Former governorship candidate of Restoration Party at the last election in Osun State, Mrs Mercy Ayodele, has described the Tuesday arrest and detention of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, as an attempt to intimidate and silence opposition voices in the country.
The police authorities had on Tuesday arraigned Adeleke before a magistrate court in Abuja over an alleged case of forgery.
In a fresh five-count charge, the police accused the lawmaker of forging a letter of attestation and result from the Muslim Grammar School, Ede, Osun State.
He was, however, admitted to bail in the sum of N2 million and a surety by Muhammed Suberu of the Mpape Magistrate Court, Abuja, after pleading not guilty.
But in a statement in Osogbo on Wednesday, Ayodele, who was the first female governorship candidate in the state, noted that “such act was a manifestation of intolerant political leadership using state apparatus to intimidate its citizens, most especially those who have mass support to change the status quo.”
She pointed out that it was on record that the issue over which Senator Adeleke was arrested was already in litigation and would be prejudicial to arrest and arraign him over the same offence.
She argued that it was unknown to Nigerian law that an individual could stand trial on the same offence in two different courts almost at the same time.
The politician noted that the issue might not be unconnected with the ongoing litigation over the Osun State governorship election before the appeal court.
Ayodele called on President Muhammadu Buhari to “tread softly on the Osun State political imbroglio, act as a statesman indeed and not a party man, as the whole world is watching with keen interest the ongoing political developments in Nigeria.”
Mrs Ayodele expressed confidence in the Nigerian judiciary to tread the path of justice and fair play with a view to stabilising the polity through unbiased and equitable decisions.
“I’m resolute about my belief that Nigeria has one of the finest judicial institutions in the world peopled by men and women of good conscience who would not allow the perpetuation of illegality, abuse of court process and abuse of executive powers,” Ayodele said.
She, however, urged the residents of Osun State to remain law-abiding and allow the due process of law to run its course.
Ayodele also expressed the Restoration Party’s confidence that Nigeria would evolve into a country where equity, fair play and justice would be the order of the day in the relationship between government and its people and urged the citizens to work towards the goal.