BY LEKE ADESERI, South West Regional Editor & OLA AJAYI, IBADAN
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Oyo State, Senator Lekan Balogun at the Commission of Enquiry investigating the bloody clashes between two factions of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, yesterday, alleged that the immediate past administration of Adebayo Alao-Akala supplied ammunition and money to a faction of the union.
Testifying before the Commission, Senator Balogun, blamed the violence that claimed scores of lives at Iwo Road area of the metropolis on the former Commissioner of Police, Mr. Baba Adisa Bolanta and the former governor.
He alleged that the role played by the police and the ex-governor actually festered the crises between the two factions.
But Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala in a response sent to Vanguard through his media aide, Prince Dotun Oyelade, said the former senator was only behaving to type.
“Lekan Balogun’s submission at the panel on NURTW crises does not worth the paper it is written on.
“It is the refrain from a broken gramophone record that peddles untruth to remain relevant.
“No one believes him except his co-travelers with pre-determined agenda,” the former governor told Vanguard.
Also, the former Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Adisa Baba Bolanta, in his last interview with Vanguard on the issue before he was posted to Sokoto State, debunked allegation of bias in handling the NURTW issue.
He said one of the reasons why the police declared the union leaders wanted was that an aide to one of them was caught with police AK 47 riffle and 13 rounds of ammunition. He was earlier represented by his lawyer at a sitting of the commission of Enquiry.
Balogun’s further submission
Admitting that politicians had infiltrated the union, Senator Balogun said, “the government made provision of materials, like money and sophisticated ammunition with which the citizens were terrorized and innocent lives lost.”
The senator maintained that for peace to reign in the union in the state, the union must distance itself from politics.
He lamented that the action of the former CP was least expected of a professional policeman, saying, he prevented me from getting justice on two occasions due to the unprofessional ways and manner he handled my cases “.
Tokyo, Auxiliary still wanted – new CP
Meanwhile, the State’s new Commissioner of Police, Moses Onireti, has again invited Alhaji Lateef Akinsola, a.k.a. Tokyo and Mukaila Lamidi, a.k.a. Auxiliary to the police headquarters.
Onireti, who resumed duty as the Commissioner of Police in the state after the redeployment of Alhaji Baba Adisa Bolanta, said the duo were still on police wanted list.
The command under the leadership of the former commissioner, placed a N.5million ransom on each of the wanted factional leaders.
The new CP said: “Before I was assigned to this command, when I was at the Lagos airport, I kept abreast of the issues involved and the putting of the duo on the wanted list. As far as I am concerned, nothing has changed. They remain wanted by the command. If the two of them have nothing to fear, they should come out of their hiding.
I am prepared to tackle the menace of criminals in this state. We can’t achieve our objective of fighting crime and maintaining law and order without the cooperation of the people. We need information on the hideout of criminals in the state, he stated.
Following the duo’s refusal to report tothe Police Headquarters, Eleyele, to explain their involvement in the recent bloody clash that led to the death of scores of people, Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Bolanta as the CP, declared them wanted.
The two leaders of the proscribed National Union of Road Transport Workers in the state, Akinsola a.k.a.Tokyo and Mukaila a.k.a. Auxiliary, were asked to report to the police but they did not show up.
The CP then said it became necessary to declare them wanted having failed to honour the invitation by the police. He said that so far, six suspects of the warring factions had been arrested for their alleged involvement in the bloody clash which claimed many lives including the National President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Mr. Auwal Shanono.
He said two of the suspects’ foot-soldiers were arrested at the back of a filling station while another two were apprehended at Egbeda.
Bolanta also said the two union leaders were on police wanted list for alleged conspiracy, arson, armed robbery and unlawful possession of prohibited fire arms.
While calling on residents in the state to give the police useful information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects, he assured them that their information would be treated with utmost secrecy. The police boss called on the people of the state to volunteer information that could lead to their arrest and prosecution, adding that the identity of such volunteer would be held in confidence.
He faulted the decision of the suspects to ask their lawyers to represent them saying, their lawyers should have brought them to the police station and wait to defend them in court.
Open letter to governor
Also, Alhaji Bolanta told Vanguard then that the wanted men should come out of hiding and answer to the charges against them. Speaking on the content of Akinsola’s open letter to Governor Abiola Ajimobi, the police boss said emphatically that the two men are being sought for the same offence.
According to him; “Tokyo is desperately looking for a way to escape and we cannot allow that to happen.
“He cannot choose the police formation that will deal with his case. We also learnt that he is boasting that he cannot be picked up but I ask if he is above the law and wether the offence for which we are looking for him is false.”
On the issue of a police woman being forced to alter her report that favoured Tokyo, the commissioner said; “don’t mind Tokyo. Infact we have dismissed the policewoman in question for divulging official signal to Tokyo which he used for an advertorial, word for word, not minding the fact that the policewoman took an oath of secrecy.”