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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Oyo Police declare 'Tokyo' and 'Auxilliary' wanted over Ibadan crisis

Lateef Oloruntoki (aka Tokyo)

Apparently to prove its seriousness to arrest the factional leaders of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the Oyo state police command at the weekend placed a ransom of half a million naira each on Lateef Oloruntoki (aka Tokyo) and Mukaila Lamidi (aka Auxiliary).

The command had earlier declared them wanted. The two men, who head the opposing factions of the union in the state, are on the wanted list of the police for their alleged roles in the bloody clash between members of their factions which have claimed dozens of innocent lives recently, along with the wanton destruction of property.

Baba Adisa Bolanta, the state commissioner of Police, announced the ransom at the weekend while speaking on the placement of posters at strategic places across the state to declare the leaders wanted.

The posters carry bold pictures of the two wanted persons with the promise of a bounty of a sum of N500, 000 for useful information on how each could be tracked down to be arrested.

Mr Bolanta had told journalists at a press briefing on Thursday that he would not rest until the suspects were arrested and prosecuted.

He also said he was ready to damn any consequences of the action, even if it would lead to his being transferred out of the state.

Since the suspects were declared wanted after the deadly attack on innocent members of the public, many residents of the state have openly expressed doubts over the seriousness of the police to match its words with the action.

Their stance was based on the alleged romance between the hierarchies of the union and senior police officers in the state which has made it possible for the suspects and their followers to commit various crimes with impunity.

It was also alleged that the two wanted men were seen moving about freely in public despite their being declared wanted by the police.

Commission of Inquiry
The Oyo State government last Wednesday inaugurated a judicial commission of enquiry to investigate causes of bloody crises among members of the state chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
The commission, headed by Olagoke Ige, retired acting chief judge of the state, was given eight weeks to complete its job.
Other members of the panel are as listed: Lekan Owolabi (former secretary of the Ibadan branch of Nigerian Bar Association), Tunji Alawaye (a broadcaster), Doyin Odebowale (a lawyer and lecturer at University of Ibadan) and Lere Omotosho (principal administrative officer with the state civil service; secretary of the commission).
The panel's terms of reference are as follows: investigation of the immediate and remote causes of the violent clashes; identification of individuals and groups that precipitated/ participated in the crisis and recommendation of appropriate sanctions to be imposed; ascertain the number of persons killed or who sustained injuries during the crisis; identification of the spread and extent of loss and damage to means of livelihood, as well as personal and or public property and investigation of the sources of weapons used in the unrest and recommendation of measures to stem the illegal flow of such weapons in the state.

The panel is also expected to make appropriate recommendations on how to prevent recurrence of such crisis in the future; recommendation of appropriate remedies to victims of the crisis and examination of any other matter incidental or relevant to the crisis.

Among the victims of the last clash was the national president of the Nigeria Medical Students Association, Bala Usman Shanono, a 500-Level medicine student of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, who was caught, along with others travellers, in the crossfire while waiting for night buses to their various destinations.

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