By Gbenga Sodeinde, Ado Ekiti
The Ekiti State leadership of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), has insisted that the law must be allowed to take its course in the on-going trial of the ex-coordinator of the group in the state, Mr Niyi Adedipe who is being prosecuted for alleged involvement in the murder of the late drivers’ union leader in the state, Mr Omolafe Aderiye.
Aderiye, a close ally of Governor Ayo Fayose , was murdered in Ado Ekiti by suspected assassins, shortly after the governor won the June 21 governorship poll.
Subsequently, Adedipe, who was close to Dr Kayode Fayemi-led government at that time was arrested as suspect in the controversial death , until recently when a group in OPC had written Fayose and pleaded for clemency for its leader.
The Yoruba sociocultural organization , clarified that at no time did it advocate for his (Adedipe’s) release from prison, where he is being detained over complicity in the murder of the late chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Ekiti, Mr Omolafe Aderiye last year.
A statement by OPC State Secretary, Chief Idowu Julius, in Ado Ekiti called on the people of the state to dismiss the statement calling for the release of the detained ex-OPC leader, saying at no time did “we appeal for the release of the former coordinator ,who is currently charged with murder”, adding that doing so would be tantamount to interference and this is contemptuous.
The body said, Com Ifabiyi Kolawole had been appointed the state coordinator of the prestigious body, after compliance with due process and Ifa consultation at the National Coordinating Council meeting in Lagos five months ago .
The OPC added that every effort targeted at reorganizing the body in Ekiti for it to regain its local and international reckoning was frustrated by Adedipe, saying it would be incongruous for OPC, a body known to be preserver of the laws to be advocating for the release of someone charged with a capital offence like murder.
“He did not yield to every effort made to wean him of his anti-congress tendencies which included but not limited to; refusal to attend mandatory national meetings, refusal to attend festivals and programme of level of the organisation, his continuous insistence on mixing self determination with politics led to his expulsion.
“As a law abiding organization, we have complete faith in the judiciary and would never interfere, nor intervene in a matter that is already before a court of competent jurisdiction and never in support of an accused who had long ceased to be a member”.