Press Briefing By Edo For Justice As It Relates To The Ovia 13 Who Are Unjustly Suffering In Prison For Trumped Up Charges Held On Thursday The 25th Of August, 2016
Gentlemen of the fourth Estate of the realms, companeras and companeros in the struggle for egalitarianism, fellow Nigerians, I greet you and in the name of democracy, freedom from oppression and tyranny, equity and equal right and justice for all.
The leadership and members of Edo for justice have watched with keen interest the recent happening in the political atmosphere of our dear state in the last couple of weeks as September 10, 2016 draws nearer and necessity has placed a moral onus on us as non state actors and the voice of justice to speak truth to power in this critical moment in the evolving political development of the heartbeat of the nation. Dante once said that “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who during moral crisis maintained their neutrality”
We are convinced beyond all reasonable doubts that this briefing will drum consciousness and restraint into the heart of government and unhardened the hearts of those whose hearts have been hardened by the propaganda machinery of government and exposed the people to the opportunities opened and promote their participation in the civil, political, economic and socio-cultural spheres in the state.
After due consultation with Almighty God, the masses who sovereignty reside and the oracle of the hill and cave, we unanimously resolved as follows:
1. That we are particularly worried about the introduction of the politics of bitterness, totalitarianism, fascism and owegbeism into Edo state politics in the 21st century where 13 law abiding indigenes of Okada, Ovia North East were unjustly and maliciously arrested, detained and sent to prison with trump up charges because they engaged in a peaceful protest which is absolutely legitimate in a democratic society even when the offence they allegedly committed is bailable.
2. That we frowned at the monstrous and undemocratic action of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice who became interested in the case over night and substituted the charges which were not investigated by the police for political and egocentric reasons so as to gain favour from his master who has lost grip of the people.
3. That the Comrade Governor should desist forthwith from using his executive power to suffocate, intimidate, cow, oppress and victimize those who do not share the same political sentiment and philosophy with him. The Governor should remember that political power is ephemeral, transient and transitory as everyone shall give account of his or her stewardship to Almighty God when the trumpet shall sound on the last day. The strongest person is never strong enough to be master forever.
4. That the Chief Justice of the Federation and the President of Nigeria Bar Association should proactively rescue Edo Judiciary from the iron grip of legal quagmire/imbroglio as the independence of the judiciary is being trampled upon by the executive.
5. That the Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice should tender an unreserved apology to the people of Okada and the 13 detainees who are prisoners of conscience and honourably resign his appointment to save his face after November 12, 2016.
6. That the Governor should tread the path of honour by using his executive power to open the prison gate for the Ovia 13 to go and reunite with their respective families as it is a sin against God and a crime against humanity to unjustly send innocent person to prison .
7. That we call on the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), International Community, Amnesty International (AI) and other domestic Human Rights organizations to intervene in the matter to save Edo state that is presently under siege as far as justice is concerned in the hands of Attorney General who this administration is using to send those with opposing views to prison as our prisons are now enveloped with political detainees from a specific political party. The Commissioner for Justice is supposed to be a minister in the temple of justice and upholder of the rule of law not to preside over ministry of injustice and oppression. We wish to emphasize that this is not a military regime where human rights are violated with impunity.
While we get tired of injustice and oppression sometimes in our state, we are always inspired with the statement and pontification of Fidel Castro in 1953 when he was arrested and tried by Batista Government upon the failed attack on Moncada Barracks “I now come to the close of my defense, I will not end it as lawyers usually do asking that the accused be freed. I cannot asked freedom for myself when my companeros are already suffering in the ignominious prison in the isle of pine. Send me there to join them and to share their fate. It is understandable that honest people should be dead or in prison in a republic where the President is a criminal and a thief. I do not fear prison as I do not fear the fury of the miserable tyrant who took the lives of 70 of my companeros. Condemn me it does not matter history will absolve me”.
History will always absolve the great and courageous men and women who are here to lend their voices to the struggle against injustice and oppression. Edo state is desperately crying for freedom from the iron grip of the Machiavellian rulers who have sequestrated the Talakawa to dustbin of history. Uhuru is achievable
Long live Edo for Justice.
Long live Edo State.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.