A human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, has described as “pure political vendetta”, the recent raid by the police on the Ibadan residence of the former Chairman of the Oyo State Park Management System, Lamidi Mukaila, popularly known as Auxiliary.
In a statement on Thursday, Olajengbesi, who is the Senior Partner at Abuja-based law firm, Law Corridor, said the events leading to the whole situation, especially happening hours after Governor Seyi Makinde sacked Auxiliary as PMS chairman raise suspicion.
Olajengbesi said it was surprising that the state government allegedly started witch-hunting Auxiliary after the second term victory of Makinde and hours after the governor was inaugurated for another four years on May 29, 2023.
The lawyer said, “While it is commendable that the Nigeria Police Force may have taken the initiative to be on top of a security concern to purge our communities of thuggery, criminality and unlawful possession of firearms, we must all equally acknowledge that the events leading to this drama and the situation with Auxiliary is pure political vendetta at play and not so much a fight against criminality.
“Politicians must understand that citizens are smarter now and not blind to their ‘house-cleaning’ schemes. It is a notorious fact that politicians empower individuals to oppress, suppress and intimidate fellow citizens to gain political ascendancy and when they assume political offices and become powerful, they try to silence and implicate their ‘helpers’ who were at one time the enforcers of their very oppressive whims.
“Auxiliary’s ordeal, especially being not so long ago a notable chieftain empowered and suitably positioned by the government now hounding him, is a cautionary tale in the ephemerality of power and mischief of political power holders.
“From narrowly escaping being killed by unknown machineries suspected to have the backing of a government that once endorsed him to being held over allegations of illegal firearms possession, Auxiliary’s antagonists must equally not be spared public angst for their schemes and actions masked as a fight against criminality. There is therefore no conclusive proof yet that the displayed ammunition were actually recovered from Auxiliary’s residence.
“This is in no way to take away credit from the Nigeria Police Force’s service to the nation, but a note of caution ought to be sounded against the agency continuing to let itself be a tool for the political class to settle grudges or ‘clean house’. True justice must swing both ways in determining the underlying social and political angles of such matters with the objective being to spare no sacred cows and create a precedent to deter political actors immersed in such schemes.
“Personally, I wish Seyi Makinde a successful second term in office because he has worked hard and selflessly so far and thus deserves the honor to finish his work. However, eventually everything comes to an end. Tenures expire, and the powers, patronage and tributes that attend political offices will too. Only one’s legacy built on the back of fair-play and justice will stand the test of time and as such, true leaders must pursue manifest justice done and seen to be done.”