Vice President Namadi Sambo yesterday advised members of the Osun State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), who were arrested in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, en route Abuja to seek redress in court.
He was responding to a protest from Governor Rauf Aregbesola, who decried the treatment given to law-abiding “indigenes” of Osun State by the Kogi State Police Command on Wednesday.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Federal High Court, Osogbo, Aregbesola, who expressed his anger to the Federal Government over the development, said the arrest and detention of his supporters by the police was an insult to his office and an infringment on the fundamental human rights of the people.
But Sambo, who repsented President Goodluck Jonathan at the programme, advised the aggrieved governor to seek redress in court, if there was any security threat to the lives of the ACN members and infringment on their fundamental rights.
Refusing to recognise the President in his welcome addresss in the order of protocol, Aregbesola said: “The President was deliberately skipped while recognising other government officials present at the occasion in order to protest the arrest and detention of 29 members of ACN by the commissioner of Police in Kogi State without any justifiable reason.”
He added “the arrest of the 29 ACN members in Lokoja was unwarranted as it was a dangerous trend in our democracy that must be reversed in the interest of justice, fairness, equity and sustenance of our democracy.”
Aregbesola, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Grace Laoye-Tomori, condemned the action of the Kogi police command for what he called an infringement on the fundamental human rights of indigenes of Osdun State, urging President Jonathan to enforce respect for human rights.
In his speech entitled: “Justice is Beyond the Court Room,” the governor said the Federal Government need to address some issues that affect the administration of justice in the country, saying that reckless disregard and disrespect for the principle of fundamental human rights in the country is a serious concern.”
He enumerated some of the issues affecting administration of justice in the country to include impartiality, inefficiency, delays and prison reforms among others.
In his remarks, President Jonathan urged judges in the country to pursue judicial codes as the hallmark of the judiciary, adding that they should strive to erase the unsavory perception about the judiciary in the minds of the public.
Inaugurating the Federal High Court, the President noted that it will add value to the cause of justice in Nigeria, urging members of the bench to dispense justice without fear or favour to whom it may concern.
Some 29 members of the ACN from the state while on their way to Abuja to identify with their National Leader and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had on Wednesday been arrested by the police on Lokoja.
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