Tuesday, 12 August 2014

ARRESTS AND INTIMIDATIONS: EU Tells Governor Aregbesola To Drag Presidency To Court


European Union delegation who are part of a team of election monitors from the EU has urged just re-elected Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, to file a lawsuit over the abuses committed by security agents that were deployed to the state by the Presidency during last Saturday’s governorship election.

In a meeting with Governor Aregbesola in Oshogbo , the coordinator of the EU’s election monitoring group, Mr Paul Edwards, asked that the governor use the courts to seek redress. The EU’s parley with the governor took place at Government House, Oshogbo, the capital of Osun State on Sunday.

Mr. Aregbesola had accused the security agents, who were deployed by the Federal Government, of reckless acts and the unwarranted use of force. The governor told the EU delegates that security agents had arbitrarily and unjustifiably arrested top officials of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the last few days preceding the election.

In response to the complaints, the EU delegation said:

     “Let us always use the legal method to stop the impunity used by one unit of government against the other,” said Mr. Edwards, adding that it was “through this option that we can deepen democratic institutions.”

Mr. Edwards congratulated the governor on his victory. “We are here to congratulate Your Excellency on your victory in the Saturday governorship election. Besides, our mission here is to also find out from you about the conduct of the election,” said Mr. Edwards.

He added: “We have observed the election all over the state and have our reports. In any election like this, there are bound to be issues. But it is our opinion that whatever the complaint you have, you should choose the legal option to seek remedy.”

Mr. Edwards implored Mr. Aregbesola to “rely on the instrumentality of the law” to pursue remedies for all the violation of rights suffered by members of the APC in the hands of forces controlled by the Presidency.

Mr. Edwards assured the governor that, if he sent his complaints formally, the EU would “take note of it and act accordingly within the framework of law.”

According to Gov Aregbesola, “There was a deliberate attempt at muzzling the people voice through votes.” He warned that, “We must prevent the Federal Government from the recurring culture of arbitrarily invading the territory of a unit within the federal structure. This is an abuse of power."

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