‘We were framed up by Kogi lawmaker’
THE rescheduled supplementary election in Igalamela Local Council of Kogi State on April 25 has come and gone but the ripples in the aftermath of the crises that trailed the election is yet to settle.
A local government staff in Kogi State, Friday Onuh, who was allegedly implicated in the crisis by a member of the State House of Assembly, Friday Sanni Makama, has denied all allegations leveled against him.
The lawmaker had earlier accused Onuh of attempting to assassinate him during the last supplementary election.
Onuh had said the allegation was a frame-up to tarnish his image.
While addressing newsmen in Lokoja yesterday, he said he was surprised to see in some publications where the lawmaker alleged that he and one other person attempted to assassinate him on the election day.
The lawmaker while addressing newsmen had alleged that the local council staff and one dismissed Police officer laid an ambush for him on the way to his village in an attempt to kill him.
Makama who showed journalists some pictures where Onu and his friend were allegedly carrying guns to attack him, had said the duo conspired with his political opponents to kill him while he was on his way to the polling unit.
He claimed that based on this allegation the governor had ordered the immediate dismissal of the local government staff.
But while addressing the press yesterday, Onu said the whole thing was a frame up against him so as to throw him out of his job.
He said he was on his way to a wedding ceremony along with his friend when their car suddenly broke down, and in his frantic effort to get the car fixed, he waved down a former Chairman who was passing by to help him get a mechanic to fix the car. But to his chagrin the said Chairman went to call the lawmaker who he claimed mobilised his boys to beat him and his friend to stupor.
He said he even showed the lawmaker a piece of the fuel pump that was damaged in his car and the invitation card given to the wedding ceremony, but all fell on deaf ears as the law maker allegedly ordered his boys to beat him and his friend to death.
He claimed that in the course of beating him, somebody came with a gun, which they forced him to carry, while somebody took his snapshot with his mobile phone and placed it on the Face -Book.
Onu said after beating him and his friend to stupor, sensing that they might give up the ghost, they quickly rushed them to a nearby Police station where they dumped them.
The State Commissioner of Police, on hearing of the incident, he said, immediately ordered the case to be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department where they released them after discreet investigations.
Onu who came along with his lawyer, denied claims of being summarily dismissed by the State Governor over the issue but threatened to go to a law court to claim damages for defamation.
His counsel Muazu Abbas Barrister said there are rules and procedures for relieving any staff of his appointment adding that the power to sack is vested only in the Local Government Service Commission.
The lawyer said they are waiting for the final report of the police investigation before they will approach the court for a civil action bordering on defamation of character to claim exemplary damages therefrom and his restoration to the civil service if the Governor has committed the illegality of following due process in dismissing him from the service.
He said from the police preliminary investigation there was no substance. He said it was Friday that actually arrested and beat him up, adding that when the police invited the lawmaker to come and make statements he has not shown up till now.
According to the lawyer: “I know there are laws that govern the country, if for any reason a person is said to have committed an offense there is no need for any person, no matter the status, to take the law into his hands to inflict such degree of injuries on innocent citizens which have not been proven guilty in court.”
“The worst scenario is that this information was distributed on the Facebook and for the fact that someone has not been arraigned in any court of law neither was there any conviction handed down by any court of competent jurisdiction to give credence to the assertion that he actually committed the offence.”