Oshiomhole petitions military over alleged illegal deployment
Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City
EDO State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has petitioned the Commander, 4 Brigade Headquarters of the Nigerian Army in Benin City, Brig.-Gen. Olajide Laleye, over alleged illegal deployment of soldiers in Owan Federal Constituency and other parts of Edo North Senatorial District by one Lt.-Col. Abiodun Uwadia (rtd), a Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan during the weekend National Assembly and presidential elections in Edo State.
The governor in the petition he personally signed threatened to sue army authorities in the International Criminal Court at The Hague as he alleged that terror was unleashed on members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and journalists covering the elections in Edo North and Edo Central Senatorial districts by soldiers.
He said: “Reports reaching me indicated that Lt.-Col. Uwadia (rtd) had illegally and unconstitutionally deployed not less than three trucks of soldiers to Owan Federal Constituency which was used to harass and intimidate members of the APC in the federal constituency. As I write, the said retired army officer was also issuing threats and directing the soldiers to shoot on sight any APC member that resists his directives during and after the elections.
“Evidently, the conduct of the aforementioned political office holder is not only illegal and unconstitutional, but flagrant abuse of the military. It is not only reprehensible, it is unacceptable to abuse and misuse the army for purely partisan purposes. I wish to request you use your good office to call Uwadia to order and stop this illegal and unconstitutional deployment of soldiers for purely partisan objectives during elections.
“Failure to stem this patently illegal action can result in consequences that are likely to go beyond the shores of Nigeria. The world is watching” it stated.
Oshiomhole told journalists that Edo North where he hails from was under 24-hour Army lockdown, as all the entry and exit points into the senatorial district were sealed by soldiers, noting that motorists and pedestrians who were caught unawares by the strange and unannounced military lockdown were stopped from moving and unlucky ones horsewhipped while others were made to face the indignity of being frog-jumped.