Rights group accuses Ekiti Oba of rights violations, writes IG

By Samuel Ogunsona

The Nigerian Human Rights Community,(NHRC) has said that it has received numerous complaints of gross human rights violations by a traditional ruler in Ekiti State. The group in a petition to the Inspector General of Police,IG Kayode Egbetokun urged the police boss to investigate the series of alleged arbitrary arrests and detention of locals believed to have been orchestrated by Oba Johnson Folorunshi Aderiye the Alayegunle of Ayegunle Ekiti
The NHRC is a coalition of 121civil rights groups and community based organizations spread across the country.
In a statement by the NHRC Deputy Secretary,Taiwo Adeleye the groups said it has received a barrage of petitions by residents of the community who said the traditional ruler is behind the illegal detention of scores of young people of the community at various police stations in Ekiti State.The group said the lingering chaos may lead to loss of lives if steps were not taken to halt the ugly trend. At present, the community residents are living like cats and mouse with the prospect of a major break down of law and order.
The petitioners claimed that the cumulative effect of what is happening now started in the last four years when the Oba and his entire chiefs were at logger head in connection with the civic center which was being built by Ekiti State Community Development Authority,(EKSCDA).
The petitioners said the issue escalated to the point that the whole Ayegunle sons and daughters came home to settle the matter, but seemed that the Oba and the Chiefs were not pleased with the matter which resurfaced again after six months.
The group said in 2021, another issue came up between the community youths and the “Olori Awo” (Ojo Obasua) who threatened the youths with charms and all forms of bad rituals, raining curses, reciting incantations and all forms of derogatory words upon the community youths.
The NHRC said it was informed that this led to a serious protest within the community by the youths and the arbitrary arrests of many young people who were later detained.
‘The youths were protesting with solidarity songs that they wanted the Olori Awo removed that he is causing confusion between the Chiefs, the Oba and the entire youths of the community. Despite the fact that the Olori Awo has committed a lot of atrocities within the community, such as taking the nude pictures of his concubine and sending it to many people on social media apart from impregnating of a minor’ the NHRC stated.
The rights group said despite all these, the Oba did not sanction him instead he backed him.
The group said the recent one was the imposition on the community the traditional guards said to be cronies of the Oba and also serve as his thugs.
The NHRC said reports indicated that the Oba disrupted the “Elefon” festival after which he locked up some a notable youth leader in a cell he was alleged to have in his domain.
‘The youth leader was beaten to stupor. A passerby who saw him when he was being taken inside went to inform the youths. The youths went to his house demanding for the release of the man but  he refused. This made the angry youths seized one of his children, saying that he would be released only if he released the man to them’, the NHRC said.
The rights group said local complain that the Oba called the police and lied to them that the man in his house came into his compound to kill him because he was holding a cutlass and a sack. The following week also, four of the chiefs were arrested, and were remanded at the Ado prison.
Below are the names of those in detention allegedly on the orders of the Oba:

  1. Ojo Ajayi Matthew
  2. Olugola Olumide
  3. Omole Femi
  4. Omodara Olayinka
  5. Aladeokin Bayo
  6. Omokanju Seun
  7. Afeni Oladimeji
  8. Adaramola Adebayo

The following Chiefs opposed to the Oba are also in detention:

  1. High Chief Pius Ogunlusi (Eesinkin)
  2. High Chief Ayodele Omoniyi (Odofin)
  3. High Chief Ojo Omokanju (Eesaya)
    NHRC said since those people have been detained, the supporters of the Oba led by Ojo Obasua “Olori Awo” have made the community uninhabitable for the people by attacking the people incessantly and calling the police on anyone who wants to respond to their attack. The locals alleged that shops of known supporters and relatives of youths are being locked up at will, making all activities of the community to be paralyzed.
    The NHRC called on the IG to thoroughly investigate the matter and bring culprits to book.

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