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One feared killed in Ogbomoso over local council crisis in Oyo State

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• Falana backs Malami on dissolution, says caretaker committee unconstitutional

The lingering crisis rocking local council administration in Oyo State took another dimension yesterday as one person was killed and several others injured.

The crisis was between the loyalists of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).An eyewitness said that several dangerous weapons were used during the fracas and that the deceased, simply identified as Alajase, is a member of the PDP from Surulere Local Council.

The sacked Chairman of Ogbomoso North Local Council, Olamiju Alao-Akala, had early in the morning alleged that he was attacked by hoodlums believed to be supporters of the PDP, while the caretaker chairman, Ibrahim Ajagbe, also alleged that Olamiju led armed thugs to chase them away from the secretariat.

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Ajagbe said eight persons that were injured by the APC loyalists had been taken to the hospital.However, the Oyo State Police Command, through its Police Public Relations Officer, Olugbenga Fadeyi, said: “Today (yesterday) at about 1230 hours, two vehicles, one black Acura Legend and black Volkswagen Golf were coming from Iwofin towards Ogbomoso and around Surulere Local Council, Iresadu, there was an attack and the occupants of the vehicles fired and one Isah Azeez ‘m’ about 50 years sustained bullet injury and was rushed to hospital, while the Deputy Commissioner, CID, is investigating the matter”

“The crowd outside also fired at the vehicles where one Dotun Somefun, ‘m’, an occupant of the Acura, was also injured and treated in an hospital in Ogbomoso by his group. He is currently in police custody and assisting the police in their investigation.”

Meanwhile, human right activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), yesterday threw his weight behind the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, over the dissolution of democratically-elected local council chairmen in Oyo State, saying that there is no existence of caretaker chairmen in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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Falana stated this in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, while speaking with journalists during the maiden edition of Emeritus Prof. Muyiwa Awe Annual Memorial Lecture with the theme “Policing Nigeria and Anti-cultism Legal Framework in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions: Contemporary Issues and Challenging”, held at the University of Ibadan (UI).

“The solution to the crisis is for the Oyo State government to speed up the holding of the local council election because by virtue of Section 7 of the Nigerian Constitution, the system of local council in Nigeria shall be by democratically-elected members.”

“Once the local council chairmen have been elected, they have to serve their tenure and if at all you are not allowing them to finish their tenure, you will have to pay them. This is the position of the law,” he said.

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Representative of the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Oladipupo Abayomi, who is also a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in charge of Criminal Investigative Department (CID), Iyaganku, while speaking on the theme of the lecture, noted that there is no reasonable gain in cultism on campuses, saying that it would rather lead to killings and loss of lives.

The police commissioner emphasised the need for collaboration between the security agencies and institutions to get rid of cultism in schools.

Also, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, who was one of the discussants at the event, said that cultism is a manifestation of darkness and there must be a legal framework that will empower the institutions to punish anybody involved in cultism.

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