Three APC members arrested over Gov Abiodun’s Xmas rice, lawyer seeks N10m damages
Three members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ijebu North Local Government Area of Ogun State have been arrested by the police over Governor Dapo Abiodun’s Christmas rice.
DAILY POST learnt those arrested are Morufu Idowu, Adebayo Rabiu and Wasiu Raji. They were nabbed between Sunday and Monday after being accused of diverting some bags of rice meant for distribution.
But, a legal practitioner, A.D. Sosanwo, has demanded N10 million in damages from the Nigeria Police Force, Ijebu-Ode Area Command “for unlawfully detaining” the trio, whom he described as his clients.
Sosanwo had, in a petition written to the Ijebu Ode Area Command and copied to the Inspector-General of Police and the Ogun State Commissioner of Police explained that his clients were arrested and being detained beyond the specific constitutional period.
According to him, the three APC members “were arrested on the order of the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tokunbo Talabi.”
In the petition, Sosanwo said they were arrested by police officers in Ago-Iwoye and transferred to Ijebu-Ode Area Command.
The lawyer explained that the Area Commander had demanded that the bags of rice be returned for the matter to be resolved amicably between the complainant and the arrested persons.
It was, however, alleged that rather than releasing those arrested or charging them to court, the police had requested to see the former Deputy Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly from Ijebu North II State Constituency, Hon Dare Kadiri, before the arrested could be released.
When contacted on phone, the former Deputy Speaker explained that the rift started when the SSG reportedly hoarded the bags of rice for his group in the local government, sidelining other groups.
Kadiri further accused the SSG of allegedly withholding till date, a sum of N11 million given to party members for the 2020 Christmas and Ileya Celebration; adding that the bags of rice given to him were not distributed until after six months when the grains were already getting spoilt.
The lawmaker explained that when the rice and money were released from the State this time, the SSG gave the same to a fractional Chairman, who he claimed had been excluding many party members from the largesse.
He further revealed that some youths came to him in protest and he called the man in whose custody the bags of rice were to take same to the Chairman of the APC in the local government for even distribution.
Kadiri explained how he drove to the factional Chairman’s house to retrieve 10 bags of rice meant for his ward, adding that he handed the rice over to the APC Ward Chairman when the custodian of the items refused to listen to the complaints of the youths.
His words: “The governor gave the party members 10 bags of rice and N500,000 as a Christmas gift, only for the SSG to hand them over to his group, leaving our own group.
“They took the rice to a fractional chairman who has been sharing rice to only people in their group. The youths came to me, I called the man to instruct him to take the rice from the State to the Local Government party Chairman, but he refused.
“I drove down there and removed only the 10 bags of rice given to my ward. I drove to the Local Government party chairman’s house and dropped the 10 bags there. Only for the SSG to order their arrest.”
DAILY POST reports that the duo of the SSG and the erstwhile Deputy Speaker has been up in arms with each other over the control of the APC in Ijebu North.
Meanwhile, the Ogun State police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said he was yet to be briefed about the case, promising to find out from the DPO of Ijebu-Igbo.
Also, the SSG neither picked nor returned calls put across to his mobile number, even as he did not respond to a text message sent to his number.
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