By Olufemilade Oyinade
The Ogun State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists has raised alarm over the illegal detention and incessant harassment of its members by the Nigeria Police Command over spurious allegations, using unhand system.
According to the leadership of union, the Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head Criminal Investigation of Nigeria Police, Ogun State Command, DCP Ihebom Chukwuma, in a matter between some Executive members of the Union and Comrade Remi Olugbenro decided to constantly harass them with never-ending allegations.
The NUJ has for about two years now been facing locked in intra dispute following the outcome of elections conducted on March 29, 2019, which resulted into legal battle, with the court settling the issue on February 24, 2021.
Prior to the judgment of February 24, 2021, the Court had on November 2019 given a restraining order against the defendants which included the National President of NUJ, Chris Isiguizo, the CWC of NUJ, the NEC of NUJ and Remi Olugbenro from tampering with the elections of the applicants, Soji Amosu, Kunle Olayeni, Kunle Ewuoso and Abiodun Taiwo pending the final determination of the originating summon, ( see appendix 1).
The February 24, 2021 judgement put a zeal on the whole matter (see appendix 2).
However on Monday February 27, 2021, some of the judgement debtor, Remi Olugbenro, Wale Oluokun, Omolola Adeyinka were seen at the Secretariat of the NUJ in company of some of their followers claiming to have filed an appeal against the February 24 ruling.
Our response was so simple, we told them to wait for the appeal court decision before taken any step.
To our amazement, the duo of Remi Olugbenro and one Omolola Adeyinka later started making spurious allegations against the Executive that they were assaulted by thugs, we forcefully broke into the Chairman’s office, thereafter using Police to harass them.
The matter was reported at Ibara Police station, before it was transferred to the police command headquarters in Eleweran.
The DCP Ihebom Chukwuma, was directly handling the matter and his position necessitated this petition.
According the Chairman of NUJ, Soji Amosu, “As a law abiding citizens who believe in rule of law, we have painstakingly pursue our grievances according to the dictates of law and order. We were justified in our belief in rule of law when the court gave us victory on February 24, 2021, but to our amazement, what Remi Olugbenro could not got at the court, she thought she could get it by using Police to harass us.
The National President of NUJ, Chris Isiguizo is one of the judgement debtor, but what we found out is that he had been indirectly using Police to harass and intimidate those of us that took him to court.
We have also found out that the National President has turned the matter to a tribal issue, as our fundings show that he had been communicating with DCP Ihebom Chukwuma, feeding him with lies, a situation where the judgement debtor, Remi Olugbenro now turns to an heroine.
What we have expected was the Police to have remain neutral, or better still, be professional in the matter.
The case of assault (if any) should have been investigated professionally, the video clip been paraded by Remi Olugbenro was just a verbal argument where she was told to go to appeal and challenge the judgement of February 24, rather than trying to use back door to claim what does not belong to her”.
There is no way a landlord will break into his own house, we have been the legally elected Executive of the Union in the State, the court affirms it, and we had been in the office since.
He said the use of Police to harass the executive members, because of the tribal relationship of one of the Judgement debtor, Chris Isiguizo with DCP Ihebom Chukwuma was against their fundamental human right and that was why we have approached the Federal High Court in Abeokuta, a matter that is fixed for April 15, 2021 for mention see appendix 3).
They claimed that DCP Ihebom Chukwuma has been biased in handling the assault matter, as they have heard from very authoritative source that he had concluded in his mind to come out with trump up charges against us.