Following the statement released on Monday by the Ogun State Police Command (read here), lawyer cum blogger Inibehe Effiong has blasted the Force for what he termed as "tyranny" and "intimidation of human rights."
I have dispassionately peruse the misleading press release by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ogun State Police Command, Mr. Abimbola Oyeyemi, dated August 29, 2016 on the case of Joachim Iroko Chinakwe.
Below is my my response to this latest attempt to mislead credulous members of the public:
1. The statement just released by the PPRO Ogun State on Chinakwe’s case is materially misleading and contradictory. We are not credulous.
2. Iroko DID NOT admit inscribing the name of the complainant’s father on his dog. He told the Police that he named it after President Buhari.
3. The PPRO in Ogun previously said “the average Northerner will feel bad about it”. Did the PPRO contemplate the complainant’s father here?
4. The PPRO failed to disclose that Iroko in his statement stated that he named his other dogs, Obama, Nelson Mandela and Joe (after himself).
5. In his new statement, the PPRO SAID NOTHING about the earlier allegation that Iroko paraded his dog in the Hausa section of Ketere market.
6. The PPRO said efforts to resolve the issue failed. But Iroko was freed after it was resolved by the Commissioner of Police after meeting the community leaders.
7. The PPRO should tell Nigerians the person that ordered the re-arrest and prosecution of Iroko when the AIG requested for the case file?
8. Saying that President Buhari has no link to the case is playing to the gallery. If the dog’s name was not ‘BUHARI’ there would have been no case.
9. You cannot insulate President Buhari as long as Iroko’s position is that he named the dog after him and the police has not proved its case.
10. The PPRO is inconsistent. The law is in favour of Iroko because he is presumed innocent until proved guilty and the burden is on the police to prove their allegations beyond reasonable doubt.
11. The police cannot use the media to convict Iroko. If they insist on pursuing the case, they should prove their mere allegations in court.
12. It is shameful that the Police has been overzealous over what Mallam Garba Shehu described as a “LAUGHABLE INCIDENT” when serious cases are there.
13. The claim that the issue was about to degenerate into crisis has only been invented today. For me, it remains false until proved in court.
14. Iroko NEVER made any hate statement against the complainant or his father. It was the same PPRO who introduced ethnicity into the case.
15. The new statement by the PPRO implies that any person who gives his dog a name that is borne by his neighbour, can be prosecuted.
16. This case is in court, the police should either withdraw it or allow the court to determine it. The media trial is really unfortunate.
17. Nigerians are conversant with how the police has been faring in investigation of cases & treatment of accused persons. I’m not credulous
18. There is nothing special about the name ‘Buhari’. This is an attempt to intimidate a citizen for exercising his legal rights.
19. The Police can end this embarrassing drama or continue it. But we want to see them act with equal passion in REAL criminal cases.
20. Nigeria is not a zoo. The human rights community will never sit back and watch the violation of the rights of our people. I am not afraid.
21. Lastly, I supported the emergence of the current regime because it promised change. We want to see more of that change and less of TYRANNY.