The Ekiti State Government has said that the charge of terrorism proffered by the Nigerian Police against the state Commissioner for a Integration and Inter-governmental Affairs, Hon Funminiyi Afuye and 14 other citizens of the state is a flagrant abuse of the 2013 Terrorism Prevention Act.
The State Executive Council at its weekly meeting held on Wednesday, 18th June, 2014 frowned at the charge; saying that it is not only an abuse of the Anti-terrorism Act but also “an affront to the criminal justice process and trivializes the seriousness of the scale of terrorism in Nigeria”.
The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Wale Fapohunda, who addressed journalists after the exco meeting in company with the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Tayo Ekundayo, asserted that the council regretted that the Federal Government has fallen into the trend of “oppressive regime when anti-terrorism laws are used as a weapon against the opposition and regime opponents”.
The Attorney General disclosed that the council has agreed that a letter be written to the Minister of Justice drawing his attention to the abuse of the Terrorism Prevention Act and therefore advise the Nigerian Police with a view to ensuring the immediate release of all the detained citizens.
Fapounda added that the Council also resolved that the state Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi draws the attention of President Goodluck Jonathan to the danger inherent in the abuse of the Terrorism Prevention Act; stressing that such “flagrant abuse of the act is a threat to the fundamental human rights of Nigerians as contained in the constitution” and could undermine Nigeria’s democracy.
“Council further notes that the reservation of Nigerians with the implementation of the anti-terrorism act have been proven to be founded. Specifically, council recalled that much of the reservation was based on the ability of the Nigerian Police to implement the act in a professional manner especially given concerns about Police brutality and police integrity”, the Attorney General said.
It is recalled that the Police had on June 8th, 2014 disrupted a peaceful feet sweeping rally organized by the APC in Ado Ekiti, resulting in the death of one person, several injuries, an assault on the convoy of Governor Fayemi and the arrest of Afuye and the 14 other citizens.