prosecuted for allegedly being in possession of three ballot boxes filled up with already thumb printed ballot papers during the recent re-run poll into House of Representative for Akoko South West/South East to fill the vacant position formerly occupied by the late Colonel Joe Anota[rtd].

Specifically, Senator Gbenga Ogunniya in company of three other House of Representatives members were arrested by the police and quizzed in Oka, headquarters of Akoko South West for allegedly being in possession of three ballot boxes stuffed with thumb printed ballot papers during the re-run election into the Federal House of Representatives election even as the Assistant inspector General of Police Murktar Abass who was deployed from Abuja to ensure that the re-run poll was violence free confirmed the arrest and interrogation of the three high profile Peoples’ Democratic Party serving legislators at the National Assembly for the alleged electoral offences.


HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA, HURIWA, in a media release endorsed by its National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko demanded the prosecution of the serving legislators to serve as effective deterrence to other would-be electoral offenders and also challenged the police top hierarchy to ensure that the three politicians are thoroughly, transparently and professionally investigated by well trained operatives with the requisite legal qualifications so as not to bungle the matter and make it unsustainable in the competent court of law as is usual with most cases involving high profile political office holders or those close to the seat of power already messed up by the police prosecution teams all across Nigeria.

Accusing the Nigeria police prosecution teams of messing up several investigations of high profile public office holders so as to foist a fait accompli of discharge and acquittal on such favoured persons in Nigeria, the Rights group stated that Nigerians are interested in knowing how well the police will handle this matter involving Senator Gbenga Ogunniya who is the chairman of the Police Affairs committee in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The rights group also opposed any move by the current minister of justice to take over the matter because according to it, Michael Aoondookaa has through his words and actions demonstrated that he is the chief law officer of the Peoples’ Democratic Party and not of Nigeria.

According to HURIWA; ‘’ If there was wilful criminality, because nobody is above the law, the Senator and his colleagues from the Federal House of Representatives arrested allegedly with three ballot boxes stuffed with thumb printed ballot papers must be charged before the competent court of law. If crimes have been committed, they should be professionally, and thoroughly probed and prosecuted to serve as effective deterrence to other would-be electoral offenders in public offices who would wilfully want to undermine Nigeria’s constitution and the electoral laws by manipulating elections and denying Nigerians of their democratic choices of voting in their preferred candidates to serve them’’.

  HURIWA challenged the Senate President and the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives David Mark and Dimeji Bankole to also activate internal mechanisms to probe the allegations against Senator Gbenga Ogunniya and the three Representatives if indeed they are to be seen by Nigerians as political leaders who are committed to provide leadership by example and also to salvage the already battered public image of the National Assembly.

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