The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has called for the immediate arrest of the Executive Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Engr. Valentine Buraimoh and Hon. Dipo Olorunrinu for the roles they played before and during the May 29, 2021 local government council primaries conducted by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State.
In a petition addressed to high profile APC leaders including President Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Governor Mai Mala Buni, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Alhaji Tunde Balogun, the CDHR accused the duo of possessing fire arms, disrupting the election primaries in different wards o the local government and causing general unrest and terrorising the peace of the local government with heavily armed thugs.
The statement signed by Comrade Kehinde Adeoye, the Lagos State chairman of the organisation, said prior to the local government APC primaries, one of the APC chairmanship aspirants Honourable Dipo Olorunrinu, former member Lagos State House of Assembly Amuwo Odofin Constituency 1, on the platform of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) 2015-2019, “had and still has a case with the Nigerian Police, Lagos State where he was arrested for being in possession of illegal fire arms and ammunitions and the case is still on since 2018.
“In accordance with the APC, INEC and LASIEC guidelines, no aspirant of any political party must have a pending criminal case or criminal record in any court of law and if found to have, is not eligible to contest any election (reference APC nomination form page 3 & 4, INEC, LASIEC guidelines). Also during the campaign towards the May 29, 2021 APC primaries, there were several rounds of gunshots fired into the air at 512 Road, Festac Town by members of Hon. Dipo Olorunrinu’s campaign group while he was present at the location.
“With the level of insecurity and incessant killings in the country, we feel that the situation in Amuwo Odofin LGA and indeed across the country is very fragile and can snowball into a huge security threat.
“The incumbent council chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Engineer Valentine Buraimoh personally led thugs to chase away voters and cart away ballot boxes to unknown destination while some people suffered various degrees of body injuries particularly at UPE primary school 3rd avenue beside the federal fire service, Festac Town in Ward K, where rounds of gunshots by thugs led by Engineer Valentine Buraimoh were fired at electorates and passers-by and with bullets scattered on the ground.
“These thugs were also seen hanging around the black Toyota Hilux pickup vehicle of Engineer Valentine Buraimoh in which he drove off with heading towards 2nd avenue in Festac Town. Men from the Nigerian Police Festac Division office arrived minutes after the incident. Pictures and video evidence have been sent to the DSS and Police.
“Engineer Valentine Buraimoh is not from ward K, why then was he found at other wards on the day of election with thugs numbering up to 80 thereby violating the electoral guidelines of the All Progressives Congress (APC)? Or is he an election monitor for the APC?
“Hon. Dipo Olorunrinu who claims to be from Ward C was also seen in some other wards during voting hours alongside hoodlums working with him thereby also violating the electoral guidelines since he is an aspirant and not an election monitor or observer.
“Our concern as members of the civil society is to ensure that the lives of people are not endangered. There are pictorial and video evidences of the use and possession of illegal firearms at the primaries of the APC.
“On 31st May 2021, members of the civil society stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly to protest incessant killings of citizens, policemen and soldiers. A protest letter was delivered to the office of the speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa to arrest the situation. In this regard, the recent brutal killings of ex-political adviser to former president Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Alhaji Ahmed Gulak (30th May, 2021), ex-Enugu High Court judge Stanley Nnaji (31st May 2021), former youth leader ward C, APC Amuwo Odofin Mr. Soji Abraham (4th February 2021) and many others gives us the reason to be worried that if things like this are not cubbed and the criminals are not arrested and brought to justice then it gives room for more killings and only GOD knows the next person to be killed by this tugs in possession of firearms.
“One wonders why those arms have not been mopped up, the culprits arrested and brought to book by a competent court of law. This portrays danger as the pump actions and riffles in possession of the thugs remain within the community in Amuwo Odofin LG posing a huge security risk to residents,” the statement added.
The group averred that there were also confirmed reports of violence and the use of arms at Surulere Local Government in Lagos State where two lives were lost and also in Agege Local Government where there was series of gunshots heard within the local government area.
The group further call on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the immediate arrest of Engr Valentine Buraimoh and Hon Dipo Olorunrinu with all their thugs by the Police and the DSS.
In THE WITNESS fact-finding mission, our reporter contacted Hon. Buraimoh for his reactions to the allegations. His Personal Assistant who responded to the call, however said that the chairman could not speak with our reporter as he was busy.