Olafemi takes legal action against NHRC
Apparently, piqued by the listing of his name among those indicted for electoral offence, former acting governor of Kogi State, Chief Clarence Olafemi has resorted to legal action against the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), seeking to clear his name over the alleged electoral malpractices.
The former lawmaker was listed among the 60 electoral offenders in 2007 and 2011 elections, which also included some institutions. He faulted the inclusion of his name despite being exonerated by an appeal court after the lower election tribunal indicted him in 2003.
According to him, “It was true that my election into the State House of Assembly in 2003, was challenged at the tribunal by my opponent, and the tribunal ruled against me. But that judgment had been upturned by the Court of Appeal.”
He said the Court of Appeal, which upturned the lower tribunal judgment, described it as miscarriage of justice, and also went ahead to declare him the winner of the election. He expressed dismay that the NHRC will make reference to a lower court judgment, when the appeal court judgment, which is supposed to be final was in place.
The former governor wondered why an organisation would take unilateral decision and tarnish the image of well-respected senior citizens of the country.
Going down memory, he recalled how the appellate court demanded to know if there was any reported cases of fracas and the response it got was that there was none. “Even INEC attested to the fact that none of their ballot boxes got missed during the election, at the local government.
“Therefore, the judges unanimously accepted that there was a miscarriage of justice at the lower tribunal. The judges nullified the judgment of the tribunal and declared me winner of the election,” he said.
He stressed that after the appeal court judgment, he was elected the Speaker of the State Assembly and later the acting governor of Kogi State, without any issue.
“This is a clear case of mischief and the handiwork of my political enemies who were bent on blackmailing me and my hard earned reputation, that I have built for over 40 years of active participation in politics.
“Equity, fairness and justice demand that they invite the accused to get his defence, which they did not do. It is an absolute abuse of judicial process. We followed the normal judicial process and the case was concluded absolutely, then nine years after they woke up from their slumber.
“I have never had any criminal case against me since I was born, I have never been taken to court whether guilty or not, I have never slept in any police station for any criminal case.
“Then at 66 years of age, they want to tarnish my Image. Of course there is no smoke without fire, the fabricated defamation must have an ulterior motive. The body is doing more harm to Nigeria than protecting the rights of the people.”