Soldier Allegedly Beats Factional Islamic Cleric In Iwo, Scuttles Reconciliation Efforts

muritala-akanbi-tadeseCrisis broke out in Iwo town in Osun State, as a soldier is reported to have beaten and battered the Chief Imam of the Federal Prison, Ile-Ife in Osun State, Malam Muritala Akanbi Tadese, just as the crises rocking the renowned Islamic Movement, Jama’at Ta’awunnil Muslimeen became messier.

The soldier, Corporal Muritala Ibrahim, according to the report gathered by Channels Television’s correspondent in Osun State, is said to be serving in Maiduguri, Borno State.

He had come as bodyguard of the factional President of the organisation, Malam Daood Molaasan to the venue of a reconciliation meeting held at the Islahudeen Government Middle School, Oke-Afo in Iwo, Osun State.

Channels Television gathered from a member of the sect, who prefered not to be mentioned that an argument ensued between the two factions of the group during the meeting and the Soldier attacked the Chief Imam of the Ile-Ife Prison with his military belt and battered the Muslim cleric to the extent that the Imam was bleeding from the nose.

The meeting was deadlock, as a result of the incident and the matter was reported at the Divisional Police Headquarters in Iwo.

The Soldier was later arrested by the police and he was detained for interrogation while the injured Imam was rushed to the hospital for medical treatment.

When contacted, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Fimihan Adeoye, confirmed the arrest of the soldier over the incident.

He said the matter was under investigation to establish whether he was really a military personnel and the reason for his action which eventually scuttled the efforts of the police to resolve the crises.

The Commissioner of Police, who spoke through the spokesperson for the police in the state, Folasade Odoro said “the Osun State Police Command was trying to resolve the crises rocking the Jama’at Ta’awunnil Muslimeen and we Are very careful about this matter because religious matters are very sensitive.

“It was the police command that advised the parties to meet and resolve the crises amicably among themselves but we were surprised that someone who claimed to be a military personnel went there and assaulted one of the Muslim cleric who was part of the meeting.

“We are trying to establish the true identity of that Soldier so as to know whether he is a real soldier or not. If he is a real soldier, then, we shall inform the Army authority for necessary actions,” CP Adeoye told Channels Television.

‘Not The Soldier’

The factional president of the Jama’at Ta’awunnil Muslimeen, Dr. Shafi’I Abdul Azeez Bello, described the action of the soldier as barbaric and urged the Nigerian Army and the Army Commission to investigate his action and punish him appropriately so as not to erode the confidence of the citizenry in the Nigerian Army.

Dr. Shafi’I said: “It was very unfortunate that someone that is in best position to protect us as citizens of this country could harass assault, brutalised and battered an Imam like a common criminal or like a worthless fowl. We urge the Army authority in this country to investigate this matter dispassionately and punish this Soldier appropriately so as to prevent the reoccurrence of such ugly experience”.

But Malam Molaasan said it was not the soldier that battered the Imam, claiming that the cleric sustained the injury when a fight ensued at the meeting. He said the Soldier only dealt with the person that attempted to fight him.

“They (Dr. Shafi’I faction) also brought their security men. One of the security men from their side attempted to fight the soldier.

“The soldier whipped him just twice. Then, the Imam started recording what happened with his phone and he was prevented from recording it.

“The soldier was not the one that attacked the imam. We were also surprised to see blood coming out from his nose,” he said.

Meanwhile, the State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, had set up a special committee to resolve the matter and ensure peace among the members of the organisation.

The reconciliation committee set up by the governor is headed by Amir Hajj in the state, Malam Sikirulah Hassan.

In a chat with Channels Television’s correspondent in the state, Bosede Sodiq, a top official of the Department of State Service in Osun State who also requested that he should not be named, said the DSS was worried over the situation in the Jama’at Ta’awunnil Muslimeen and that the crises must be nipped in the bud so as not to degenerate further.

“When you consider the influence of Jama’at Ta’awunnil Muslimeen, you will realise that the current trend is dangerous. We don’t want it to go out of hand.

“The group has 55 branches and it is spreading very fast with strong influence on most of the politicians in the state.

“So, we are concerned with the current situation,” the source said.

Bola Ige’s Murder: We Are Innocent, Oyediran Insists

lekan-oyediranOne of the persons arrested but later released in connection with the murder of Mr Bola Ige, Lekan Oyediran, is insisting that 24 of them arrested are innocent.

While he claims innocent of the crime, he lamented that he lost his investment in a drug store and his wife also died before he was freed.

He spoke at the 15th years remembrance and memorial lecture of Odunayo Olagbaju, who died in 2001 during the crisis that rocked Alliance for Democracy.

During the occasion held at Ile-Ife in Osun State, political associates, friends and families of the deceased eulogised him for “fighting for the oppressed”.

Mr Oyediran, who was a lawmaker in Osun State between 1999 to 2001, said those accusing them (arrested suspects) needed to be probed for Bola Ige’s death.

He said: “I have no regret. The only regret I have is that the people we fought for did not deserve it. That struggle also had a little of youthful exuberance. We didn’t fight that struggle with enough maturity that time.

“We fought a good fight. We identified with the right people but we could have also done it in a different way or with a different approach.

“All the 24 of us that were arrested in relations to the death of Bola Ige are all innocent. We didn’t know anything about it. I spent almost two years there. I lost everything. I am a pharmacist. I lost my chemist and even my wife before I came back.

“So, it is a kind of thing that makes me sad a lot. Omisore is very innocent of the killing. The investigation carried out by the Nigeria Police Force and all the security agencies exonerated Omisore and all other suspects arrested along with him. He was taken to court and acquitted, discharged and cannot be arrested until there is a new clue”.

At the event, some members of the legislative arm of government were also chided, with the key speaker, Professor Fatai Olasupo, urging opposition in the legislative arm to be more active.

“They must be active and ensure that there is transparency in governance. With what we have witnessed, governance in the state level needs to be upgraded,” he added.

Mr Bola Ige was shot dead in his bedroom in Bodija, Ibadan, at about 9:00 p.m. on December 23, 2001, after he arrived Ibadan from Lagos at about 8.30 p.m.

In July, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to reopen investigation into the unresolved murder of the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

Lawyer Says Judges Raid Process Will Encourage Lynching In Nigeria

yusuf-aliA senior lawyer in Nigeria, Mr Yusuf Ali, says the invasion of the homes of some judges and the arrest of some of them will encourage lynching in the society.

Mr Ali, like the Nigerian Bar Association, condemned the raid and arrest, claiming that due process was not followed in the arrest of the judges.

He gave the opinion on Friday at Obafemi Awolowo University’s annual public lecture and the launch of a book entitled, ‘A worshipper in the temple’.

The programme was organised in honour of Emeritus Professor David Ijalaye by the Quintessential Equity Chambers, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife in Osun State on Thursday.

He said: “Everybody knows what I stand for when it comes to the issue of corruption, there are laws to deal with that. You can’t as well sanction lynching if that invasion is right. People who lynch is because they felt there won’t be justice.

“So, if we want to do away with the law, let’s all agree that lynching is legal. People can then show reprehension when they catch an armed robber now, they can now lynch and forget the law. If lynching is wrong, the invasion of people’s home in the middle of the night is not for any reason in accordance with the law,” he told the gathering.

According to him, majority of Nigerians, including lawyers and judges, must shun corruption for the country to progress.

He said: “We must respect our different professions.

“The quick fix mentality has been in us since military intervention. The wheel is very slow but sure. Even if they have search warrants, all processes of court are never served at night. We should not permit states agents to invade people’s houses in the middle of the night, hounded with mask with this level of insecurity”.

He argued specifically that the government and its officials were not transparent in some of their dealings.

“‎It takes two to tangle when you talk about bribe. If you and I have a matter before a judge and you should refrain from giving bribe and I also should do the same. Nigerians should stop thinking that justice can be sold or bought. Litigants should stop offering bribe. They should all believe that they can buy justice.

“We should put the nail where it belongs. You talk about judges taking money as if judges on their own go to them to be bribed. People offer this money. They should stop this mentality that justice could be bought,” he said.

Delivering a lecture entitled, ‘Nigeria’s economy: The roles of worshippers in the temple of justice,’ a renowned businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim, explained that no country would want to do business with Nigeria if the level of corruption was not reduced.

He added that “one of the judges is said to be keeping 54 million Naira in his bedroom, others 137 million Naira and 20,000 pounds.

“Even we that borrow money to do businesses can’t afford to have such luxury of money in our homes. I think this is complete madness and things must be set straight. Such situation is unacceptable”.

On his part, the Vice-Chancellor of the OAU, Professor Anthony Elujoba, described the contribution of Emeritus Professor Ijalaye as germane to the growth and continuity of the institution.

He urged members of the university community to do things right for progress to be experienced.

“The glorious things you left has been tampered with. It is now that our eyes are opened that the greatness your calibre built for us has been damaged by those of us who do not know anything.

“The time of recovery of OAU has come. All that is lost about OAU will soon be reverted,” he added.

Govt. Asked To Preserve Tourist Sites To Create Wealth

Owu Falls Tourist attractionThe Nigerian government has been advised to urgently preserve all identified tourist sites in the nation and turn them to avenues of creating wealth.

The Director of Natural History Museum at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife in Osun State, Dr. Adisa Ogunfolakan, gave the advice on Tuesday.

He was addressing a colloquium organised by the Traditional Religion Worshippers Association in Osun State, southwest Nigeria, to mark the 2016 Isese festival in Ile -Ife, Osun state.

The Museum Director said the sites could become a major source of revenue for the Nation at a time that the price of crude oil, which is the nation’s major source of revenue, had dropped.

In his speech on the theme, “Traditional Religion as Bedrock for the Development of Tourism Potentials of Osun State”, Dr Ogunfolakan pointed out that foreigners placed higher premium on Nigerian States’ culture and traditional beliefs more than Nigerians.

This, according to him, explains why tourists from across the world troop in to Nigeria to visit the tourist sites Nigeria is blessed with.

“Unfortunately they are usually disappointed with the condition of the sites,” he stated‎.

The guest speaker further stressed the need for the government to ensure that all roads leading to the sites were tarred.

He also advocated for the provision of adequate security at the various sites to encourage tourists.

According to him, “government at all levels must look inward to invest in the tourism potentials to generate fund now that oil money was no longer coming as expected.

‎”This is telling us that we can use our cultural festivals to get away from our economic travail because the festivals remain the vehicle for economic development no doubt”.

“There are a lot of people who want to know about us. They want to know about our festivals, about our culture and this is an avenue to showcase it to them so that we can generate money from them especially now that money is no more coming through oil as expected”.

Promote Yoruba Culture

He also appealed to the traditional rulers in Yorubaland to continue to encourage every endeavour that could promote Yoruba culture and tradition especially in the interest of the unborn ones.

Another speaker, the curator of the National Museum, Mr Williams Makinde, also emphasised that preservation of various traditional spots and tourist sites would attract more tourists and boost the State’s economy.

The Permanent Secretary in the State’s Ministry of Information and Culture, Mrs Webster Esho, assured the gathering that the State government would continue to create a level playing ground for all religions.

Earlier, the President of Traditional Religion Worshippers Association in the State, Oba Olawuni Alao, said no stone would be left unturned to showcase the beauty and rich culture of Nigeria’s heritage to the entire world.